Archived Story

Developers join forces to repurpose Kirkbride

Published 11:02am Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Two entities will join forces in an effort to redevelop the Regional Treatment Center. The end product that’s proposed would be an executive wellness center and destination spa — The Spa At Kirkbride.

Terrence Scholz, founder and head designer at Colonnade Design Group from the Twin Cities presented the idea for a luxury hotel, spa and medical facility to the Fergus Falls City Council Monday evening. He told the council he and Historic Properties Inc. will work together on redeveloping the RTC.

“It came about because of joint interests,” Scholz said. “It saves an incredible structure. That was the goal.”

Ray Willey, chief executive officer of the private real estate development company Historic Properties, came to the council two weeks ago with a plan for a historic hotel, restaurants, apartments and other amenities on the RTC grounds.

With two entities now interested in teaming up for redevelopment, it took some discussion to figure out the council action and next step.

“My concern is a lack of clarity of who’s going to lead this,” RTC adviser Kent Mattson said. “We need a person to grant these rights to.”

The council approved a motion for Mattson to draft a document regarding the two group’s redevelopment plans, for presentation at the next council meeting June 3.

Part of the Historic Properties proposal includes housing tax credits to help pay for the project. Scholz and Willey say that’s a make-it-or-break-it piece. If it wouldn’t get awarded, the company couldn’t pursue the project.

However, Scholz said Monday that he would be able to continue with the redevelopment project if the tax credits wouldn’t work out for Historic Properties.

“We don’t have that issue to deal with,” Scholz said. “We would still move forward.”

The Spa At Kirkbride would employ about 300, with a lot of jobs in medical research. It would cost an estimated $60 million for renovation and reinvention, according to Scholz.

Planning stages for the wellness center and spa would take nine months to a year, Scholz said, with construction an additional 18 months to two years.

“The intention is to move and move quickly,” Scholz said. “We want to bring it back to what it was. Re-establish it as a place people go to get healed.”

Nov. 1 would be a potential date when the city would enter into a development agreement with the two entities, according to City Administrator Mark Sievert.

The Spa At Kirkbride would be scheduled to open in the spring of 2016.

  • misspriss

    It seems like these proposals are getting wackier by the minute.Is this a rehab center?Why would anyone come here for a luxury hotel?

    • Frizzel

      Might be a crazy idea but sometimes you have to think outside the box.

    • nanajean

      You must not leave Fergus very often. Historic Hotels are a great draw. A Spa would make this a wonderful destination spot instead of a drive by. Can be a real BOOM to Fergus in the area of employment for the people who live here.

      • Frizzel

        I personally would love to spend a night or two at that place and do a guided tour and history talk.

  • misspriss

    Jobs in medical research? What this time, Dr Frankenstein?

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