The Rosemount Mall site on South Robert Trail in downtown Rosemount may see redevelopment.
Rosemount City Council listened to a potential developer during the May 21 work session.
Kim Lindquist, Rosemount community development director, provided background on the downtown redevelopment project first approved in 2004 that has since prompted several housing and retail projects in the hub of the historic downtown.
Council members discussed traffic and space along Highway 3 and how to communicate this project to residents. The council also discussed leftover funds from other projects that may come about and purchasing options on the adjoining commercial property.
Lindquist stressed that the city is not the negotiator for this potential project, but the developer will be the one negotiating a sale and perhaps buying the property.
Today the redevelopment project is not sustainable on its own and without the use of tax increment financing (TIF), the project will not be able to move forward, Lindquist said.
The potential project calls for a four-story, residential building with the intent to drive projects at commercial sites nearby.
The project would need about $4.5 million in assistance to be completed. The city has $1 million in available funds from an existing TIF. Other potential financing options besides the creation of a new TIF district include possible grants, Port Authority funds and other financial tools.
Developer Mike Waldo of Ron, Clark Construction and Design presented the project. City Council directed the developer and staff to move forward on working with the current property owners.
"The whole concept of the TIF is that we can see some projects and redevelopment spurs on project development and private investment and we have seen that with Fluegels and the bank and several of those properties that property owners have invested in," Lindquist added.
One main parcel up for discussion was the Four Block East West and the Ken Rose Mall site that currently is home to some retail shops off South Robert Trail.
That site was a discussion topic in 2004 with the property owner at that time, Lindquist said, adding the city could not come to a resolution.
The city owned quite a bit of land where the Waterford Commons was then, and that is why the city moved forward on that site is because half of the land was publicly owned, Lindquist said.
"We haven't done much because of the existing TIF district and paying off the bonds, and now we have the opportunity to redevelop that Ken Rose Mall site," she said.
Showing a framework depiction and a recent update approved in 2017, a potential redevelopment could expand the borders of downtown.
Council member Paul Essler asked if the current tenants are aware of the potential redevelopment.
"Until the council indicates an interest in facilitating this project, we are not doing much outreach," Lindquist said.
The council listened to how the potential developer could acquire the property.
"The city is not the negotiator and we are not the ones meeting with the tenants," Lindquist said. "They have done numerous design and market studies and until the council has the meeting, there is not a project, and if the city does not make the financial commitment to facilitate this, it is not sustainable on its own."
Rosemount Mayor Bill Droste said all the tenants who are renting from the mall owner know there has been a sign out in front of the parking lot knowing he wants to sell.
"What we are trying to do is ascertain if the council has an appetite for this and then we are going to start drilling down and doing more of the detail work," Lindquist said.
After talk and discussion about how TIF works and potential downtown redevelopment, the council agreed to move forward with talks with a developer about the Rosemount Mall.
Lindquist said the council agreed that for business to thrive, the number of residents needs to increase and this project is a great opportunity for the city right now.