Ramsey HRA approves McDonalds sale, Landform fee

The Ramsey Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) has sold another project in the COR.

The HRA unanimously approved selling for $470,000 a 1.36-acre parcel on the southwest corner of Sunwood Drive and Armstrong Boulevard to McDonalds Corporation for a fast food restaurant. HRA member Jeff Wise abstained, while David Elvig was absent.

The company will have to pay $5,000 in non-refundable earnest money, while the HRA will have to pay the McDonalds’ broker $30,000. A spring closing date is planned.

With three pending land sales, the HRA approved development fees to Landform for the McDonalds sale as well as for two SuperAmerica projects, which have been approved, but not yet closed, as per its contract with the city for development management services.

The HRA unanimously approved the Landform incentives for the two SuperAmerica station sites as well as the McDonalds sale. Wise abstained from this vote as well.

For the SuperAmerica going in at the corner of Ramsey Boulevard and Sunwood Drive, Landform is expected to receive $57,913 for the nearly $2.9 million project.

For the $2.7 million SuperAmerica project going in on Armstrong Boulevard and Sunwood Drive, Landform will receive $53,725.

The McDonalds project, which will come in around $2.6 million, will bring $51,441 to the Landform coffers.

According to the contract Landform has with the city, the firm gets 2 percent of the total project costs and these fees are in line with the contract, said City Administrator Kurt Ulrich.

The amounts for each projects will be paid in installments – 20 percent with the purchase agreement, 60 percent at closing and 20 percent at occupancy, he said.

But a fourth request by Landform was partially denied.

The HRA only approved $4,000 of a $10,000 development fee Landform was requesting for work done with the Sophia Ramsey LLC group.

Landform worked with Sophia Ramsey LLC as the Sunwood Drive realignment handicapped its property, said Darren Lazan, the city’s development manager and Landform president.

Landform worked on the access issue because the road project eliminated an access, created parking and signage issues as well as two new lots.

While the HRA was willing to pay Landform the $4,000 for the work it did on the hard improvements to the site, it wanted to see more documentation on the $6,000 Landform was requesting for the general coordination with Sophia Ramsey.

The HRA voted 3-2 on $4,000 payment with HRA members Sarah Strommen and Jason Tossey voting no. Wise abstained.

In addition, the HRA did not approve a $25,000 advance that Landform had requested for the work the company has done on the Wiser Choice purchase and new land sale, which was tabled indefinitely as there appears to be a state statute barring the sale and purchase of land from a seating council member (Wise).

The advance amount is equal to what the incentive compensation would be on the project, Ulrich said.

This is a property the city intents to purchase to get the Armstrong Boulevard overpass done, so Landform will get paid for that in the future, said Tossey.

Paying Landform an advance would be setting a precedent and Tossey does not want the HRA to box itself in, he said.

The Wiser Choice Liquor purchase agreement took twice the amount of work and effort than the other sales, said Lazan.

Just because the city is purchasing his Armstrong Boulevard property does not mean Wise has to relocate to the east side of Armstrong, according to Lazan.

If the Landform contract did not include an administrative fee, Strommen said she would be more sympathetic to these requests.

The cost of the Sophia Ramsey LLC work should have been brought upfront, she said.

Strommen said she is not comfortable with the advance or the payment for Sophia Ramsey.

Tammy Sakry is at [email protected]