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UPDATED Report: Tentative Deal Would Redevelop BAE Site As Business Park

Developer eyes 140-acre site on East River Road in Fridley.

Update (Monday, 1:30 p.m.): City of Fridley Community Development Director Scott Hickok offered details via email about news of a tentative redevelopment deal for the BAE Systems site on East River Road:

The HRA will be discussing this item on April 5th and the City Council will hold its hearing on the establishment of the TIF district for this project on April 9th. At this time our staff continues to analyze the details of the project, while they prepare to make their recommendation to the HRA and City Council (which will be at the respective April meetings). This is a project that was brought to us by its Developer, Paul Hyde, Real Estate Recycling.  Though the City designated this site as, Redevelopment District in its most recent Comprehensive Plan, it would be up to the market to bring a project, if development/redevelopment was to occur.

As for BAE, the developer hopes to keep a BAE presence on the site, if BAE is interested in staying. BAE, of its own accord was moving much of its operations out of Fridley, to locations in Kentucky and Michigan. They recently have gone from a Fridley workforce of 600+ employees to a number below 350 employees. Those operational shift decisions were made before this developer/development proposal came on the scene.

BAE leases their portion of the site from a land holding company in St. Louis. The banking institution that held that St. Louis company's loan is the entity who was out looking for a developer that would be interested in taking on the project.  

This developer's proposal would eventually result in a development that would put over 10 times the taxable building value on the land, compared to what value exists today. That part would eventually be very good for the City and its tax payers to have a new development that would share a large piece of the existing tax burden. 

Update (Monday, 9 a.m.): Fridley Mayor Scott Lund reacted positively to news of a deal in the works for the redevelopment of the industrial site that is now home to BAE Systems.

Lund posted this comment at the Fridley Patch page on Facebook Sunday:

Details still need to be worked out, but I beleive Real Estate Recycling is fit for the task. This will be good for Fridley, creating thousands of jobs beofore the project is done and attracting new long term businesses to our city.

Original post (Saturday, 10 p.m.): A Fridley landmark and the state's largest industrial building—the BAE Systems facility on East River Road—would make way for a new business park under a tenative redevelopment deal, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported Friday.

The new development could bring in $3 million in taxes and emply as many as 3,000 people, according to estimates from the developer, Real Estate Recycling. That's part of the analysis of the finance of the proposed $145 million project sketched out at CGC Commercial's blog.

Other figures from the report and analysis:

  • The site is 140 acres.
  • The building is 2.1 million square feet.
  • Current property taes are about $500,000.
  • Current jobs on site total about 350.

Advantages of the site, according to the blog's analysis, include available tax increment financing (TIF) and a rare large site in an inner-ring suburb that could hold a state-of-the-art industrial building not far from downtown Minneapolis—and just south of I-694.

The BAE site has long been home to defense-industry manufacturers, dating from construction of the Northern Ordnance plant in 1942, according to the Minnesota Historical Society.

Chris Sorenson February 27, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Who in their right mind would want to develop on property that the EPA considers among the most dangerously polluted Superfund sites in the nation?!

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