By Brian Ojanpa
Free Press Staff Writer
ST PETER — With the coming of a new Shopko store in St. Peter all but a done deal, the city is making plans for extensive infrastructure work on a 15-acre parcel in the town’s north end.
“It’s no secret that Shopko has been looking at that site. We’ve been in talks with them for eight months or more,” City Administrator Todd Prafke said.
He said the Shopko venture, which he describes as a “medium-box development,” would become the city’s second-largest retailer, about two-thirds the size of Econofoods supermarket downtown.
The store would abut the southeast side of Hallett’s Pond, about a block west of Highway 169 and between Dairy Queen and McDonald’s.
The $650,000-$700,000 public improvements project would include water, sewer, storm water and road construction in an area that contains inadequate and aged infrastructure, Prafke said.
Prafke said the project would be paid for through tax-increment financing, whereby increased property tax revenue from a project is used to help pay for that project.
Prafke said the City Council will take no action on approving the financing until the deal with Shopko is finalized.
He said infrastructure work would coincide with store construction in spring to minimize disruption in that area.