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Published December 16, 2013, 07:55 PM

City of Grand Forks OKs sale in business park

A packaging and distribution facility appears to be coming to the city’s business park, but what company will operate it remains unknown.

By: John Hageman, Grand Forks Herald

A packaging and distribution facility appears to be coming to the city’s business park, but what company will operate it remains unknown.

Fischer & Co., a Dallas-based corporate real estate firm, plans to assign a developer to buy more than 13 acres next to Acme Tools’ future distribution facility in the city’s business park to build a “24/7/365 small package sorting and distribution center.” Fischer has agreed to a $2.50 per square foot price for the land, or $108,900 per acre.

The city’s Jobs Development Authority, which is made up of City Council members, voted unanimously in favor of the project Monday night.

Greg Hoover, the city’s urban development director, said he could not disclose the name of the company that will lease the facility due to a confidentiality agreement.

Dana Sande, the chairman of the JDA, said he did not know the name of the company.

“It’s a good deal, and if they have a customer in mind that wants to go in there, I think that’s great,” Sande said.

Keith Lund, vice president of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp., said Fischer is acting as the representative for the company that will eventually lease the facility. Fischer will bid the project to potential developers, which will own the land.

Lund said construction could begin in 2014.

Land price

Fischer originally proposed a $2 per square foot purchase price, which included special assessments. Land in the business park has traditionally been sold at $1.50 a square foot with purchasers paying special assessments separately for infrastructure, according to a memo from Hoover.

Hoover said Fischer wanted to include the assessments to make its costs more certain.

The Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp. enlisted the help of Praxis Strategy Group to survey pricing structures in other similar communities, and determined that a range of $2 to $3 per square foot “would be competitive in our market,” according to Hoover’s memo.

The city and engineering firm AE2S then specified that the land price should be $2.50 per square foot, which takes into account costs of existing and anticipated assessments, the land purchase and risk mitigation.

Should the packaging center project go forward, there would be about 59 developable acres left in the business park, Hoover said.

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