He needs to get financial incentives from City and start project within six months, or Tri-Valley looks elsewhere

    The ball, as they say, is in the Crookston City Council’s court.

    Tri-Valley Opportunity Council CEO Jason Carlson and developer Jeff Evers, who earlier this year purchased the historic Fournet building in downtown Crookston, tell the Times that they have agreed to terms on a lease agreement that would have Tri-Valley move across the street from its current location at the northeast corner of the intersection of Broadway and Main, to the Fournet building at the northwest corner of the intersection.

    But the deal is contingent on the city council approving an incentive and financing package that Evers will present to the council’s Ways & Means Committee later this month. Although Evers several weeks ago briefed the committee on his redevelopment visions for the Fournet building, he didn’t get into specifics when he said that at some point soon he’d be returning to the council with a request for City incentives or other City assistance that would help make his plans become reality.

    Evers also said at that time that his plans for the Fournet don’t work without an anchor tenant to provide necessary revenue. Tri-Valley has been a frequently mentioned, potential anchor tenant for several months, as Carlson and the agency’s board of directors have determined that while owning their current building is nice, the costs for myriad deferred maintenance, repair and improvement projects at the building are adding up and would only continue to get expensive the longer they’re put off over time. Carlson previously told the Times that he and his board were open to the idea of leasing a location and letting the building owner deal with maintenance costs.

    Carlson said the deal with Evers has a six-month window.

    “Tri-Valley’s Board of Directors has come to terms on a lease with Jeff,” he explained. “We have an agreement in place that says Tri-Valley will sign that lease if Jeff has his financing in place and begins the project within six months.”

    If in six months Evers isn’t far enough along in his plans, “We part as friends and Tri-Valley looks for other space,” Carlson added.

    If everything does come to fruition, it’s possible that Tri-Valley somehow conveys its current building to the City, and at that point it’s possible that the City demolishes the building. Concept drawings show the building demolished, a parking lot and greenery in its place, and a transformed corner of Robert Street and Broadway coming in from the east, a corner that has raised safety concerns over the years.