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Work underway on $25M warehouse project in Alexandria

The project calls for a new public road, and extensions of sewer, water, natural gas and fiber-optic infrastructure, all at the developer's expense. The total cost of the improvements is estimated at between $4 to $5 million.

SunoptaWarehouse1.jpg
Last week, a site contractor worked on bringing SunOpta's warehouse building pad to grade and cutting in stormwater ponds.
Contributed drone image by CI Construction
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ALEXANDRIA — Work on a $25 million warehouse in southwest Alexandria is making progress.

The warehouse site is northeast of Interstate-94 and south of County Road 46.

Last May, the Alexandria City Council approved a tax increment financing request to the developer, GoodNeighbors Properties.

Under the plan, SunOpta , an Alexandria company focused on plant-based foods and beverages, will lease the 252,000-square-foot warehouse from GoodNeighbors. The base rent is $5.60 per square foot and the lease is for 15 years.

The warehouse project calls for a new public road, and extensions of sewer, water, natural gas and fiber-optic infrastructure, all at the developer's expense. The total cost of the improvements is estimated at between $4 to $5 million.

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The TIF application notes that the cost of placing city infrastructure and to bring services to this site has prohibited development of the site for 17 years.

With TIF, property taxes are frozen at the existing amount for a certain period of time, in this case it would have been nine years. The difference between the existing tax and the tax after the development is used to help pay for some of the project.

The annual property taxes on the property are now $8,983 and once the project is completed, taxes are projected to increase to $407,558. It will add $13.26 million to the city’s tax base, according to the TIF application. The market value of the property is $423,745 right now and will increase to $13.69 million after the warehouse is built.

The estimated annual TIF payment to the developer is $277,249.

The total site includes more than 100 acres and additional buildings taking up 350,000-square-feet may be added later, providing a potential new tax base of more than $1 million, according to the TIF application.

The project is expected to create five full-time jobs two years after it’s completed.

SunOpta has been through major expansions before. In 2020, it completed a $26 million expansion at its Third Avenue plant in Alexandria to meet a growing demand for oat milk, and that market has only continued to expand.

SunoptaWarehouse2.jpg
This is another drone image from a different angle that shows the site work on the warehouse, northeast of I-94 and south of County Road 46.
Contributed drone image by CI Construction

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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