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Crookston developer Bridgeford wants to buy Golf Terrace Motel, convert it to apartments

The Crookston Planning Commission and City Council would have to take some actions in order for the motel to be converted into apartments, Interim City Administrator Angel Weasner says.

Mike Christopherson
Crookston Times

Local property owner and developer John Bridgeford is looking to purchase the Golf Terrace Motel from the Shea family and renovate the building as part of a project that would convert it into apartments.

    But if his vision is to become reality, Interim City Administrator Angel Weasner says, the city council is going to have to be involved. Approving a conditional use permit tied to the change in the property’s nature might suffice, Weasner told the council this week, but it might require an actual zoning change, since the property is currently zoned commercial. The council would also have to take into consideration that the project would involve first-floor apartments, which the council has had mixed responses to over the years when first-floor apartment requests from downtown property owners have come forward. Council members seemed to agree that first-floor apartments at the current motel site would make more sense, and even though the property is currently zoned commercial, there is a residential neighborhood located immediately to the west and southwest.

    “There are instances where first-floor apartments don’t make sense in town, but this one, with residences right behind it, makes more sense,” Ward 1 Council Member Jake Fee noted.

    “I think we need to be cautious about a one-size-fits-all policy,” Ward 6 Council Member Dylane Klatt added. “Different things work in different parts of town.”

    Weasner said more research needs to be done on Bridgeford’s plans and what the City would be asked to do in order to make them happen. Building Official Greg Hefta is currently working with Bridgeford to nail down the specifics and he will report back as needed, she said.

    Bridgeford sent letters to several City officials and council members detailing his plans. Mayor Dale Stainbrook said Bridgeford was planning to sign a purchase agreement with the Sheas this week, but he was advised to hold off until the City can get a handle on what would need to happen through the Planning Commission and council in order to make Bridgeford’s plans come to fruition.

    Council members expressed interest in scheduling a Planning Commission meeting sooner than its next scheduled meeting in late October, if necessary, to speed the process along.

    “I don’t want to see this fall through the cracks,” Ward 6 Klatt said. “I don’t want another empty building just sitting there and becoming an eyesore.”