East Barck Avenue becomes ‘open canvas’

“We’ll have an open canvas there for new development.” — City Administrator John Call

The properties on the east end of Barck Avenue are under demolition this week as the city of Luverne paves the way for new housing in that block.
The city of Luverne and Cleveringa Construction have entered into a development agreement for the construction of two triplexes and one twin home on East Barck Avenue.
A tax increment financing district has been established to remove existing substandard buildings on three properties now owned by the city.
“We’ll have an open canvas there for new development,” City Administrator John Call said at the April 15 City Council meeting.
Water and sewer utilities will be stubbed in to the property line, and the three lots will be conveyed to contractor Merlin Cleveringa as he obtains building permits.
According to discussion at the April 2015 meeting, Cleveringa plans to start construction around mid to late May.
“I have three parties interested in purchasing them,” Cleveringa reported to the council.
“We’ll try to keep costs lower than the Blue Ridge Estates (in the new Manfred Heights Addition). According to surveys, there is a fairly decent demand for that price range.”
Over the past year the city has acquired three blighted properties — 509, 501, and 409 E. Barck — “to achieve the goals of eliminating blighted property and to allow for potential residential development in the future,” according to LEDA documents.
The city bought the corner lot at 509 E. Barck from John Granneman, Lakeville, for $42,000 in December.
The LEDA bought the brick, commercial-looking structure at 409 E. Barck for $28,000 last summer from Gary Van Regenmorter, doing business as Glatco Partners.
The adjacent property (between that one and the one on the corner) was acquired by the city earlier in 2014 through tax forfeiture. That one, at 501 E. Barck, took up two city lots.
So, the city now owns four contiguous lots on the north side of Barck Avenue, 150 feet deep.
Mayor Pat Baustian said he looks forward to the new subdivision being complete.
“We’re excited about your development down there,” he said to Cleveringa at the April 16 meeting. “We feel it will fill a need for years to come.”

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