The Mahtomedi bike tool company interested in buying the former Oakdale Golf and Tennis site for a new company headquarters hopes to close on the property by June 15, assistant to the city administrator Dave Schaps told the Economic Development Commission Wednesday.
Park Tool, wants to build a 68,000 square foot office, manufacturing and warehouse building on the site, which is across the street from the north fire station on Hadley Avenue, according to a staff report.
Two weeks ago, the Oakdale City Council entered into a nonbinding agreement to begin negotiations for the sale of the land, after receiving a letter of intent to purchase the property from Park Tool.
The amount of the offer is not yet public information because negotiations are ongoing.
Council member Stan Karwoski said he and other councilors want to be sure the city gets the full market value of the land.
“We’re very sensitive to make sure that the full market value is realized so that the taxpayer gets a fair shake,” Karwoski said.
At issue, he said, is how much of the land is truly developable. The property is about 23 acres, and city staff currently considers 8.1 of those acres buildable, according to the report. The company wants to purchase the entire property, Karwoski said, not just the developable portion.
The Oakdale City Council acting as the Housing and Redevelopment Authority will consider the purchase agreement and development agreement at its June 12 meeting, according to the report.
The city’s fast track process, which is already in motion for this project, will allow Park Tool to move quickly through the planning process, Schaps said. Oakdale’s process includes pre-set design standards, so applicants know what they need to do to get city approval right away, he said.
“This is kind of the city’s competitive edge over other communities,” he said, “is that when a business comes in we can get them through the process very quickly so that they can get into the ground and get their operations going and be profitable.”
With 45 current employees, the company hopes to hire more after the expansion, Schaps said.
The city acquired the property due to tax forfeiture. Its former owner was Gordon Weaver, who fled the state after being indicted for killing his wife, and was later found and convicted.
The Economic Development Commission voted unanimously in support of the Park Tool proposal.
“I think it’s going to be really a good development for up in that corner right now,” said chairman Mark Landis. “It’s been an eyesore for a number of years.”