FF Council to decide on sale of six houses on RTC campusPublished 11:06am Wednesday, May 9, 2012
The two developers vying for six houses on the Regional Treatment Center property near the intersection of Fir and Union avenues will have to keep waiting, as the Fergus Falls City Council on Monday delayed a decision on who it will sell the property to yet again.
After hearing the two developers’ pitches, alderman asked that the decision be placed on the agenda of the May 21 meeting, allowing them more time to decide who gets the RTC parcel known as Parcel D4.
In October 2011, the city put out a request for proposals for the parcel after local developers had shown interest. In December, the council winnowed the six development proposals down to two: that of Cory Budke and Marc Sikkink, who want to remodel the homes to rent out as either residential or possibly business property, and that of a group of people associated with the Business Network of Fergus Falls. The second proposal would remodel some or all of the homes and eventually turn the property into some sort of business development aid, depending on what happens with the rest of the RTC.
However, the two developers were delayed for months over council concerns that potential RTC developers would want the whole of Parcel D (which includes the Kirkbride complex and the six houses). When those developers all fell through or were rejected, the council began the smaller scale process again.
“It’s not just buildings that we’re looking for; it’s individuals looking to support Fergus Falls’ (business climate),” said Dan Zierden, co-owner of Cullen’s Home Center and the presenter for the business group.
The Sikkink/Budke proposal, on the other hand, focused on a less ambitious but more assured outcome.
“It’s a very simple process,” said Sikkink. “We look at those as six houses up at the RTC. We think they best serve the community as six houses.”
Council members liked the business development nature of the business group’s proposal, and they liked the eventual donation of a house or funds from the sale of a house to Habitat for Humanity included in the Sikkink/Budke deal. However, the proposals were so different that the council wanted time to weigh the pros and cons.
“Looking at the two proposals, I see one that has more potential for long term job growth … and the other is weighing the certainty of getting something up front,” said Randy Synstelien. He added that when it comes to which outlook is better overall, “I don’t have an answer on that right now.”Tags: Regional Treatment Center