Ramsey approves new signs by future McDonalds site

The Ramsey Housing and Redevelopment Authority Nov. 12 approved two signs that would service the area of The COR development where McDonalds and two other unknown businesses are planned.

Development Services Manager Tim Gladhill said these signs would not be installed until McDonalds breaks ground.

The closing date is expected to be around the end of December, according to City Administrator Kurt Ulrich.

The cost of the signs would be split evenly between the three businesses, Gladhill said, but the Housing and Redevelopment Authority would cover the costs up front and be reimbursed.

The city is working with DeMars Signs of Coon Rapids to install a Dryvit finish sign at a cost of $60,554. Lighting up the sign at night is expected to cost an additional $15,000, but would come from a separate contract at a later date, Gladhill said.

“We wouldn’t construct the sign until McDonalds broke ground, but the real estate contract is clear that an obligation of the HRA is to provide two shared signs and to provide one-third of those panels to McDonalds,” he said.

The two other developers next to McDonalds have yet to be determined. It was publicized that SuperAmerica would come to The COR, but Ulrich said it informed the city that it would not include the Ramsey site in its corporate funding for new capital expansion in 2014.

“The developer had submitted a non-binding letter of intent, and had taken the project through the city’s site plan approval process, but no purchase agreement had ever been signed,” he said.

Although the housing and redevelopment authority, which comprises the Ramsey City Council members, unanimously approved fronting the cost for these signs before the three businesses repaid it, Councilmembers John LeTourneau and Randy Backous felt the city spent a lot of time developing a master sign plan for The COR area and it should have higher quality Kasota stone signs rather than the cheaper Dryvit finish.

According to Gladhill, two Kasota stone signs with electrical included would have cost about $144,000.

“Now we’re having discussions about deviating from the master sign plan because we don’t like the cost of the materials we chose to represent our master sign plan and the image we want as a community,” LeTourneau said.

Councilmember Jason Tossey said, “I think we spent a little too much time on signs. I think we’re sign rich and business poor, so let’s move on please.”

Eric Hagen is at eric.hagen@ecm-inc.com