Update by Community Development Director sets stage for upcoming Plan Commission meeting

Posted 1/12/22


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Update by Community Development Director sets stage for upcoming Plan Commission meeting



by Joseph Back

Meeting January 11th, 2022 on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:30 a.m., the Cottage Grove Economic Development Authority (EDA) saw many items.

Among the items of note on the EDA meeting agenda for January 11th is the sale of a 19.17-acre land parcel adjacent to TG-P14 . Sold first to the EDA and then Endeavor as end user, the 19.17-acre parcel will tentatively house a 260,000 square foot building, with the EDA paying WAG Farms $1.90 per square foot for the property and Endeavor paying the EDA $3.25 per square foot as multiplied by 835,100 total survey feet, stipulated in a partially executed purchase agreement contained within the meeting packet.

Also worth noting is a recommendation by City Administrator Jennifer Levitt to authorize Cottage Grove EDA President Myron Bailey and herself to execute a Letter of Intent with Ryan Companies for the purchase of 13 acres of land adjacent to and west of Airgas along Jamaica Avenue South.

The land as things stand is owned by WAG Farms trust, with land historically being sold to the EDA and then the “end user” to make it ready for development.

The price by the EDA for the 13-acre parcel per the Letter of Intent with Ryan Companies would be $1,840,410, otherwise calculating out to $3.25 per square foot of land able to be developed. The parcel would see a 50,000 square foot building should things go through. Though sharing a price per square foot with the 19.7-acre parcel, it is separate from it.

Also included in the January 11th meeting packet was a memo from City Administrator Levitt recommending authorization of a similar letter of intent with Syndica, LLP, for a 25.4 acre parcel located at the corner of 97th Street South and Hemingway Avenue South to be bought for a price per the Letter of Intent of $3,872, 484, or $3.50 per developable square foot.

Both parcels are zoned industrial (the one with Ryan Companies for I-1 and the other I-2) while neither letter of intent is considered a binding contract. Instead, the two LOIs for separate parcels are seen as steps in the process of exploration into possible purchase and site development. Each letter of intent stipulates conditions that must be met before a deal is finalized, with the letter of Intent by Syndica indicating under “general conditions: that the Seller has or will pay “any current special assessment, wetland credits, SAC and WAC fees,” and park dedication fees, “if any.”

In more general EDA news from January 4, Cottage Grove Community Development Director Christine Costello gave a development update to the EDA. With 417 building permits issued in December at a total valuation of $193,937,245, the city will have several new homes and commercial improvements soon. Following is a basic rundown.

For current building projects, Costello reported that the exterior of the addition to the Innovative Chemical Company is “substantially complete,” along with projects at Air Gas, 61 Marine & Sports, and North Star Sheets also substantially complete,” either in full or in regards to the exterior portion.

Regarding 3M, Costello reported that the Temporary Water Filtration Project at Building 149 was “substantially complete,” while building permit plans for a water quality building were listed as “currently under review,” as the building (permit) for the interior renovation project at building 151 was “ready for issuance.”

Down at Mister Car Wash, the permit for the vacuum modification project had been reviewed and would be issued once the contractor was selected, while a tenant improvement project at New Century Salon was listed as “substantially complete.” As to Claire’s located within Walmart the report was similar, with permit issuance once the contractor had been chosen.

For Pine Harbor Christian Academy along Highway 61, Costello reported that the exterior was “substantially complete” with “interior finishes being constructed.”

In Park shelter news, meanwhile, the footing and foundation had been completed for a respite from the elements at Oakwood Park while the Hamlet Park Shelter was complete as to the exterior of the building, while painting was scheduled for spring.

Regarding the December 20th Planning Commission meeting, Costello reported that the Commission had reviewed one application (for the Mississippi Dunes Environmental Assessment Worksheet or EAW) and that comment had been received from two individuals at the meeting. The official publication date for the Dunes EAW in the EQB Monitor is November 23, with the Council set to address the Dunes EAW at its January 19 meeting, making the decision as to whether an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is needed at the site.

As to other development news, the January 24th Planning Commission meeting is scheduled to see two applications, one for a preliminary plat to replat a portion of the Woodward Ponds 3rd Addition and another relating to McHattie Landing.

The replat of the Woodward Ponds 3rd Addition as requested, would entail the elimination of two townhome models in the present plat and rearrangement of their locations to allow for more of the same by M/I Homes.

As to McHattie Landing, the Manley Family Trust was due to apply for a zoning amendment to change the parcel at 9119 and 9165 Military Road from AG-1, Agricultural Preservation, to R-4, Low Density Residential, with a Planned Use Development. The preliminary plat for McHattie Landing would create 79-single family lots and 4 outlots.

Also of note for the January 24th Planning Commission meeting was an application for a renewal of the permit by Aggregate Industries to continue their mining operations from 11250 Grey Cloud Trail South on Lower Grey Cloud, as well as an application for site plan review by the Minnesota Pipeline Company for a new 210 square foot tank foam building to support a fire suppression system near Flint Hill Resources at 6483 85th Street South.

Finally for the update by Costello was a conditional use permit to allow for the construction of a 10-foot tall privacy fence for exterior storage around their property at 7450 95th Street South, with a note of this address as being home previously to Werner Electric.

Meanwhile, it was reported in the business development inquiry that Costello and other city staff had met with representatives from Ryan Companies on January 4th of this year, “to talk about the and at 100th Street South and Jamaica Avenue South, and the end user for the property.” The end user, it turns out, signed an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) with Ryan Companies as to the end user’s identity, but might find proximity to Airgas “beneficial,” it was made known in meeting documents of discussions with the purchasing broker.

But while all might seem like new development south of Highway 61, there is another story, just across the highway from Hamlet Park. City Administrator Jennifer Levitt and Assistant Jaime Mann were contacted by one Rick Plessner after he first inquiring about a possible tenant for land at 7470 East Point Douglas Road. That potential tenant, it turned out, had put building plans on hold for 7470 East Point Douglas Road while they looked at an existing healthcare facility in the City of Cottage Grove as a potential location.

Housing and other permits for 2021, meanwhile, remained brisk, with a total of 574 for new units and a total of 4,557 permits related to the same.