Should the City do a new TIF to bring a pharmacy/convenience store to The Crossing?

Nfld News: Interest renewed in Crossing site

Nfld Patch:  Pharmacy-Oriented Business Interested in Northfield Crossings Development

The largely vacant mixed-use development at the corner of Hwy. 3 and Second Street could receive a desperately needed boost if an unnamed retail business proceeds with initial plans to develop the southern portion of the property.

John Wall, representing Highlands Bank, which owns the Crossings property, told the Northfield City Council on Tuesday that after nearly two years of unsuccessful courting he has received interest in from a "well-known, well-established, creditworthy company" that would include a pharmacy, a drive-thru and convenience store items.

Northfield CrossingWe have 5 pharmacies now: Northfield Pharmacy, Village Drug, Econofoods, Cub Pharmacy, and Walgreen’s.  It may be good news to have any commercial business interested in the The Crossing, as the site has languished for years now.

But I don’t think the City should "amend the city’s regulatory process for the property, as well as enter into a new tax financing agreement, to induce the business to continue pursuing its interest in the site."

I don’t see how a big Walgreen’s-type store (it sounds like it’s CVS) on that development helps makes The Crossing an attractive ‘gateway to downtown Northfield’  that was originally planned and that we’ll be pleased with ten years from now.


  1. Jerry Bilek said:

    what does this entail?
    “amend the city’s regulatory process for the property, as well as enter into a new tax financing agreement, to induce the business to continue pursuing its interest in the site.”

    March 16, 2011
  2. Jane Moline said:

    Everyone should be concerned that a new business could have an unfair advantage over existing businesses due to TIF or other incentives. TIF is a good tool to have –but should be used wisely.

    Is this really the best use of that corner?

    March 16, 2011
  3. Jerry, we don’t know yet. The Council was asked whether it would be willing to consider changes and at this level of generality, we said “yes.” We did not receive information about what changes in the development agreement, PUD regulations, and possible TIF.

    Jane, your point about TIF is well taken.

    The Council seemed generally in agreement that the vision for this corner as a gateway to downtown, an opportunity to enhance the Cannon River, and having buildings close to highway 3 should remain intact and we tried to convey this to Mr Wall. On the plus side, we’d like to see the vacant corner developed and are willing to listen to a proposal.

    March 16, 2011
  4. kiffi summa said:

    From the description provided, hesitantly, by the Highland bank representative last night at the Council meeting,it certainly does sound like a CVS pharmacy.

    The issue here is even bigger than the Crossing site… Yes , it has been a disappointment to have that site languish… but if the Council amends their initial standards set for that site, what does that say about long term goals, and holding to them?

    Is this not the fear that Planning commissioners have related to the 530 annexation site? that if industry doesn’t come, whatever Council is in place at the time will renege on the original goals and consider less than optimum development?

    This would seem to be somewhat of a test case, for how serious NF can be about its goals for its own future.

    March 16, 2011
  5. David Beimers said:

    So, I don’t know whether it is a CVS, but if it is, do we really want to use TIF for a company with a projected $120 Billion in revenue for 2011? I do agree that the bigger issue is the type of development that is appropriate for the gateway, but the appropriateness of TIF is an additional issue that should be considered.

    March 16, 2011
  6. First of all we need to lower the taxes on the businesses in town and also We already have enough pharmacies in town to choose from so why should one business get a TIF over another one? We need to promte a business friendly Northfield !!!!! We have alot of empty store fronts : This to me is sad and uncalled for Just thought: Thanks David Roberts

    March 27, 2011
  7. If there’s a parking lot in front (against Hwy 3), it will be no better a “gateway” to Historic Northfield than Target and Cub are. Period.

    I am glad that Betsey shares this concern (as has Erica Zweifel). Whatever is built there will probably be there for 20-30+ years. We don’t want to live with a mistake like this for that long.

    March 31, 2011
  8. Griff Wigley said:

    Nfld News – Council: Rework Crossing biz plan

    Councilors expressed concern that the client, Velmeir Companies, which works with CVS pharmacy, prefers to locate the building along the river with much of the parking along the highway.

    The placement of utilities running north/south through the site and a roadway which connects to a roundabout at its center in large part dictate where the building can be located, said Wall. The client’s store layouts also require the entrance and pharmacy to be in opposing corners with parking just outside the entrance.

    May 11, 2011
  9. Griff Wigley said:

    Nfld Patch: Northfield Councilors Want Compromise on Design from New Business

    Preservation and access to the river are codified as priorities for city development. Councilors Erica Zweifel and Patrick Ganey both said the city should uphold those priorities. Ganey suggested the building be moved further up on the lot to give more space between it and the river.

    Wall [John Wall of Highland Bank] responded that the prospective business would have to adjust its well-established plans to do that. Compressing the traffic between the building and Hwy. 3 by moving the building forward, Wall also said, would create safety problems.

    Councilor Rhonda Pownell said she was concerned about the city compromising its priorities “just because this is the first [business] to come before us. Is it bringing in something that our community doesn’t already have?”

    May 12, 2011

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