Zoning change approval paves the way for condos on McGregor riverfront

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Condominiums can now be constructed at the site of the former Holiday Shores Motel property on the McGregor riverfront, following council approval of a zoning change from W1 - waterfront commercial to W2 - waterfront mixed use.

By Audrey Posten

 

The McGregor City Council, at its July 21 meeting, approved a zoning change from W1 - waterfront commercial to W2 - waterfront mixed use for the former Holiday Shores Motel property on the McGregor riverfront, to allow for the construction of condominiums.

The 110 Front St. location is owned by Trilogy Partners, LLC, who purchased the property and tore down the motel in 2015. A similar zoning reclassification was requested at that time, but was not granted, as the city encouraged the construction of a joint hotel/condominium project rather than only condos. The site has since sat empty.

Perceptions of the project have changed, though. In April, the McGregor Planning and Zoning Commission recommended the zoning change, and the council unanimously approved the move—with several conditions—last week.

With the approval, developer Michael Kramer said design on the project, a proposed 18-unit condominium building, will now begin. At the April planning and zoning meeting, he estimated the project would be between $6 million and $11 million.

“Following approval of the building, we’ll construct a high quality building and ensure it’s well operated,” he said. “The property will activate the riverfront district, attract sustained tourism to the town, increase tax revenue, provide a housing type that is currently unavailable within McGregor and allow for tourism through year-round vacation rentals, which would be allowed in the development.”

Kramer said the proposal has received positive feedback so far.

“We haven’t started marketing the condos, but we have received some interest in owning a part of the waterfront in McGregor,” he said.

As part of the conditions of the approval, the structure must include a minimum 18 units and be architecturally compatible with the rest of the town. Cyle Erie, with design and engineering firm ISG, touched on the latter at the meeting.

“We’ve certainly heard a lot of feedback from people saying that whatever you do here has to fit with the site, fit with the historic nature of McGregor and the beautiful buildings across the street,” he said. The project will incorporate similar materials as other buildings in town, blending into the neighborhood. “With this site, we can incorporate that brick and limestone look throughout town. Also, the riverfront itself has a unique look, and there’s a really cool opportunity to bring the building and development out to the river.” 

The condominium structure shall not exceed 50 feet—a height the planning and zoning commission and council approved upping from 35 feet, or 2.5 stories. The project is slated to be three stories tall.

Additionally, the condo association bylaws will be required to allow vacation rentals and there must be 1.5 parking spots for each unit. The developers have also been asked to construct a public walkway that would connect to Riverfront Park as  well as an overlook/fishing pier. 

The project shall be constructed, subject to extension for unforeseen or uncontrollable delays, within two calendar years from the start of construction.

Utility rate increases also on agenda

The council approved the second reading of ordinances to amend storm water and sewer service fees. The rate increases, which were suggested by Heidi Kuhl from Northland Securities through a rate study, are in preparation for bonding for the Main Street project. 

Monthly storm sewer fees would increase $1.88, from $10.71 to $12.59, effective Sept. 1. They would jump another $1.87, to $14.46 per month, effective July 1, 2022, followed by a 2 percent annual increase after that.

On Sept. 1, the sewer base rate would increase $1.07, to $12.44 per month, along with a flow rate increase of 56 cents per 100 cubic feet. Effective July 1, 2022, the base rate will go up $1.07, to $13.51 per month, and the flow rate would rise 50 cents. A 3 percent annual increase will follow.

McGregor eligible for COVID relief funds

The council approved a resolution requesting funding available through the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund established by the American Rescue Plan. Funds are allocated based on population, and city administrator Lynette McManus said McGregor would receive an estimated $116,000, which would arrive in two separate payments.

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