St. Michael EDA to hold off on retail analysis

The St. Michael City Council heard that the city’s Economic Development Authority has decided to hold off on hiring a company to complete a market analysis

Community Development Director Marc Weigle reviewed discussion from the recent EDA meeting regarding a retail market analysis.

Weigle said he spoke with the cities of Kasson and Rosemount regarding their market analyses performed by the Buxton company. He said Kasson is too early in the process to provide much feedback, but that Rosemount had several helpful opinions, including that Buxton might be better suited for a city with a lot of vacant commercial properties.

He also spoke with a potential buyer in the Town Center commercial area that indicated it doesn’t see the benefit of a market study, since the buyer has already conducted its own research and have its own contracts from previous developments in the Twin Cities.

EDA members concluded that since St. Michael does not have much available space for commercial property, now might not be the time to do a retail market study.

It was mentioned that another group, Greater MSP, might provide some helpful data at no cost to the city. Weigle was directed to contact Greater MSP prior to its next meeting, and the members decided to hold off on making a decision regarding a market study until it is determined what Greater MSP could provide.

EDA member Chuck Van Heel suggested to Weigle that some of the money that would be spent on a market study could be used to provide incentives to attract businesses to St. Michael.

EDA members also suggested the city hire a photographer to take various pictures of St. Michael businesses and parks to update the city’s communications, including informational brochures and the website. Staff said it would report back concerning an estimated cost.

In other action, the council:

APPROVED a resolution adopting the city code amended ordinance, including sections regarding hours for construction (pertaining to noise producing activities), and use of parks facilities.

HIRED Heidi Dahlin for the part-time general office specialist position.

WENT into closed session to discuss the court decision regarding Riverside Church vs. St. Michael. City attorney Dave Lenhardt summarized that during the closed session, the council and staff met with the outside defense to discuss particulars of the court decision and to discuss the post-trial process and options. See a separate article in Crow River News regarding the court’s decision.