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City looks to develop prime piece of downtown real estate

The Highway 10 realignment opened this land for development. Submitted Photo

The Detroit Lakes Development Authority is working to put out a request for proposals for the remaining two-plus acres of land in the redevelopment area south of Holmes Street.

“I have a list of a dozen people that are interested in this,” Community Development Director Larry Remmen said.

Of those dozen, he said, there are probably three or four that are serious and the rest are just “tire kickers.”

The area in question is south of Holmes Street where the old Miguels building sits.

The issue with the piece of land is that both Bremer Bank and those owning the Lincoln Professional Building have a stake in a portion of the land as well.

To the west of the 2.1 acres the city owns — the city owns the grassy area — is where the old Miguels building sits. Bremer Bank owns that property and the parking spaces around it up to the Essentia Health St. Mary’s property where the dialysis unit is (the former Central Market building and parking lot). The total of that area is about 18,700 square feet.

To complicate it more, the Lincoln Professional Building has a permanent easement with Bremer Bank for 14 of those parking spaces. So, if Bremer Bank was to sell that piece of land to the city, Bremer Bank would have to provide 14 parking spaces for the Lincoln Professional Building elsewhere.

“It certainly has some value to them,” Remmen said of the city to be able to purchase that chunk of land from Bremer Bank to have a more uniform piece of land to sell for development.

In the same breath though, it causes less value to Bremer Bank to sell it because of having to provide parking spaces for the Lincoln Professional Building somewhere else, he added.

There are some members of the development authority that also find value in owning the Lincoln Professional Building — which is about 12,000 square feet — so that Lincoln Avenue “could go away,” Remmen said. Lincoln Avenue only accesses the Lincoln Professional Building now, and cuts through to Essentia Health’s parking lot.

DLDA members have been hashing out the details of selling the land for several months, trying to decide when to call for proposals for development and if the city should first own the land to the west to include.

City officials have been talking with Bremer Bank and Lincoln Professional building owners to see if they are willing to negotiate. Both have agreed to negotiate, but nothing was agreed upon as of early spring yet.

The DLDA agreed to keep discussing the item and “tweak” the proposal for RFPs.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.