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DL waits to buy Hwy 10 land for redevelopment

With no for-sure timetable in place, the Detroit Lakes Development Authority is putting off purchasing any land in the Highway 10 gateway redevelopment area.

The area that includes businesses such as Floral Impressions, the vacant lot where Hardees sat, and Miguels is set to be turned back to the city in 2009. Before then, it would likely be too costly for the city to purchase now and sell in three years.

"Are we intending at this point to acquire these pieces of property, or see what developers are interested?" asked Community Development Director Larry Remmen of the development authority members.

All present agreed it would be best to wait.

The development authority would need to have a significant amount of money to purchase the land now and carry it for the next few years.

"We're not in a position to go out (and purchase land) at this point," chairman Jim Anderson said.

"It would be nice to have a schedule, but we don't," he added.

Remmen said most developers "fade away" when he tells them the date of when land can be developed because it's a "lifetime to developers."

In other action at the development authority meeting, the city now owns the entire city beach.

In 1997, the development authority had ownership of the land along West Lake Drive, formerly the Jeff's Resort beach area. When selling the land on the north side of the street to Portofino Restaurant and World Market, the development authority still owned the south beach area.

Tuesday afternoon, the development authority turned the land over to the city of Detroit Lakes.