Cote suggests that parameters be added to agreement

    Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority (CHEDA) Director Craig Hoiseth and John Bridgeford of Strategic Developments, LLC (Sanbridge Properties) approached the Polk County Commissioners Board Tuesday to request a five-year tax abatement on the Super Valu site in Crookston, which will be developed into 12 apartments geared for senior citizens.   

    "The City Council (at a Ways and Means Committee) approved an abatement last night and the School Board is looking towards approving it, too," said Hoiseth. The School Board will most likely seek action on an upcoming agenda. Bridgeford told the board that "they will be paid back in years six and seven."   

    Commissioner Craig Buness added, "The property value is just going down now as it sits."    

    All commissioners thought the project and abatement made sense and were ready to approve the abatement when Michelle Cote, director of property records, intervened with a suggestion to set parameters around the approval. Cote stated, "I think there needs to be parameters set on when to start the abatement. Once the improvements are done and another assessment is given, would the abatement start in 2014?"    

    Cote was hoping the board would provide more detailed information along with their decision. The commissioners agreed as well as Hoiseth and Bridgeford that it was a good idea to add those details to the approval. Commissioner Nick Nicholas motioned to approve the abatement with Commissioner Warren Affeldt seconding the motion. All were in favor.    

    Bridgeford mentioned that he hoped to close on the property sometime within the next week. He hopes that next spring, the property will be finished and ready for tenants in 2014. The former Crookston Super Valu grocery store has been vacant for many years and Bridgeford hopes to "improve the downtown area one step at a time." The plan is to have a dozen single floor apartments with their own patio doors and fenced-in green space on the south side. "It will give tenants a feel of having their own home or townhouse," said Bridgeford. There are also plans for a common room and fitness area. The main entrance off of South Main Street will be the only entrance and exit to the building providing extra security, along with a fence surrounding the property.    

    The Super Valu property's size is approximately 15,352 square feet with 70,800 square feet being the lot size. The site is currently valued at $217,300 with current property tax and specials at $8,268. Strategic Developments, LLC hopes to invest anywhere from $400,000 to $600,000 for improvements.