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Old hospital owners plan senior living and memory care facility

The house at 135 S. Cherry St. near downtown Prescott, now owned by the City, will be demolished and turned into a parking lot after asbestos removal is complete. File photo

What is going on with the proposed Vista Croix development and the former Mary T's building on Oak Street? There is movement, according to City Administrator Jayne Brand.

The City recently met with the new owner of the building that once housed a hospital and later a short-lived assisted living facility. The owners are proposing a senior living facility and memory care unit, Brand said. The building has been unused for at least 10 years.

"They are working on a demolition plan," Brand said. "They want to build back in the same footprint of the current building."

Greg Johnson of Nottingham Construction, Stillwater, Minn., has been the city's contact.

As for Vista Croix, the project is still in the works, Brand said.

"We have been in contact with them and they are still working on locking down someone for the restaurant portion of the building although it sounds like they have a couple of very interested parties," she said. They're also "working on lowering the price for the condos."

The original plan had called for the multi-purpose development to include a boutique hotel, but that seems to be scrapped, according to development plans listed at Vista Croix's website.

The site, once home to the historic Steamboat Inn Supper Club (demolished Dec. 14, 2015), is looking to house a 4,214 square-foot restaurant with 4,660 square feet of event space and a 3,406 square-foot deck on the first floor, six condominiums on the second floor with 6,700 square feet of common areas and a 4,600 square-foot patio/deck, and six condominiums and common areas on the third floor.

The developer is also proposing 37 public parking and 24 heated underground resident parking spots on the lower level, plus a 1,370 square-foot speakeasy.

As for drawing a hotel into town, the City continues to work with the group proposing to erect a hotel on the vacant lot next to Dollar General, though nothing is definite yet.

"I'm not too sure where this is going to go," Brand said. "They have requested funding from the city and the city is not able to meet the amount requested because the property is not within a TIF district."

The property is owned by Woodbury native Tim Thone. Eric Tweten, a private hotel developer, is working with Thone, who is proposing a 50-room hotel.

Finally, if you've been downtown Prescott, you know the parking situation can be a bit trying. The City is hoping to remedy that as it continues to purchase property behind the Freedom gas station with the intention to create public parking spaces.

In July, the City bought the house at 135 S. Cherry Street, owns one other at 219 Dakota St. N. and will buy a third.

"The two properties we currently own have asbestos which needs to be removed," Brand said, before any demolition can take place. "We have hired an asbestos remover (ECCO Midwest of Hastings) and should have that moving forward soon."

The council approved spending up to $11,900 for the asbestos removal. Next comes demolition.

"We have put out a request for proposal for the removal and clearing of these two homes. There were funds allocated in the 2018 budget for a parking lot where these homes were purchased."

The Prescott Fire Department is looking using the 219 Dakota St. N. house as a fire training exercise, Brand said.

Wrapping up projects

• The council approved a special assessment resolution related to the Henry, Hampshire and James streets improvements. The total project cost $559,294.73, of which $50,372.47 was assessed as special assessments.

• The final pay request for the Broad Street sidewalk improvements, totaling $6,517.73, was approved.

• The final payment to Johnson Construction totaling $22,300 for the new fire hall roof was approved.

Impact fees

The Council voted Oct. 23 to place a moratorium on impact fees for single family and twin homes until Dec. 31, 2019. Impact fees are normally $2,190; by waiving them, the City hopes to bring in more single family homes.

Stormwater utility

Stormwater utility rates will increase by 7.5 percent beginning Dec. 1. The average single family residence will see an increase of 75 cents per quarter, Brand said.

"Stormwater includes street sweeping and we need to purchase a new street sweeper," Brand said. "We're not proposing new, but a used sweeper."

Room tax

Room tax, which is paid by people who rent a hotel room, is currently set at 5.5 percent in Prescott, but will soon increase to 8 percent.

Seventy percent of these funds would be used for tourism in the city, Brand said.

"This tax would come into play when and if a hotel comes into the city," she added.

Fire truck

The council approved 6-1 (council member Joshua Gergen voted no) the purchase of a fire struck for the Prescott Area Fire Department, using existing funds.

The brush truck would cost approximately $75,000. As part of the Fire Association agreement, the department needs approval from all three municipalities in the association, Brand said.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in Febraury 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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