ST. CLOUD - The plan to build a $19 million office building in downtown St. Cloud cleared a big hurdle this (Monday) evening, after another lengthy discussion by the St. Cloud City Council. The council voted 5-2 to approve the Planned Unit Development for the Highbanks Crossing project, including the approval of vacating 3rd Street South.

Council member George Hontos says it's been a frustrating process.

I really don't know where to start on this. I have a number of issues and concerns, and I'm trying to make heads or tails, and it's been a very frustrating project.

Although 3rd Street South will be vacated, the plan allows for a double lane of traffic to travel through the parking lot.

There are still several more steps before the four-story 60,000 square foot office and retail building becomes a reality. Community Development Director Matt Glaesman says the city council, and the residents, will still have time to help shape the project.

And those kinds of details are the facts that you will be involved in as this process goes forward. The development agreement will be very detailed, so you'll have three months of that opportunity to talk about, should it be yellow brick, should it be red brick, should it be brown brick. Those kinds of details are what will come as part of your final decisions after you talk to a lot of folks.

It's being planned for the corner of 5th Avenue and Highway 23, just to the west of St. Cloud City Hall.

Developers Doug Boser and Brian Schoenborn hope to have the project completed by 2018.