Dominium Development has dropped out of plans to construct a large apartment building at the center of Champlin's multimillion-dollar Mississippi Crossings redevelopment project.

City officials envision 150 market-rate apartments on the 2.5-acre site that is part of the riverfront project, but Dominium wanted to build more units, said Deputy City Administrator John Cox.

"We mutually agreed we would go our separate ways," said Cox, describing the split as amicable. "There were certain things they needed out of the project, and there were certain things we needed. We just couldn't agree to a plan that worked for both of us. Our site wasn't big enough for what they needed to do."

Dominium executives could not be reached for comment.

Now Champlin officials are courting other developers with hopes of still breaking ground on the project in 2015.

"We are going back to the drawing board. We will sit down with people and continue to have conversations and line up the next developer," Cox said. "Our No. 1 one priority is looking for a developer for this site."

The city still owns all the land for redevelopment and has always acted as master developer, simplifying the split, Cox said.

"We have lost time, but we have not lost money and we are certainly a lot smarter," Cox said.

"There was nothing in writing. We were working toward that," Cox said of the city's relationship with Dominium.

Until the split, Dominium had consulted with Champlin as the city acquired and razed riverfront property. Over three years, the city bought eight aging 1950s- and 1960s-era apartments and some single-family homes from willing sellers. Crews tore them down for redevelopment last fall, Cox said.

So far, the city has spent about $12 million on its Mississippi Crossings plan.

The 60-acre Mississippi Crossings area straddles Hwy. 169 and lies along the banks of the Mississippi River south of the Anoka-Champlin bridge. In 1999, a citizen task force recommended redevelopment, launching the project. The city owns about 20 acres.

The first phase of the plan envisions an apartment building, a restaurant/event center, a village green with river dockage, and a 304-stall parking garage surrounded by commercial space. □