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Roers, Pinecrest agree to split cost

A year-and-a-half long debate over funding the development of 15th Street West was finally resolved Monday with the approval of a cost-participation agreement between developers Roers and Pinecrest Commons.

The two developers, along with City Attorney Matthew Kolling, drafted a cost-participation agreement that went before the City Council, who unanimously approved it.

Improvements were outlined in the 2014-15 Capital Infrastructure Improvement Plan and include installing street lighting, a storm sewer, a water main and a sewer trunk line. The overall work is estimated by engineering consulting firm KLJ to cost about $2 million.

Roers, which owns the West Ridge development adjacent to 15th Street, and Meyer Real Estate Group, which is seeking to develop Pinecrest Commons as a multi-use property on the north side of the street, agreed to cover the cost of the improvements evenly and “in its entirety,” Kolling said.

Unlike other Capital Improvement Plan projects, including the controversial 40th Street Improvement project, “the city will not have any public funds into the construction” of 15th Street West, Kolling said.

The city is currently awaiting passage of a Special Assessment District to fund the $7 million improvements along 40th Street, $2 million of which will have to be paid back by the 10 property owners along the road.

With only two developers being served by the 15th Street Improvements, there was never an option of a Special Assessment District, said Brian Bochman, vice president of the Meyer Real Estate Group.

It wasn’t a simple agreement, even with just two developers.

“It was a long process to get all the moving parts together,” he said. “Trying to get everyone’s competing interests to work, and the timing the same.”

After a year and a half of negotiations, he said he’s “just happy it’s done.”

Bochman said he’ll begin work on the Pinecrest Commons subdivision once some infrastructure along 15th Street West is in place and hopes to have some parts done this year. The group’s property development agreement was also approved at Monday’s commission meeting.

The property includes a 2-acre plot that the developers have agreed to convey to the city for a water tower.

Construction on 15th Street should start “as soon as possible, given the construction schedule,” Kolling said.

Barons Vista on track to construction

The City Commission approved a comprehensive plan amendment at Monday’s meeting to extend its urban service boundaries to include the future Barons Vista property located south of Exit 59 off of Interstate 94.

The 282-acre, multi-use property is the latest venture by the Singapore-based Barons Group of Companies. It would feature restaurants, hotels, residential homes and an indoor park.

Barons principal founder Danny Lim appeared before the Planning and Zoning Committee last month to request the comprehensive plan amendment. The property is already under the city’s sub-area plan.

City Engineer Ed Courton said Monday that the amendment would simply make it possible for the city to deliver urban services to the property, and construction would only occur after Barons’ development plans have been approved, per normal approval procedure.