New Shopko Store coming to Cherokee

Friday, July 25, 2014

Chronicle Times

Retail store to open in former Harley-Davidson building


The Cherokee City Council Tuesday night concurred with a recent Board of Adjustment approval granting a zoning variance that clears the way for a Shopko Store in Cherokee to be located in the former Harley-Davidson building on North Second Street.

The Shopko Store would utilize 39,000 square feet of retail space in the 48,000 square foot building.

The Council reviewed the recent Board of Adjustment's approval of a variance application from store developer Oppidan/Shopko seeking relief from the required number of parking spaces required by the City's Commercial zoning ordinance.


Oppidan has purchased and is retrofitting the former Harley-Davidson building for lease by Shopko.

City Code requires five parking spaces per 1,000 sq. ft. of retail space and Oppidan/Shopko asked that this be reduced to 3.4 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft.

Using K-Mart as a guide, the 132 parking spaces that would provide are more than adequate for 95% of the year, according to Oppidan and City Administrator Don Eikmeier. Busy holiday times are the only days that more spaces may be needed, explained Eikmeier.

The developer identified an additional 16 unimproved parking spaces on the south/southeast side of the building that could accommodate additional parking.

Tom Ryan of Oppidan, located in Minnetonka, Minnesota, was present to answer any questions, and he said Shopko plans to open in Cherokee in April or May of 2015.

According to Eikmeier, negotiations remain under way with Brad's Tire Service, the current tenant in the former Harley-Davidson building. Whether the tire store stays in the building or relocates is still under discussion, and being considered by all affected parties.

In other action, Paul Fuhrman, 1408 Greta, was present during the Public Forum portion of the meeting to address the drainage issue behind his house. According to Fuhrman, the area has standing water, mosquitoes, and is a health hazard, and he stated that this has been an ongoing problem for 4-5 years. Fuhrman had previously visited with Eikmeier and he maintains a storm sewer should be installed.

Eikmeier indicated that the City installed drain tile about three years ago, hoping it would help, but it doesn't appear to have solved the problem. He advised Fuhrman he will get a survey done and bring back estimated costs for the installation of a storm sewer.

The Council was also asked to begin the process of refunding bond issues from 2006, 2008, and 2009 at a lower interest rate to save the City approximately $18,000 in interest costs.

The Council then adopted Resolution No. 14-13, approving the Preliminary Official Statement for the $595,000 (dollar amount subject to change) G.O. Refunding Capital Loan Notes, Series 2014.

The Council also adopted Resolution No. 14-14, fixing the date for a meeting on the proposition to authorize a Loan Agreement and the issuance of Notes to evidence the obligation of the City thereunder for not to exceed $650,000 G.O. Refunding Capital Loan Notes, Series 2014; and approved an engagement agreement with Ahlers & Cooney, P.C. as bond counsel.

On the recommendation of the City's bond counsel, the Council unanimously authorized a Dissemination Agreement with D. A. Davidson & Co. to provide annual compliance reports at a cost of an estimated $1,000 per year, as required by the City's bond issues.

In a matter related to a tax rebate incentive concerning the Oppidan/Shopko project, the Council adopted Resolution No. 14-15, determining the necessity and setting dates of a consultation and a Public Hearing on a proposed Cherokee North 2014 Urban Renewal Plan for a proposed Urban Renewal Area specific to the Oppidan/Shopko site only.

The Council also adopted Resolution No. 14-16, setting dates for a consultation and a Public Hearing on a proposed Amendment No. 2 to the Water Tower Southeast Urban Renewal Plan, which removes the Oppidan/Shopko site from the Urban Renewal Plan to accommodate the tax rebate incentive process.

The Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation (CAEDC) and Cherokee Industrial Corporation (CIC) worked with the City to attract Oppidan/Shopko to town.




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