Three Sisters proposal discussed
Closer and closer. Requests for proposal, or RFPs, have been submitted to the city by persons and companies interested in the Three Sisters properties, and now, those RFPs have been looked through and will be recommended to the Blue Earth City Council at their Monday meeting.
The Three Sisters buildings have had good interest in the property, according to city administrator Tim Ibisch at the Blue Earth Economic Development Authority meeting last Thursday morning.
“We received a few RFPs, and with the help of (subcommittee members) Bill Rosenau and Kara Drake, we were able to sort through those and take a look at the RFPs at length,” Ibisch informed the EDA.
With a total of 12 RFPs received, there was one RFP that piqued the interest of the subcommittee members. Interest enough to recommend it to the Blue Earth City Council on Monday.
“It was a very detailed, very intriguing and thorough RFP,” said Drake. “And it would encompass all three buildings as opposed to just one or two of the buildings.”
However, the EDA did not release any name or information as to who the RFP was submitted by. Those details will more than likely be released during the Blue Earth City Council meeting when the EDA makes their recommendation.
“We will bring the complete proposals to the City Council and it will be up to them to decide if they want to move forward with our suggestion,” said Ibisch.
The EDA did decide to give a 90-day exclusivity period to the individual, which would give the interested party an opportunity to get all of the information and dollar amounts needed to move forward with the project.
“Once we give them site control, we can get solid cost amounts regarding the project,” Ibisch stated to the EDA. “The projected costs seemed pretty optimistic, so maybe this will shed some more realistic light on those numbers.”
“I’m exited there is solid interest in these properties,” said chairwoman Brooke Prestegard.
After the Blue Earth City Council meeting, Ibisch said he would inform the interested party, if the council is comfortable with the EDA’s recommendation.
“We are not committing to anything, this RFP is just number one in our queue,” said Ibisch. “We will continue to review RFPs as we move forward.”
A question arose from the EDA, wondering if another serious offer came to the surface during the 90-day exclusivity period, what the plan would be.
The EDA does have a solid backup plan in case the first proposal falls through, and they agreed they would entertain other offers that arose, but the fact remains: this proposal made a cash offer on the property and met the deadline the EDA?set out for June 15.
In other business, the EDA discussed the housing development plan for the northeast corner of Blue Earth, located behind Lamperts Lumber.
There are now over 50 residential lots available, with the smallest lot having a square footage of about 12,500 with changes made to the plat in the northeast corner of the property, and an official change to an R-2 suburban residential rezoning.
Bolton & Menk representative Wes Brown was available to discuss any potential concerns of the current plat.
Brown informed the EDA that some of the housing lots in the northeast corner of the development plan, which will be used much later on in the development plan, laid in a lower area. This could, in theory, affect the depth range for plumbing in the homes, and potentially basement issues.
“The sewer going that way to serve those properties, generates a lot of depth,” said Brown. “You may want to consider these lots to be slab homes up there” said Brown.
Slab homes are built without basements, and are built lower to the ground than other homes.
Brown mentioned to the EDA if they did want basement homes in that area of the development was doable, the plumbing lines would just have to be dug much deeper, up to 20 feet deep.
Only four to six lots would be effected, and Brown insured that this was further down the line in the project and was not an immediate concern.
There was discussion from the EDA on the importance of basements in the area regarding severe weather, but there was also discussion of how advantageous slab housing may be for seniors who may not be able to access basements, too.
In their meeting, the EDA also:
Received updates on the commercial building exterior improvement grant applications from Faribault County Development Corporation executive director, Tim Clawson.
Heard from chamber of commerce director Cindy Lyon regarding the new visitors center and Green Giant museum.
Lyon informed the EDA she has been in discussion with several contractors. After finding out the grant requires an official architect, Lyon had to redirect her contractor from Henrichsen Construction. She informed the EDA of conversations with United Builders, Ankeny Builders, among other contractors and should have an architect for the project by the end of the week.