City eyes South 15th Street for re-development project

(Above This section of South 15th Street, located just off Main Avenue, appears prime for re-development.  The City of Clear Lake is accepting proposals for the sale and re-development of a cold storage building at 100 S. 15th St.  In addition, county owned lots to the south, may be available.  County owned maintenance sheds on the west side of the street could potentially also be available for redevelopment in the future.-Reporter photo.

Clear Lake City Council members gave their enthusiastic approval to the idea of accepting proposals for the sale and redevelopment of a city-owned property at 100 S. 15th St.  The metal cold-storage building, which City Administrator Scott Flory called “an eyesore for a great many years,” is being sold as-is.

The City is accepting Requests for Proposals until 2 p.m. May 30, 2018, for the property.  Offers will be reviewed in early June and the Council may consider awarding the property in early July.

The purpose of this RFP is to establish an agreement or agreements with a qualified buyer to purchase and re-develop City-owned parcels of land known locally as 100 S. 15th Street.  The property includes three 50-foot lots and one 40-foot lot, between Main Avenue and 2nd Avenue South; each lot is 120-feet deep.

Flory noted two additional 50 x 120-foot lots to the south of the advertised property are not part of this sale, but may potentially be available.  Those lots are owned by Cerro Gordo County, which local officials say may be open to their sale.  Additionally, the county owns two buildings on the west side of South 15th Street which may also be available for purchase in the future.

City officials noted the City’s cold storage building and county sheds, as well as a former livestock auction facility were considered to be on the outskirts of town when they were built many years ago.

“The current Board (of Supervisors) seems favorable to relocate.  I think there is a favorable mood,” said Clear Lake Mayor Nelson Crabb.  “I think we have an opportunity to encourage a good, positive project.”

Flory said the city could offer incentives, such as property tax abatement or the waiver of hook-up fees for services, to a potential developer.

“The amount offered is not the deciding factor for this sale.  The City is looking at the long-term impact a project could make on the community,” said Flory, adding he believes the city needs market-rate apartments.

Three components were identified in the RFP:

•Ensure Design Quality and Compatibility - The site occupies a visible location in the core of Clear Lake. Appropriate design techniques and materials should be employed to ensure that the development produces a high-quality, attractive building that further enhances the appearance of the area.

•Enhance the Tax Base - Enhancing the tax base of the City of Clear Lake will help grow and sustain a more vibrant commercial district in the core of the community.

•Address a specific lack of housing opportunities in the Community – Projects that bring a new or enhanced housing types or models to the city are encouraged.

The RFP may be viewed on the City’s website: www.cityofclearlake.com

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