Tag Archives: Highland Group

Northfield Crossing: still messy after all these years

Construction debris at Northfield Crossing Construction debris at Northfield Crossing Construction debris at Northfield Crossing
It’s been two and a half years since Highland Bank foreclosed on the Northfield Crossing development and a sizeable portion of the surrounding property is still a mess. I took these photos last week.

I first complained about the mess in 2007. In June, 2008, I blogged: Banks foreclose on The Crossing; now the City should clean up the surrounding property. A year later, June 2009, I added a comment containing the text of an email from Brian O’Connell, Northfield community development director, on the status of the clean-up.

The relationship is that the clean up items are essentially the same items. Piper wants to renegotiate the TIF note, Council is saying they would consider renegotiating the note if the site clean up issues are completed. Highland is now the owner of the residential condominium to which the clean up items are related. So Highland is now determining the cost to complete the items to see if they can complete in time which will assist in unit sales efforts. Everyone wants the same thing; the issue is determining cost and identifying sources of money to pay the expense.

WTF is taking so long to clean up this ‘gateway to downtown Northfield’

Demolition artists Ross Currier and Dan Bergeson Demolition artists Ross Currier and Dan Bergeson 2 Demolition artists Ross Currier and Dan Bergeson 3
This portion of the property doesn’t look that much better than it did in 2005 when NDDC‘s Dan Bergeson and Ross Currier took matters into their own hands and personally demolished seven buildings when it was known as the Riverfront Development Site. I think we need them again to take charge, this time to haul all the construction shit out of there.

Dan? Ross? How about it?

There is some good news, however. There have been some improvements to other (city-owned?) parts of the property in recent weeks: streetscape-style decorative fencing along Hwy. 3, with many new trees planted.

Streetscape improvements at Northfield Crossing

On deciding to spend $9,600 for hotel market study

Highland Group logo It’s not clear from the story in the Sat. Nfld News, New Northfield hotel feasible, market study indicates, how the $9,600 decision was made to hire an Atlanta-based consulting company,  Highland Group Hotel Investment Advisors, to conduct the study.

A search of the phrase “Highland Group” on the City’s website only comes up with the disbursements to the company in October and in December. I can’t find anything that indicates there’s been Council discussion of this. I checked with Jim Gleason, new president of the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau, who indicated that he wasn’t aware of the market study being done.

I’m not ready to argue that conducting a study is a bad idea. I’m questioning the process.  It seems like the Council should be involved in a public discussion about an expenditure like this, especially one that’s likely to ruffle the feathers of local business owners. According to the Nfld News, City Administrator Joel Walinski said study was done to facilitate the conversation among local developers and hotel owners. Seems backwards to me.