Friday, September 17, 2021

St. Cloud I-94 Business Park to get a new grocery store

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AWG has plans to temporarily supply products out of the former Creative Memories warehouse in St. Cloud’s I-94 Business Park. Its new fresh and frozen warehouse, expected to be completed later in 2022, will be in the same business park. Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. announced this summer it will be establishing a facility in St. Cloud and would begin supplying Coborn’s in 2022. 

Construction is planned in a multi-phase effort, with the first phase focused on a 330,000 square-foot warehouse for perishable foods, loading dock and offices. According to city documents, this portion of the facility will support 114 new full-time-equivalent positions at an average wage of $15-$20 an hour.

Rezoning was requested for 275-74th St. S and 315-74th St. S because the proposed building would be taller than the current zoning district allows, according to city documents. The property is on the south end of the business park, which is home to other large industrial developments.

More: Grocery wholesaler to open distribution facility in St. Cloud, create 400 jobs

The second phase is another 470,000 square-foot space for dry goods, connected to the west side of the first facility. This is the portion of the building that will require a taller height than previous zoning allowed; according to city documents, that height is needed for food storage on a “state-of-the-art computer-controlled rack system.”

The second phase would also require a new public street between 74th Street South and Glenn Carlson Drive, which would also serve future industrial developments north of this site.

Application documents submitted to the city show the properties are owned by Mark & Chris Coborn Family Partnership/St. Cloud Opportunities Inc. According to these documents, the site provides some specific conditions that met AWG site selection criteria, specifically mentioning good soil conditions to support “extreme floor loads,” interstate access, necessary utilities and a central location in the area for recruiting employees.

The council also approved a resolution supporting an application from Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. to the Job Creation Fund. 

Facility schematics also show room for expansion in a third phase.

A resolution of support from the city is a required component of an application for money from the Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Job Creation Fund. At the meeting, Economic Development Director Cathy Mehelich estimated the award from the state could be just under $200,000, similar to other previous Job Creation Fund applications in St. Cloud.

“Leveraged support from DEED will ensure the financial feasibility of the project,” as would Tax Increment Financing, Mehelich said in a staff memo. A public hearing regarding the TIF plan is set for Sept. 27.

Sarah Kocher is the business reporter for the St. Cloud Times. Reach her at 320-255-8799 or Follow her on Twitter @SarahAKocher.

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