by Peter Bodley
Frito Lay’s option to purchase city-owned property in Evergreen Business Park, Coon Rapids, has been extended for another year.
The Coon Rapids City Council approved the extension of the purchase option on land at 9160 Evergreen Blvd., which was first approved in 2009.
The property is across Evergreen Boulevard from where Frito Lay operates its north metro distribution center.
To continue the purchase option, Frito Lay will pay the city $10,000.
According to Matt Brown, city community development specialist, the parcel was donated to the city in 2004 by Shamrock Development.
Some of the property is used as a public works department “boneyard,” where city equipment and materials are stored, Brown said.
“A protected wetland covers about six acres of the site and the remainder contains substantial fill, making it unsuitable for most types of development,” he said.
Frito Lay wants to continue the purchase option because its future plans call for it to purchase some three acres of the property for a traffic management facility and parking area for its trailers, Brown said.
Frito Lay has no plans to execute the purchase agreement at this time, but the agreement is contingent on the company completing a survey of the site to determine the exact dimensions of the parcel to be sold and soil borings to ensure suitability for the proposed use, he said.
“Frito Lay would be required to obtain site plan approval for its new facility within 180 days of executing the purchase agreement,” he said.
“Frito Lay has few options to expand its existing site, but would like to remain at its current location.”
According to Brown, if Frito Lay does acquire the three acres, the payment to the city would likely be some $500,000.
“That’s a heck of a bargain for the city,” said Councilmember Paul Johnson.
It’s important that the city extend the purchase options, otherwise Frito Lay might look elsewhere to meet its needs, said Councilmember Bruce Sanders.
“We need to keep a good business like Frito Lay in the city,” he said.
According to Brown, it’s in the best interests of the city to keep several acres of usable land at this location because a portion of the site could be required for a replacement of the water tower on Foley Boulevard in the future.
“Due to the soil conditions, Frito Lay’s proposed use is probably the highest and best use of the land,” Brown said.
“Constructing a larger building would likely be most cost-prohibitive.”
Peter Bodley is at email@example.com