A Walmart may be coming to Andover.
The city of Andover received an official application Tuesday afternoon (March 20) from the McCombs Frank Roos Associates, Inc. consulting firm on behalf of Walmart to build an approximately 150,000 square-foot store on the site of the former Pov’s Sports Bar and Grill, according to Community Development Director David Carlberg.
The site is located on the northwest corner of Bunker Lake Boulevard and Jay Street in the Andover Station North development area, just across the street from Target, Festival Foods and many other stores.
Carlberg said the public will get a chance to comment on Walmart’s proposal. The Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on the plat proposal and any possible variances needed, possibly in May.
According to Carlberg, the site is just under 20 acres. A grocery area is included in the plans, but not a garden center. Other details about the plan, such as the number of parking spaces and whether any variances are needed, are still being reviewed.
•10-day Andover city staff review
•Review by Anoka County Highway Department, Coon Creek Watershed District, etc.
•Public hearing at Planning and Zoning Commission, possibly in May
•City council review of proposal after that
Carlberg said the city staff will review the application over the next 10 days to ensure the city has all the information it needs.
Assuming the application is complete, Carlberg said Anoka County, the Coon Creek Watershed District and other agencies will have an opportunity to review the proposal before the preliminary plat comes to the Planning and Zoning Commission for a public hearing, possibly in May. The Andover City Council would review the plat after this.
Pov’s closed in December after 17 years in business, and since then rumors have circulated that Walmart was buying the site. City staff publicly would not comment until an application came forward, but a couple of residents expressed their concerns during the open forum portion of council meetings.
Laurie Mount on Jan. 3 and Kathy Heltemes on March 6 asked the council to give residents a chance to speak about the project. They opposed the idea of having Walmart at the Pov’s site.
“Property values have already decreased in the city,” said Mount, whose house is not far away from the Pov’s site. “What will that inevitably do to what has been a quiet neighborhood?”
Mount had no issue with Pov’s, she said. In fact, she liked to sit outside her house and listen to the music during Pov’s annual outdoor summer concert, Mount said.
Mount’s concern about Walmart is the light pollution that could come from the site, she said.
“I think we have a nice city here,” Heltemes said. “We have good aesthetics. We have parks. We have a great community and I’d rather not see a Walmart built here.”
Although the city had not yet seen an application, councilmembers and City Administrator Jim Dickinson did offer some general feedback.
“We can’t look at things like, do we like this business, do we not like this business or what’s our perception,” Councilmember Julie Trude said. “We can focus on things we look at like lighting, traffic, safety, appearance to a certain degree because we do have landscaping requirements…”
According to Trude, the city’s lighting standards have become more strict since Andover Station was developed. The Andover YMCA/Community Center has the new lighting standards, which is more downcast lighting rather than lighting up the night sky, Trude said.
Not all residents are opposed to the idea of a Super Walmart. Stacey Groebner and Tammy Zawislak, who were walking outside together last week, said having a Super Walmart would provide more competition for Festival Foods, Target and Walgreens.
Groebner said she got her baby’s crib and mattress from Walmart and the store has a lot of good deals in the Sunday newspaper advertisement.
Zawislak does not like going to the closet Walmart in Coon Rapids off Round Lake Boulevard and Highway 10 because the store is older and the parking lot is difficult to navigate. She is happy to hear that a Walmart may be coming to the former Pov’s site.
“I’m a Target shopper, but it’s OK to have both,” she said.
Delinquent tax payments
A number of government entities will be receiving delinquent property tax and special assessment payments once Walmart and Pov’s owner Brad Povlitzki close on the sale of the property.
At the request of ABC Newspapers, Joan Flavin of the Anoka County Property Tax Department provided a breakdown of what the delinquent taxes comprised and who would receive what after the property sale closes.
According to county records, Pov’s had a delinquent tax and assessment amount totaling $418,230.87 as of March 15 . Pov’s was delinquent in 2009, 2010 and 2011 on property tax payments, an Andover special assessment for the Jay Street project and a county charge for the solid waste garbage hauling contract.
Pov’s paid $106,709.78 in 2009, but still was delinquent by $54,976.97. Pov’s did not pay any property taxes, special assessment or special charge bills in 2010 or 2011, according to property tax records provided by the county.
The government entities could see the delinquent tax revenue by late June or early July when the regular property tax revenue that would be paid by May 15 is distributed by the county, Flavin said.
Jay Street assessment
Andover would receive the most, but not because of property taxes. The city would get at least $210,433.86, according to county records. Of this amount, 88.64 percent of this is from the delinquent payment on the Jay Street assessment.
According to Dickinson, the Jay Street assessment first went on the tax roll in 2007 and included the new street, storm sewer improvements and lateral charges for water main and sanitary sewer. The total Pov’s assessment was $417,925.02, which was to be paid off within eight years. However, the city in 2011 amended the repayment period to 13 years.
Dickinson said the assessment charged to Povlitzki included $89,296.66 for the street, $118,306.21 for the water and sewer mains and sanitary sewer improvements for the commercial site and $210,322.15 for these utility and storm sewer improvements on the residential site. Povlitzki had property zoned residential adjacent to his commercial site.
In a late December 2011 interview, Povlitzki said he will be selling about 20 acres to Walmart, which includes an area of wetlands. He will hold on to about eight acres of land next to the site, which is zoned residential.
Povlitzki said he has been negotiating with Walmart since late 2009. Walmart contacted him after apparently talking with the city about potential redevelopment sites in Andover.
What others will receive
Anoka County would receive at least $30,504.98 in delinquent payments, including property taxes and the solid waste management charge.
The Anoka-Hennepin School District would receive at least $27,545.39 solely because of delinquent property tax payments.
Special taxing districts, such as the Metropolitan Council, the Anoka County Regional Rail Authority and the watershed district, would split at least $1,267.95.
The state would receive at least $50,553.73 from delinquent state general taxes and the state would receive at least $53,123.41 for fiscal disparities.
The amounts will be higher, but by how much would be determined at a later date. Flavin’s breakdown showed $44,771.52 in interest and penalty charges due to the property tax delinquencies in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
State law determines how these interest and penalty revenues are split between the taxing authorities and it varies year by year, she said.
Eric Hagen is at email@example.com