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Scope of Evers’ Fournet project grows after 3rd floor discovery

Times Report
Crookston Times

    Crookston Housing & Economic Development Authority’s (CHEDA) Board of Directors approved a revolving loan request Tuesday for developer Jeff Evers for the Fournet Building renovation project. Funds will be used for the Fournet’s first floor remodel, new storefront glass, steel structure for the sky light, and an event center.

    CHEDA Executive Director Craig Hoiseth told the board the Fournet’s current renovations are on track and the request is a “difference piece” with decisions to improve the building beyond what the original scope was.

    “It’s a pretty magnificent building and it’s been nothing but positive with developments both in the community and for tenants,” said Hoiseth.

    “This helps him (Evers) not to have to get a second mortgage on another property to fit this gap,” he added soon thereafter.

    Evers explained that the additional funds would allow him to make the changes he sought with one large skylight, which he thinks would make a “major” difference, and an events center in the third floor ballroom. Evers also touched on the “dramatic” difference the storefront glass will make, “like going back to 1900.”

    “The old dentist and jewelry store will have all new store fronts, and we’ll be almost finishing the whole building,” said Evers.

    Evers added that his wife might manage the event space and the Fournet project is currently under budget.

    Note: Times Assistant Editor Jess Bengtson, who serves on the Downtown Crookston Development Partnership (DCDP) board with Evers, recently toured the Fournet where Evers showed what he found during renovations - original timbers lining the third floor ballroom ceiling. Bengtson told the CHEDA board that an event space in the Fournet would add to the building’s historic ambience while providing another community asset and benefit for tenants who could use the space for meetings or conferences.

    Hoiseth pointed out that he is sensitive to the other event centers in Crookston and felt additional revenue could be obtained by using catering from local bars/restaurants, plus it would add another amenity for Crookston.

    Tenants still planned for the Fournet include Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. and the State of Minnesota defense attorney’s office which currently occupies the first floor corner space.  

    According to the loan request summary, the total projected cost of the Fournet’s enhanced renovations is estimated to be $458,000 and the 15-year revolving loan amount approved was $100,000, which will be used in conjunction with Evers’ primary lender, Bremer Bank.

    The summary also noted that Evers owns several real estate properties in Crookston which include both business and residential properties.

    “Jeff has invested many dollars into the Crookston community that continue to provide benefits to individuals and businesses,” the summary read.

Developer Jeff Evers, left, talks to the CHEDA Board of Directors. City Council member Bobby Baird listens in.