|By Anne Williams, The Bemidji Pioneer,
Minn.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
June 21, 2011--With no one present to support or oppose land being sold on the south shore of Lake Bemidji, it is becoming more likely a Holiday Inn hotel will be built next to the Sanford Center.
After a public hearing was held Monday evening at City Hall, the Bemidji Economic Development Authority, composed of city councilors, approved the proposed sale of property to Brenny Properties for the construction of a Holiday Inn.
Last month the city signed a purchase agreement with Brenny Properties agreeing to sell more than 2 acres for $1.085 million. Closing is scheduled for Aug. 31.
A public hearing was held to determine whether the proposed sale of the property to Brenny Properties was in the best interest of the city of Bemidji and its residents and whether the sale would further the BEDA's own plan of economic development.
According to the BEDA's findings, the sale of the property would further its goal of redeveloping the southeast portion of Lake Bemidji.
Brenny Properties must still receive approval of its final building plans and specifications from the BEDA's Design Review Committee as well as the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board before any construction can begin. Construction must also begin within one year after the property is sold unless Brenny Properties has obtained a special extension.
Ray Brenny of Brenny Properties met last September with BEDA commissioners to detail plans for the hotel, which is proposed to be built adjacent to the Sanford Center and to include an enclosed pedestrian concourse.
Lake Bemidji Lodge
Drew Olson, owner of MoDev, has been given more time to close on a 1.46-acre parcel of land on the south shore of Lake Bemidji.
The BEDA approved a request from Olson Monday to extend a purchase agreement for the property, which MoDev plans to use for the development of Lake Bemidji Lodge, a mixed-use complex overlooking Lake Bemidji.
MoDev now has 60 days from June 14 to close on the land.
In April the BEDA commissioners approved a purchase agreement with MoDev and gave the developer until June 14 to close on the land at $500,000 per acre.
According to City Manager John Chattin, Olson requested an additional extension in order to pre-sell condominium units before closing on the property. As of June 7, three condos had been sold and one more was in negotiations. Olson has been working with Doug Fuller of First Realty Bemidji.
Lake Bemidji Lodge would consist of 22 residential units with lakefront views, as well as a Zorbaz on the Beach, a pizza/Mexican restaurant and bar chain, to be located on the first floor. Other features planned include underground parking, retail and office space, and a shared marina.
Chattin said the feedback he received from a proposal review committee were "fairly unanimous."
"Since we don't have anyone else knocking at our door right at the moment, we would have nothing to lose in extending that purchase agreement beyond its original expiration date," Chattin said. "I can't think of a reason why we would not extend it for a couple weeks."
Chattin also said he thought the 60-day extension should be the last extension the BEDA commissioners allow the developer.
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Copyright (c) 2011, The Bemidji Pioneer, Minn.
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