Anoka deal to bring in new Caribou Coffee still on

Construction is still scheduled to start this spring on the new Caribou Coffee in Anoka.

This artist’s rendering shows what the Caribou Coffee planned for the corner of Main and Ferr streets will look like. Courtesy of the city of Anoka

This artist’s rendering shows what the Caribou Coffee planned for the corner of Main and Ferr streets will look like. Courtesy of the city of Anoka

The Anoka City Council is working out the final details of the development agreement with MW Development, which now also includes a partnership with United Properties.

The city is selling the piece of property at the corner of Main and Ferry streets for $95,000, where developers then plan to build the coffee shop on the busy corner.

But the city had concerns about the future use of the location.

When the development agreement was approved by the council in September 2012, there was discussion about protecting the city if and when Caribou were ever to vacate that property, said City Planner Erik Thorvig.

“The main reason (for the discussion) was to protect the city from uses that may be permitted in that zoning area but were undesirable on that corner,” he said.

Specifically, the city does not want to see any auto-related use on the site, including a gas station or auto sales business.

A restrictive covenant on the property – a list of about two dozen approved types of businesses ranging from convenience store or office, to a child care facility or fitness studio – protects the city against any unwanted uses.

Anything not on the list would require approval from the council.

“It’s important to note what’s not on that list,” said Thorvig. “That includes pawn shops, tattoo parlors and other undesirable uses we would not want on that gateway corner.”

The covenant was unanimously approved by the council.

The city is expected to close on the sale of the property in early March, according to Thorvig.

“The developer has every intention of building that Caribou,” said Thorvig. “The covenant is about protecting what comes next, if there is a next.”

The developers are hoping construction will start in March or April, according to Keith Ulstad of United Properties.

“We want to be serving coffee in August,” he said. “It’s a priority for us.”

Ulstad said the developers are at the “two-yard line” of getting the deal done with Caribou.

The city has been working on this deal for nearly two years.

“Finally we are coming to a point in time where we’re going to be able to pull this all off,” said Paul Maenner of MW Development.

Redeveloping this corner has long been a priority of the city council and staff.

“There was a lot of buzz in the community, a lot of excitement, about having that facility on that corner at that gateway,” said Councilmember Jeff Weaver when the news that Caribou was interested in Anoka first broke.

Mandy Moran Froemming is at editor.anokaunion@ecm-inc.com

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