LINO LAKES — City staff recently received an offer from a developer to acquire approximately 2 acres of land located at the northwest corner of 77th Street and Lake Drive for $6 per square foot, or a total of $525,000. The city-owned property next to the American Legion is currently used for community gardens.
“We think it is a good price; there are certainly a number of things to work out,” Community Development Director Michael Grochala said.
In 2007 a feasibility study was completed for realigning 77th Street. The realignment was intended to restore full access to Lake Drive for properties northwest of the 77th/Lake Drive intersection. Grochala explained that the realignment project would aid in development of city-owned properties north of 77th Street and properties to the south.
The city recently acquired a single-family residential lot for the future street realignment. In 2017, the city sold an additional one-acre parcel to the American Legion to facilitate a parking lot expansion.
Vaquero Ventures Management has submitted a letter of intent to purchase the property. It is a nonbinding agreement. The company is also considering the purchase of adjacent property to the south that would allow for additional redevelopment and realignment of 77th.
Vaquero has a national auto parts retailer that is interested in the property; with the extra acreage, it would likely try to incorporate a food user, office building or some other national retailer, Grochala explained.
Council Member Christopher Lyden said, “This would be a fabulous upgrade for commercial and the road.”
Council Member Dale Stoesz wanted to know if community members had been promised a space in the community garden for 2021. Grochala explained that although nothing has been promised to the garden users, it is likely they would still be able to use the space this summer, as this process will likely take in between six to nine months to play out. He said if the land does end up being sold, he is confident the city could find another location for the community gardens.
The next step will be for city staff to work with the city attorney to draft a purchase agreement, which will come back to the council for consideration.
Lead Editor Shannon Granholm can be reached at 651-407-1227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.