Moose Lake’s ‘lovin’ it’Residents and visitors to Moose Lake will soon have a new dining option. In a combined meeting with the Moose Lake Planning Commission Tuesday night, the Moose Lake City Council approved a development agreement with Land &Lease Development, LLC that lays the groundwork for a McDonald’s restaurant to be constructed on land along the Highway 73 corridor near Interstate 35.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
Residents and visitors to Moose Lake will soon have a new dining option. In a combined meeting with the Moose Lake Planning Commission Tuesday night, the Moose Lake City Council approved a development agreement with Land &Lease Development, LLC that lays the groundwork for a McDonald’s restaurant to be constructed on land along the Highway 73 corridor near Interstate 35.
According to Pat Oman, Carlton County economic development director, a purchase agreement was reached between Land & Lease Development and the city of Moose Lake for approximately 20 acres of land that extends from the Little Store halfway down the Highway 73 corridor toward Moose Lake. The land was part of a parcel previously owned by the Moose Lake School District and later conveyed to the city.
Oman said Brian Weidendorf, chief proprietor of Land & Lease Development, LLC, met earlier with the Moose Lake City Council about the property, as a developer of McDonald’s sites he would be interested in that location near I-35. Weidendorf has developed McDonald’s sites in many towns, including nearby Hinckley and Mora.
The development agreement signed between Land & Lease Development and the city includes Weidendorf’s plans on how Land & Lease intends to develop outlots on the property, to include several two- to three-acre retail sites as well as one 12-acre site for a larger retail development. The only commercial retail business identified to this point is McDonald’s.
The agreement also establishes certain performance standards for development of the property, including one business to be built by 2014, with others to be added over the next seven years.
“[The McDonald’s site] should be a good source of tax revenue for the city,” said Oman, explaining that it should amount to some $25,000-plus annually on the approximately $1 million building.
Oman added that plans are for the restaurant to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it is expected to employ some 50-plus full- and part-time workers. He said it should not only be a draw for residents and travelers along I-35 but also for the employees in the adjacent state prison and Minnesota Sex Offender Program facilities.
“It’s a 24/7 job for them, and to go out to eat is not always the easiest thing, especially if it’s at midnight or 1 a.m.,” said Oman.
He also pointed out that when something like this goes into a neighborhood, that neighborhood often becomes a destination point for other retail development as well – a scenario that he believes will be highly likely.
“Our office has been inundated with retail prospects for Moose Lake,” Oman said, pointing out the land in that area is mostly publicly owned and in close proximity to the freeway. He indicated that several businesses have inquired about this development and believes more will.
“The entire Highway 73 corridor has pretty much all been laid out for retail development,” said Oman.
The Moose Lake School District still owns some 160 acres of land in that area which they are hoping to reserve for possible future housing/retail development and hopefully the construction of a new school. A request for state funding support is currently working its way through the legislature, and the board is reportedly preparing to propose a referendum to the public later this year.
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