Board members agreed to use Economic Development Authority funds to pay for an appraisal of Northland Mall.
At an EDA meeting on Jan. 9, they accepted a proposal from MW Brown and Associates totaling $4,000 which is within the estimate previously provided. Two other bids were submitted.
According to City Administrator Aaron Parrish, Mark Brown has done a significant amount of work in Forest Lake in the past.
A letter of understanding was executed and sent to Pace Development, owners of Northland Mall. The Forest Lake City Council and EDA have eyed the site, which is for sale, as a possible municipal complex.
The outcome of the appraisal will provide a basis to evaluate potential prices and offers, Parrish said.
The property appraised for $7 million in 2008 with its current condition, but sold for $2.7 million later that year. According to Washington County records, taxes on that site in 2011 are approximately $58,235.04. It is zoned mixed use, so government buildings are a permitted use in the MU-2 district.
Parrish reported that this month, he and the department heads will be visiting Inver Grove Heights to view their recently remodeled city hall and newly constructed public safety facility. In addition, Parrish and Community Development Director Doug Borglund will travel to Oakdale as well to review how that city approached redevelopment of a mall there.
“It has a vacant effect when you drive by,” Borglund said of Northland which only has two long-term tenants; Anytime Fitness and The Dance Factory.