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Council approves purchase agreement for former Marshall Junior High property

January 11, 2012
By Deb Gau , Marshall Independent

MARSHALL - It's not a done deal yet. But on Tuesday night the Marshall City Council approved a purchase agreement that could lead to the development of the vacant property where the former Marshall Junior High School stood.

Acting as the Marshall Housing and Redevelopment Authority, members of the city council voted unanimously to approve an agreement to sell the site of the old junior high building for $475,000 to Trident Development, LLC. Prior to the vote, HRA members met with Marshall City Attorney Dennis Simpson in a closed session to discuss the offer made by Trident.

Trident's intent for the property is the development of a senior apartment complex with up to 70 units, said Marshall City Administrator Ben Martig.

The old junior high property, which covers an area of about 4.56 acres near the intersection of Lyon Street and 4th Street, has been empty since the demolition of the old school building in 2008. At that time, the city paid more than $183,000 to buy the property from the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership of Slayton. The housing partnership had bought the land with plans to develop a townhome project in partnership with the Schwan Food Co. However, Schwan pulled out of the proposed project and SWMHP didn't pursue it further.

After the closed meeting Tuesday, Martig summarized Trident's development proposal for the property, as well as a proposed purchase agreement. The proposed senior housing complex would include up to 70 units and be up to three stories tall. The complex would also offer amenities for residents, including features like a commons room and fitness center.

Roger Fink, senior vice president of Trident, said the property's location near community churches and Marshall's downtown would be positive factors for senior housing. The apartment complex could serve residents from around the Marshall area, he said.

"All of Lyon County would be our primary market," Fink said.

The total purchase price of the property would be $475,000, with $10,000 paid as earnest money, Martig said. The purchase would also be subject to the approval of a 25-year Tax Increment Financing district for housing on the project. Martig said a re-plat of the property would be necessary before closing, as there would be three lots remaining from the property after the sale.

All seven members of the city council voted in favor of approving the purchase agreement.

The purchase agreement is still subject to approval by Trident, Martig said, and there are other steps in the purchase process that would need to be completed before it becomes final. The closing date for the sale could tentatively be reached by early summer, he said.



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