City plans $700,000 Green Haven upgrade

The Anoka City Council has agreed to move ahead on a $705,000 renovation of the entrances to Green Haven Golf Club.

The council voted Jan. 21 to order the plans and specifications for the upgrades.

There had been plans for the upper entrance renovations to be included in last year’s project reconstructing Greenhaven Road.

But that was put on hold until 2014, said Greg Lee, Anoka’s public services director and city engineer.

The entrance upgrade was taken out of the road project for a couple of reasons, according to Lee.

He said more planning was needed, which led to the creation of the entrance committee.

“Staff was recommending to break it out separately because a roadway contractor probably wouldn’t be the best general contractor for a building project,” he said.

The new plan is a significantly larger in scope and cost from what had been proposed more than a year ago.

In December 2012, $150,000 had been budgeted for the entrance enhancements. This included the removal of the concrete sidewalk, the addition of pavers, decorative lighting, bench and a new entrance canopy.

The new concept, guided by the entrance committee that has been working on the project since last April, includes improvements to both the upper and lower entrances to the building. The concept was designed by Kimley-Horn and Associates.

It includes an entrance canopy, building renovations to include new windows, lighting and landscaping.

The upper level entrance including the canopy, windows and lighting is projected to cost $400,000, while $205,000 is budgeted for landscaping, paving and furniture. Design fees, construction observation and administration are tallied at $100,000.

According to City Manager Tim Cruikshank, a $20,000 renovation of the banquet office facilities has been taken out of the project.

Anoka resident Dr. Ed Evans questioned the wisdom of this kind of investment in the clubhouse, that is also now being billed as a community center.

“Where did this grandiose program all of the sudden come from to the tune of well over a half-million dollars,” said Evans.

Cruikshank said the improvements planned for Green Haven’s entrances are small compared with major renovations done at other municipal golf and banquet centers in the area, including Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids and Edinburgh in Brooklyn Park.

“As everyone knows we’ve been investing in the property and to that end we’re trying to make it as successful as possible to make it a premier event center and golf course and doing everything we can to encourage folks in our community and our region to utilize it,” Cruikshank said.

He also said this is likely to be the last major investment made in Green Haven for a while.

Evans was also critical of Green Haven’s profitability.

“Green Haven probably didn’t make any money in 2013 and that does not make Green Haven unusual,” said Cruikshank. “The food and banquet and golf industries are going through a difficult time. Our objective is not only hold on but change the course of that. “

The city is pushing to market Green Haven as more of a community center.

The council unanimously supported the concept of the upgrades, which will include matching stone pillars at both the upper and lower level entrances.

“In my mind we only had a half of a convenient building before because we had all the parking on the upper level and it was not apparent and obvious where the main entrance was to this place,” said Councilmember Steve Schmidt.

“This changes the entire complexion. We now have a beautiful parking lot. We now have a beautiful view as you come into our parking lot.”

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

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