Follow Up: Progress Made On 3 St. Cloud Redevelopment Projects
ST. CLOUD - We continue with our series of follow-up stories on WJON we're calling "Whatever happened with that?". Today we're updating you on the plan to redevelop three areas of St. Cloud.
Back in late July St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis took local reporters and city staff on a bus trip around town laying out his plan to redevelop three blighted areas.
One project is the plan to sell 18 acres of Heritage Park to a major retailer. Kleis was hoping we would know the name of that new business in the next two to three weeks.
Before the end of the year, but that's up to the entity that's purchasing it because they make that determination. What's taking the longest is the transportation access piece.
However, on Tuesday the Stearns County Board denied a request by the city to realign the portion of County Road 75/2nd Street South in front of that property. The retailer says the realignment is a requirement in order for them to move forward. Kleis says the denial by the county board will delay the project. He's hoping to get the board to reconsider their decision in January, or convince the retailer to move ahead with their project without the realignment.
UPDATE: Since this story was originally posted, we learned that Costco is the major retail planning to go into that area. Read the latest.
The county engineer Jodi Teich expressed her concern about backed up traffic in the area, once the retailer is up and running.
The developer has signed a letter of intent to buy the land.
If it's redeveloped, the Heritage Park land would add $400,000 in property taxes and $200,000 in half-cent sales tax for the city.
With the money from the sale of the land, the city plans to buy 71 acres in southeast St. Cloud including Talahi Woods. Kleis wants that finalized before Interim St. Cloud State University President Ashish Vaidya leaves town in June.
Another area is at the corner of Highway 23 and Cooper Avenue where some vacant buildings and a substation owned by Xcel Energy currently sit. Kleis says you should start to see some action in the coming weeks.
They'll start moving that substation early next year, so starting next month. They're in the process of completing the sale of the land this month. The development that is around that substation those buildings will be completely demolished by the end of February.
Kleis says it could take up to a year for Xcel to move the substation.
The developer that now owns the property has a vision for building a retail and mixed-use complex on that site.
And lastly, the update on the plan to jump-start the stalled-out project on East St. Germain Street. Kwik Trip owns a majority of the now vacant lot, and Kleis says they still plan to start building next year.
That is the goal and I am hopeful that in 2018 you'll see a Kwik Trip moving forward. They are still committed.
Before Kwik Trip can start building, the utility lines along that block need to be buried underground. Kleis says that should happen early next year.
Kleis says Kwik Trip officials have told him they no longer feel like they need the remainder of that block to build, so they probably won't be buying any more property there.
Coming-up Thursday in our follow-up series "Whatever happened with that?" we'll update you on how Sunday liquor sales have been doing since that started July 1st.