ST. CLOUD - St. Cloud is taking a step towards a possible $19 million retail-office building that would go in next to city hall.

During their meeting on Monday night, the city council heard a plan for the city to enter into an agreement with Inventure Properties. The project would create a four-story 60,000 square foot professional office and retail building at the intersection of Highway 23 and 5th Avenue – on the west side of the St. Cloud City Hall.

The council approved a letter of intent with Inventure Properties to move forward with more planning and to the bring designs to the planning commission.

City staff along with Inventure Properties have worked together on the idea to complete the original vision for the 5th Avenue Live project. Douglas Boser with Inventure Properties spoke to the council on Monday night and says they have several ideas for the new building.

"Definitely envisioning some either bike, ride or car share program with this. We're also envisioning some kind of workout facility would be built inside of it and maybe in the front end even having a place where we could have food vendors to come in."

As part of the project, the former First United Methodist Church would be torn down, and combined with a vacated 3rd Street South, to create a parking lot.

The features of the new building include lower level parking, first floor retail, and three stories of office space. It would include a 38 stall lower level heated parking garage. Occupancy of the space could start as early as 2017.

The city would occupy part of the new building for up to 99 years at no cost.

The First United Methodist Church vacated the building in 2013, and it has sat empty since then.