Article written by Chris Giesen
In June, a ceremony was led by Chatfield Mayor Russell Smith and EDA President Michael Tuohy to break ground on Chatfield’s latest redevelopment project and newest pace to grab a cup coffee. “This project took quite a bit of planning,” said Chatfield community development coordinator and CEDA Vice President Chris Giesen. Owners Alicia Hinckley and EB Allen approached the EDA about 18 months ago we were able to help them discus locations, address site issues once they chose a spot, and assist with financing the project” he continued.
“They chose a great spot on the north end of Chatfield along Highway 52, just across the street from Chatfield’s high school that overlooks Mill Creek to the west. We have definitely seen an uptick in activity and interest in this area for redevelopment recently” said Giesen. He went on “Redevelopment projects can be a little trickier because there are additional factors at play such as existing conditions that need to be dealt with or reconfigured. In order to make good projects like this work financially, we usually have to look at what tools we have available. In this case we were able to leverage $81,000 in tax increment financing to make the project work. We are excited to see this area of Chatfield grow.”
One issue that needed to be addressed was pedestrian access; in an area currently not served by sidewalks or trails, discussions were held with City, Olmsted County, and MnDOT officials to ensure sidewalks and crosswalks could be adequately installed. In addition to demolition of an existing home on the property, additional dirt work was needed to control storm water runoff. Construction is well underway and the owners expect to sell the first cup of coffee in fall 2015.