Forest Lake Officials Consider Redevelopment of Northland Mall
Forest Lake city leaders met Thursday night to consider buying a majority of the Northland Mall property. The property is a mostly-vacant shopping mall located on Highway 61 near Highway 97.
According to the draft agreement, the Economic Development Authority will issue bonds to cover the $1.95 million cost and then lease the property to the city. The city would then use the building for a new city hall, fire department, police department, and public works building.
Under the agreement, the city would pay to demolish part of the mall at the taxpayers’ expense.
If the purchase is approved, the next step would be to build a new complex, which would cost more than $20 million, leading to an estimated city tax increase of at least 20 percent. The final cost to taxpayers could be as much as $30 million.
The closing date for the sale is listed as Dec. 31, 2012, meaning the new city council that comes in on Jan. 1 will not be able to negate the sale.
If it goes to the city council, they could vote on it as early as Monday.