Developer wants to buy two lots for apartment construction

    The Crookston City Council Ways & Means this week OK'ed a revision to the "CSC Addition" plat near Crookston Sports Center in the city's northeast corner that paves the way for a developer to purchase two lots north of Drafts Sports Bar & Grill for potential apartment construction.   

    The plat, which tentatively lays out an entire subdivision north and east of the CSC that features single-family homes, and multi-family units, is easy to revise at this juncture, Interim City Administrator Pat Kelly said, because it hasn't been officially recorded yet.   

    Details are few and bar between at this point, mostly because a purchase agreement hasn't been signed, there are no structural designs and no permits have been sought from the city. In fact, even though the memo providing background information for the committee meeting indicated the two lots were being purchased for "apartment construction," Kelly wouldn't even commit to that. He said CHEDA Executive Director Craig Hoiseth is working with the developer on the purchase.   

    The plat revision next goes to the city Planning Commission, which would be expected to recommend full council approval after that.   

    It's kind of a tight squeeze on the two lots in order to meet building set-back requirements from the property boundaries. The revision will essentially leave a 30-foot utility easement that will potentially provide a little wiggle room once a building is designed and construction. Kelly said things like a parking lot can be built on an easement, but no structures can be constructed on an easement site.

Abatement news   

    After two public hearings that generated no public comments, the council approved a two-year property tax abatement as part of the city's Housing Incentive Program. Finance Director Angel Hoeffner said four qualifying homes have their occupancy permits and have reached their fully assessed value, therefore they now qualify for the two-year abatement.   

    The council also approved the requested five-year tax abatement for Strategic Developments, LLC, which has purchased the former SuperValu grocery store downtown and will renovate it into 12 apartments for senior citizens. The abatements will kick in once the project is completed and the building is assessed at its new value.    

    Ward 4 Council Member Hector Santellanes, who is a partner in Strategic Developments, LLC, abstained from voting on the resolution.   

    Building Official Matt Johnson said the first step for the project will be requesting a conditional use permit from the city Planning Commission, and the request will be on an upcoming commission agenda.