Nancy Edmonds Hanson
Two commercial construction projects – one bordering Interstate 94, the other in the newly opened east addition to the MCCARA Industrial Park – were approved by the Moorhead City Council at its regular meeting Monday.
The first, and larger of the proposals, is a complex of four shop condominium buildings to be constructed by Thad Thorsness of Thor Investments along 29th Avenue between 16th and 17th Streets South. Each of the buildings will have five units to be leased or sold to small commercial businesses such as builders, plumbers or electricians. Each will have both a walk-in and an overhead door, as well as restroom facilities.
Some of the properties, according to the Thorsness application, will be sold to the businesses that occupy them The construction will boost the current property value of $782,800 (land only) to an estimated total of $6.7 million.
The total property tax exemption is estimated at $534,128 over five years. Economic development consultant Derrick LaPoint pointed out to the council that the tax break will be passed down to those who purchase the condos.
After passage by the council, construction is expected to begin in October.
Also slated for an October start is a similar three-unit building at 3380 43rd St. S. on one of the new lots recently approved by the council to expand the MCCARA Industrial Park. In this case, however, it’s being built by Jeremy MacAdams and 4 Seasons Handyman LLC to house his own businesses, 4 Seasons Contracting (concrete flat work, landscape, hardscape, hydro seeing and grading), 4 Seasons Insulation (spray foam, batting and fiberglass blow), and Pro Curb (decorative curbing and landscape).
According to his application, the completed building’s value is estimated at $929,200. Completion is expected next July.
The council also took a third action related to a high-profile construction project. The group approved tax breaks earlier this year for Enclave Development’s Compass Apartments, to be built on the site of the former Days Inn on 30th Avenue South, along with a $600,000 loan to assist in demolition of the long-empty, deteriorating motel.
Now LaPoint presented a proposal to amend the pay-as-you-go tax increment financing to accommodate construction the apartments in two phases instead of the single project originally presented. He told the council that the rapid rise in construction costs, coupled with lenders’ caution, has held back the start of the original apartment house.
Instead, Enclave – also responsible for the nearly completed Emery Apartments and adjacent retail complex directly across Eighth Street South on the east side – now plans to build 93 housing units as the first phase on the Days Inn site. The remainder of the units will be encompassed by the future Phase Two. The value of Phase One is estimated at $11 million, with the second phase coming in at a similar amount.
The council approved the adjustment. LaPoint stressed that it does not affect the city’s cost, since the original term of 18 years remains in force and the tax benefits will only become available as the buildings are completed. “It’s very much to their benefit to complete the whole project to get a;; the benefits you have already approved,” he said.