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Council OKs extension on downtown development

The Hastings City Council approved an extension until Aug. 1, 2023 for a final plat approval of the Siewert Apartments at its meeting Monday night.

Because of increased building costs, developer Luke Siewert of River City Investment, LLC is hoping that more favorable bids will be available in the near future. Plans are for a four-story, 32-unit apartment complex. Three floors would be apartment, with indoor parking at street level.

Preliminary and final plat approval was to have taken place in October. As part of the development, a parking lot owned by the city is being combined with a residential property that is to be torn down sometime this year to make way for the development. River City Investment would close on the parking lot site with HEDRA on Aug. 1, 2023, under the plan.

“Mr. Siewert continues to seek more favorable construction pricing to commence,” Community Development Director John Hinzman wrote in a memorandum to the city council.

In addition to purchasing the parking lot, the city will be paid $35,200 to satisfy park dedication requirement for development and $15,520 in sewer interceptor fees as part of the development.

In other council action having to do with rapid residential development in Hastings, the council approved contracts with two companies that will help with building inspection, Guardian Inspections of Plymouth and Stensland Inspections of Stillwater. Fees for both companies will come from permits that are issued. Guardian would do plan review only and be paid 50 percent of the plan review fee collected. Stensland would do plan review and inspections and would receive 75 percent of plan review funds and $50 for each inspection and reinspection.

Both contracts are for one year and would automatically be extended unless terminated.

“Staff seeks approval of both contracts to create a pool to better ensure the ability to provide services and may consider execution of similar contracts in the future,” Hinzman wrote to the council. “The building department is experiencing a substantial increase in the number of building permits leading to additional hours worked by staff. The additional volume has led to some employees exceeding their cap on accrual of compensatory time. Contracting for additional assistance will better balance the load to ensure timely review and inspection services.”

November 9, 2022