Firm looks to restore, redevelop historic Cedarhurst Mansion

Posted 4/14/21

Mayor impressed with Three Sixty’s past projects The Cottage Grove City Council held a workshop last Wednesday night for its first look at plans to redevelop the historic Cedarhurst mansion site. …

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Firm looks to restore, redevelop historic Cedarhurst Mansion


Mayor impressed with Three Sixty’s past projects

The Cottage Grove City Council held a workshop last Wednesday night for its first look at plans to redevelop the historic Cedarhurst mansion site.

The city council adjourned to its training room to meet representatives of ThreeSixty Real Estate Solutions, a LaCrosse, WI based development firm.

The community is keeping a close eye on the project to make sure the historic integrity of Cedarhurst is maintained.

Wayne Butt, who owns two historic properties in the city spoke in the public comment portion of the City Council meeting.

“I want to for the record state that I’m closely watching the history of Cottage Grove and anything we decide to do as a while for this city and community of Cottage Grove, the historic presence needs to be maintained so we continue thriving into the future with historic properties,” he said. “My wife


A LaCrosse, WI-based real estate developer has an agreement to purchase the historic Cedarhurst Mansion, which was listed for sale for just under $2 million.

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“Angie and I own two historic properties at this time, the historic John P. Furber home and the historic Dr. Arthur Steen home out in old Cottage Grove. Cedarhurst Mansion isn’t in old Cottage Grove, but it has that history present to it, and it’s sitting on 10 acres. I’m really curious as to what tonight’s workshop looks like.”

According to its website, “Cedarhurst Historic County House has earned a reputation as one of the Twin Cities’ most memorable and refined venues for wedding ceremonies and receptions, corporate functions, meetings and social occasions. For more than a century, Cedarhurst has played a leading role in Minnesota’s social and political history by welcoming guests of world prominence including four U.S. Presidents and foreign dignitaries as well as the who’s who of local and international business.”

Cedarhurst is listed on the National Register of Historic sites. It was the country estate of Cordenio and Mary Severance, a Twin Cities attorney. It’s described as “Neoclassical Greek Revival” architecture that was built in 1868 with additions by a world-renowned architect in the early 1900s. The estate has 26 rooms. It’s located at 6940 Keats Ave. South.

Cedarhurst was listed for sale last fall for $1.95 million. It is owned by brothers Thao and Xoua Thao. They are the 11th owners of Cedarhurst.

Three Sixty Real Estate plans a mixed-use redevelopment plan for Cedarhurst.

“Three Sixty Real Estate Solutions, LLC has been keeping staff up to date over the past months as they work on a proposed redevelopment project for the Cedarhurst Mansion site. The company has expressed their interest specifically to the historic nature of the mansion and have indicated their desire to preserve the original historic image of the mansion while also providing for redevelopment of the structure and surrounding site,” said Senior Planner Emily Schmitz. “The developer shared their potential thoughts for the redevelopment of the mansion itself, including upstairs apartments, community room, rental and office space, etc. Ideas for the surrounding property include restaurant and retail uses. Given the substantial financial obligation to not only restore and redevelop the mansion but to maintain operationally long term, the developer has indicated the need for residential development on the site as well to supplement the cost of restoration and maintenance.”

Three Sixty is owned by Marvin and Michelle Wanders. The firm specializes in commercial and real estate projects, many of which are in the LaCrosse area. The closest to Cottage Grove would be apartment complexes in River Falls, WI.

The company hopes to start on the project this year, and they have a purchase agreement in place with the current owners. The project will be mindful of the historic integrity of the mansion, developers say.

After a glimpse into the project possibilities, Cottage Grove Mayor Myron Bailey offered the following points: “I thought I would offer some better insight into what they are proposing. We had the opportunity to meet with the proposed developer/redevelopers on Wednesday evening as they are beginning the community engagement process with all of us. Some things to remember about this property and the early vision of what they are proposing: 1. The site is a National Historic Site. The building cannot be torn down or altered from its original state. This also plays a factor in the cost to renovate the building. The current estimate to just renovate the building is over 5 million dollars.

2. The developer has a long history of renovating and bringing old historic properties back to life. I have been impressed with their past projects.

3. The discussion about apartments may give you visions of the large building going up on 80th Street. That is not what they are proposing. They shared some visual ideas with the City Council and Staff that will complement the Cedarhurst Structure – not take away from it.

4. They are looking at creating a type of town square in front of the mansion. They are looking at some mixed-use ideas – like small shops at the ground level and apartments above.

5. They are all about creating a walkable community as they also want to link up with the Historic Military Trail that runs just north of Cedarhurst.

6. I mentioned I would like to see the heavy vegetation that blocks the beautiful view of the mansion from Keats and frankly 70th Street removed. They agreed. I also said I would like to see a bed and breakfast in the Mansion and/or adding a restaurant. They are looking at those options right now along with other possible uses to allow the public to enjoy this amazing site.

7. They are also researching and looking for other Cedarhurst artifacts from many years ago to either re-create them or restore them and bring them back to Cedarhurst.

We have a way to go to get to the final decision and much more involvement from the community – but I can tell you this company is very aware and capable of bringing this beautiful building back to its prominence! “