EDA vote passes Northland Mall plan to council

This development concept calling for city facilities to be built at the current Northland Mall site will be presented at tonight’s meeting of the Economic Development Authority. (Illustration submitted)

After months of closed-session negotiations, plans to build a new city hall/public safety complex at the Northland Mall site came before the public Nov. 1 at a special meeting of the Economic Development Authority.

The plan entails a new complex to house the fire and police departments; it would also serve as city hall. The estimated price tag of approximately $23.5 million would lead to a jump of about 23 percent in the existing property tax levy (an annual increase of $181.75 for a house worth $175,000). The revenue bonds would be paid for over 20 years.

The EDA on Thursday approved a development agreement with PACE Development, the owner of the Northland Mall. The next step would be for the City Council to initiate the bonding process at a Nov. 13 workshop. Public forums would follow, leading to an ultimate decision from the council, likely before Dec. 1. Thursday’s action by the EDA is contingent on final approval from the council.

EDA member Jackie McNamara cast the lone dissenting vote, while Mark Finnemann abstained.