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Larry Lee, community development director for Bloomington, has worked since the 1980s on business developments, including the Mall of America that opened in 1993 on the vacant Metropolitan Stadium site.
Tax abatement and TIF are typical business development tools, Lee said, but his city has had no typical deals on the few projects done since the 2008 recession. He said Bloomington assists developers and companies whose projects meet city goals, such as reusing blighted land or building high density office projects or housing.
The city offers subsidies, sometimes by selling bonds, to build parking ramps, enlarge sewers or widen roads to handle high-density developments, he said. The bonds are usually repaid from property taxes generated by the new project.
Lee said that Bloomington assisted on the just-opened $135 million Radisson Blu. The 500-room hotel, expected to create about 240 jobs, connects by skyway to the Mall of America. A city agency sold $40 million in bonds for the hotel and used $15 million in TIF revenues to build an adjoining three-level public parking garage.
Smart cities don’t give money directly to a business, but instead use city funds to build infrastructure to support desired projects that create jobs, Lee said. City aid “goes into pavement, pipes and bricks and mortar that will stay in the community even if the business folds or moves away,” he said.
Aarsvold noted that attracting high-rise corporate offices with good-paying jobs has long been a top priority for Brooklyn Park. The Target agreement shows the city can attract such premier development, he said.
“We had to deal with Target to get the level of development we wanted to see,” he said. “This is something to build on for development on the Hwy. 610 corridor. Having Target will set the tone.”
Jim Adams • 612-673-7658