The city of Minot and the council are considering a financing tool for the renovation of the M building | News, Sports, Jobs

Jill Schramm/DND EPIC Chairman Todd Berning addresses the Ward County Commission on Tuesday.

A developer who pioneered Minot’s use of tax increment financing (TIF) is proposing to use the financing tool again on a downtown project.

EPIC Enterprises, with offices in West Fargo and Minot, used a TIF to help pay for street improvements associated with the Blu on Broadway project completed last fall. On Monday, the company and city staff explained to Minot City Council how the use of a TIF can be beneficial in EPIC’s renovation of the former Federal Bank of the Midwest, known as the Big Building. Mr.

Public hearings to be held in May must take place before the council can take any action. EPIC also presented information to the Ward County Commission on Tuesday and will later present to the Minot School Board. The participation of tax entities is sought in the TIF.

A TIF would not provide EPIC with tax relief. Instead, $2.7 million in property taxes collected from the improved property over 20 years would be earmarked for more than an estimated $3 million for asbestos abatement and demolition work.

The town of Minot would incur a bond debt of $2.7 million to pay for the abatement and demolition. The debt would be repaid using 90% of the property tax revenue from Building M. The remaining 10% of property taxes would go to tax entities as usual.

File Photo Minot town center Big M is proposed for renovation using a tax increase funding tool.

Currently, the total property taxes on the building, valued at approximately $500,000, are just over $9,000. Ten percent of the post-renovation property tax would provide more than $33,000 to split between the city, park district, school district, and county. Once the bond debt is paid and the TIF terminated, tax entities would share the entire tax collection, estimated at nearly $250,000 per year.

Prior to any council action, the city has a professional financial assessment of the TIF proposal carried out to determine its soundness and ensure its necessity for the project. The project will also be reviewed with the city’s bond attorney. The city intends to seek performance bonds and include language in the developer’s agreement to protect the city by allowing it to collect scheduled taxes even if the property assessment falls short, the manager said. Municipality of Minot, Harold Stewart.

To be eligible for a TIF district, a project must improve burning and be shown to be in the interest of the public economy, health, safety or welfare.

“He is in a pretty difficult state at the moment,” Blake Nybakken, a Minot native, chief operating officer of EPIC, said of the building Mr. “What we want to do is turn what is a potential liability into a property that contributes again not only to the city and the vibrancy of downtown, but also to the tax rolls.”

He said EPIC paid three years of overdue property taxes when purchasing the property. Including the $2.7 million TIF, EPIC plans to invest $14.7 million in the renovation, which is expected to begin in June and be completed in the fall of 2023.

“We want to bring it back to life, and we are delighted,” said Nybakken.

EPIC’s plan calls for commercial space on the first two floors, 31 apartments on floors three through six, and eight condominiums on floors seven and eight. There will be 11 underground parking spaces, a community hall and an exercise centre.

The council indicated preliminary support for the project.

Mayor Shaun Sipma noted community concerns that a 20-year TIF would be too long.

“I agree that 20 years has been far too long for this building to be empty,” he has answered. “We’re actually going to capitalize better as fiscal entities than we have been.”

The proposed 20-year FIT is less than the 25-year FIT maximum under state law. A TIF that extends beyond five years requires approval of participation by all tax entities. An entity that decides not to participate would keep its full share of property taxes, although that could impact the feasibility of the project, Stewart said.

City Council had approved a five-year TIF for Blu on Broadway in 2020 that directed tax collections toward improvements on Southwest First Street, essentially converting it from an alley to a city street with curb and gutter, lampposts and fire hydrants. Brian Billingsley, community development manager for the town of Minot, said the initial TIF will cover about $420,000 in street costs and EPIC will cover the remaining $280,000.

The Ward County Commission expressed interest in the Big M project but deferred decision-making on participation in TIF. Commissioners will draft a letter of participation for consideration at their April 19 meeting.

Commissioner Howard “Bucky” Anderson acknowledged the benefits and risks of moving forward.

“We’re kind of betting on the future with a building that probably doesn’t have a future right now,” he said.

The Town of Minot also plans to send notices by mail to 32 identified competitors to the project, defined as similar projects for commercial and residential use, to allow them to submit comments.

“I’m bullish on Minot,” said Todd Berning, EPIC president and Minot native. Trinity’s construction of a new medical complex and voter approval of a bond issue for a new high school were good signals for EPIC investors, he said.

“Many of our investors over the years have come from the Minot region”, he said. “Each year we receive between 3 and 8 million dollars that come directly out of this area and which will now remain. Many of our investors are very enthusiastic about reinvesting money in Minot.

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