Extension approved: City sets new new timeline for old Elks building renovationDickinson Elks, LLC and developer Granville “Beaver” Brinkman have until Sept. 30, 2010 to complete the renovation of the old Elks building on First Street West in downtown Dickinson.
By: John Odermann, The Dickinson Press
Dickinson Elks, LLC and developer Granville “Beaver” Brinkman have until Sept. 30, 2010 to complete the renovation of the old Elks building on First Street West in downtown Dickinson.
The Dickinson City Commission approved an extension to the agreement between the city and Brinkman at its regular meeting Monday at City Hall.
“I’m satisfied with the progress that has been made on the building,” commissioner Carson Steiner said. “In fact, when I looked back I think it was a very aggressive timeline that was put on there.”
The agreement states that if substantial completion of the $1.9 million project is not completed by the date specified, ownership of the property will default back to the city.
In 2007, a fire gutted the building, setting back the project. Last fall, Brinkman was granted an extension by the commission, which called for substantial construction to be completed by Monday.
But several factors played into not being able to meet that deadline, Brinkman said.
“The winter has been extremely hard for us to finish our work on the exterior and the interior because it put so much moisture into the brick,” Brinkman said.
Additionally, the financial crisis played a role.
“We’ve had two lenders that were secured for this project prior to the fire and once after the fire and due to the current banking situation, both of those lenders were no longer allowed to make construction loans,” Brinkman said.
Along with financing difficulties, individuals who had agreed in principal to lease the third floor condos, the second floor and the first floor backed out following the fire and new tenants had to be found, which basically put the project back at square one, Brinkman said.
As of Monday, the four condos are spoken for, and agreements for the second and first floor spaces are being negotiated.
The commission also granted city administrator Shawn Kessel the authority to approve the release of federal Brownsfield Grant dollars that were given to the city for the project.
Approximately $70,000 remains in the Brownsfield Grant account and will be used for the sidewalk spaces around the building to make its appearance similar to that of American Bank Center across the street.
“I think, as a commission, we at least kind of informally committed ourselves to that money (which) would go essentially to those street-side improvements,” Commission President Dennis Johnson said.
In other business:
* Approval of a Renaissance Zone application for 38 Sims Street, former location of the Howdy Partner Cafe. The building will be repurposed to serve as a portrait studio and gallery.
* Approval and final passage of the city Employee Status and Classification Plan ordinance, which will allow for the review of position descriptions every three years instead of annually.
* Karen Boulden, administrator of St. Luke’s Home, updated the commission on the new expansion planned for the nursing home. The commission approved a certificate of community support for the project.
* Approval of Task Order #2 with Ulteig Engineering for improvements to the hydraulics at Cell No. 3 at the Dickinson Wastewater Treatment Plant. The total cost of the project is $887,000 with an annual cost of $44,300.
* Approval of the April 2009 Financial Report.
Note: Commissioner Joe Frenzel was absent.