Anoka planning for Garfield Street extension, new road

Anoka is working on plans to extend Garfield Street and build a proposed new road that will connect it to Grant Street.

“In the last few months there have been planning activities near intersection of Garfield and Sixth Avenue that may necessitate Garfield to be extended and Northview Lane to be created,” said Greg Lee, public services director and city engineer.anoka garfield map

The city is looking to purchase state-owned property at the northwest corner of Seventh Avenue and Garfield Street, where there are plans to build a new city public services and electric utility headquarters. Plans for the site also include an electrical sub station on the west end of the property, which would be constructed in 2014, Lee said.

To access the property, the city would need to extend Garfield Street.

The city is also working on a deal with the Volunteers of America for the second phase of its Homestead at Anoka development in the same neighborhood.

VOA’s preliminary site plan calls for a 24-foot wide service road on the west side of the property, Lee said.

“We thought this would be advantageous perhaps that this service road to not just be a service road but it would be converted to a public street and provide access from a future public service and electric facility on Garfield,” Lee said.

This new road would be 30 feet wide and is being tentatively called Northview Lane, which has already been platted.

The cost to extend Garfield Street and build Northview Lane is estimated at $460,000, according to Lee.

The VOA has agreed in principal to contribute $186,663 –what it would have cost to build the service road, Lee said.

Other funding sources include the city’s electric utility and street renewal fund.

The Anoka City Council Dec. 2 accepted the feasibility report on the project and ordered plans and specifications. Those will be up for approval by the council in February 2014 with a bid opening date of March 13.

The council is expected to accept bids and award a contract April 7.

Until that date, the city can opt to cut out the construction of Northview Lane if VOA does not go ahead with the second phase of development, Lee said.

Councilmember Steve Schmidt also suggested the city might want to consider alternatives to “Northview Lane,” perhaps giving the road a name with more historical significance to the city.

According to Economic Development Manager Erik Thorvig, the city has been working on a deal where the VOA would buy the 4.34 acres the city owns next to The Homestead at Anoka where it would expand its operations to include 70-90 independent apartment units and 18 memory care beds.

That deal also includes the city purchasing two properties owned by the VOA –the old care center on Madison Street as well as a house on Jefferson Street, according to Thorvig. The now-vacant care center would be demolished and redeveloped into four single-family lots. The house would be sold as is.

The council will likely weigh in on the deal with the VOA in January, Thorvig said.

Mandy Moran Froemming is at [email protected]