Perham City Council approves retail, apartment development in new TIF district

The tax increment financing district encourages redevelopment in the Perham area along Main Street.

TIF District 2-42 Map .png
The tax increment financing district 2-42 includes six parcels with three of the parcels along Main Street noted on the map. One of the parcels will also be taken out of TIF district 2-36. Photo courtesy city of Perham
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A tax increment financing district has been created for six parcels on Main Street. District 2-42 will provide redevelopment options and not modify existing boundaries.

The first development at 210 East Main Street will be a 10,000 square foot office and retail space at ground level along with 43 apartment units above, which could increase the current value from $430,000 to $4.2 million, according to Ehlers Public Finance Advisors senior municipal advisor Todd Hagen. With the district, future development agreements would be quicker, according to Hagen.

“That’s the idea here in Perham, right, we want to get some redevelopment going and replace sort of buildings that are past their useful use and repurpose them,” Hagen said.

The development agreement with EPIC Companies includes the ground floor space as well as 34,000 square feet for residential apartments on floors two to five and 27 underground parking stalls. They could potentially acquire more property for additional parking, according to City Manager Jonathan Smith.

EPIC board of directors member Brian Kounovsky said the company also has apartments in Detroit Lakes which cost about $850-1,250 per month, though those units are larger than the ones planned for Perham. The monthly rent in Perham would be about $700 with utilities likely included. Kounovsky said the apartments will be a mix of one and two bedroom units, and they hope to work with the city to figure out what is most needed. The project will begin around spring 2021.


The council also approved an extension for the Industrial Park project, which was to be completed on Oct. 2. The delays were caused by Otter Tail Power relocations on Coney Street and at the Industrial Park, BNSF railroad coordination, additional service installation at Kelley Bean and the Arvig project at NE 2nd St., according to a letter submitted by project manager Greg Philippi. City Engineer Jade Berube said the crew has completed good work but that their assigned end date was important to keep. Council members agreed and did not want to give too much leniency for concern about possible impacts on future projects. The extension was granted to Oct. 23 instead of Oct. 30 as requested by Philippi.

The City Council also discussed:

  • Approved a purchase agreement with Gabrielson Properties LLC for land in the East Park Third Addition for $60,000. The parcel is about 3 acres and the company plans to build about 40 townhomes.

  • Additional approved proposals related to the tax increment district, including 230 E Main St. and 121 SE 2nd St. being declared substandard. At least 50% of the structures in the district have to be substandard. A height variance for the EPIC development for up to 65 feet; the downtown area is set at 50 feet.

  • The Small Cities Development Program has 11 commercial applications in the downtown area and 58 residential applications, according to Economic Development director Nick Murdock. Applications are due in November. This is a state program funded by federal dollars with qualifying factors. Smith said a similar program was done in the early 2000s and was “wildly successful.”

  • Approved a proposal for thinning the pine trees in Arvig Park, for which the city will receive $5,540. The project will be completed in the winter of 2021-22.

  • Hydrant flushing will take place from Saturday, Oct. 25, to Friday, Nov. 6.

  • The Committee of the Whole is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 5:15 p.m.

  • The 2020 general election is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 3. Polls are open from 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.

  • The next regular council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 9 at 5:15 p.m.

Rebecca Mitchell started as a Digital Content Producer for the Post Bulletin in August 2022. She specializes in enhancing online articles as well as education, feature and health reporting.
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