If City works with Herkenhoff on his continued development plans, he’ll donate 30-acre park, two ponds

    Local developer Robert ‘Bob’ Herkenhoff is looking to donate a 30-acre park with two ponds to the City of Crookston in two phases if they accept his residential and recreational proposal to develop further on Eickhof Boulevard. Herkenhoff took the Times on a tour of his property this week and said “time is of the essence” when it comes to the proposal.

    Herkenhoff wants to give the city the park in exchange for 870 feet of road and infrastructure from Eickhof Blvd to Fisher Avenue. Polk County currently has plans to reconstruct Fisher Avenue in 2020 hence the need for a quick decision from the city in order to coordinate with the county’s timeframe to allow for turn lane access to the boulevard.

    Financially, the cost of the road at $40 a running foot would be $69,600 and the sanitary sewer and water cost estimate is $100,000 for a total of approximately $170,000, the proposal says.

    Current Polk County market value assessments of Phase 1 and 2 Nature View Estates homes already on Eickhof Blvd range from $330,000 to $480,000 and add “significantly” to the tax base, the proposal continued.

    Herkenhoff told the Times that all the larger lots at Nature View Estates sold before hitting the market.

    Herkenhoff’s Nature View Estates concept for 2019 involves two cul de sacs with seven lots off Spruce Lane and five lots off Fir Lane, all behind Barrette Street Estates. Both cul de sacs would back up to Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the park which includes islands, ponds, trails, and native grasses and flowers. The two 5-acre ponds will also be stocked with a variety of fish.

    Herkenhoff told the Times that he aerates the pond so the fish live all winter.

    “The park is designed as a nature park, currently seeded in sections with native grasses and flowers,” Herkenhoff said in his proposal. “This area does not need mowing.”

    “The south pond currently has a gravel perimeter trail that requires minimal maintenance,” he added. “The donated land is to remain a nature park and not developed as home sites.”

    The walking trails around both ponds in the park are approximately 5300 feet and there would be designated trail easements for access on both sides of the nature park to the street which would allow access for anyone to walk the trails and enjoy the ponds.

    In 2020, if the city accepts the proposal, there would be 14 lots constructed on Eickhof Blvd close to Fisher Avenue. Seven of the 2020 lots would overlook the north pond. Herkenhoff estimates that the proposed 14 homes would be valued at $375,000 each, adding an additional $5.2 million to the tax base.

    In his proposal, he made mention of past partnerships between Nature View Development and the City of Crookston with the new homes on Eickhof Blvd and the Barrette Street project where lots were platted with donated land from NVD that “enhanced Crookston’s housing market” and “added to the tax base with over 16 new homes.”

    Herkenhoff has invited the city council to tour the site which he would “happily” walk them around the current pond on the gravel trail, show them the north pond, and show them the proposed 14 home sites.