Ramsey officials are close to a settlement that could reopen the bankrupt Ramsey Town Center to development.

The City Council discussed the matter in closed session last week and had hoped to announce an agreement with Minnwest Bank Central, holder of the property mortgage. But some last-minute issues came up, said City Administrator Kurt Ulrich.

"We hope to clear up the issues by Tuesday," when a special council meeting has been scheduled, Ulrich said. "We are trying to resolve the matter and reach a global settlement to address the pending lawsuits."

Asked if the settlement meant the city would buy the undeveloped part of Town Center, Ulrich said he couldn't comment. He said remaining issues dealt with finances and the legal process of executing the settlement.

"There are complicated issues," he said. "We are approaching it cautiously to make sure all details in the agreement are worked out before the council considers taking action. ... It is a high priority for the city to get this wrapped up."

Russ Bushman, Minnwest's chief credit officer, said he had no comment. But Minnwest postponed for a week a sheriff's foreclosure sale of the site; the sale is now set for Friday.

The city had envisioned a downtown sprinkled with 45 acres of parks and fountains near hundreds of townhomes within walking distance of small shops and commuter rail. But the plan was derailed after the developer, Bruce Nedegaard, went bankrupt in 2007 and died soon afterward.

Then Minnwest foreclosed on the 148 acres of undeveloped land. Minnwest represents 18 other banks that were part of the original $35 million loan.

Separate city and Minnwest claims regarding Town Center development restrictions were consolidated in court in September. In January an Anoka County judge denied a Minnwest motion and said the bank or anyone buying the Town Center site at a sheriff's sale had to abide by city-negotiated restrictions, including $6 million in developer-funded park improvements.

The 148 acres include land zoned for commercial and residential use. More than half of the 320-acre Town Center is developed, including a shopping center anchored by a Coborn's grocery store, several office buildings and 200 units of housing.

In a related action, the Anoka County Board Thursday discussed roadway improvements around Town Center and agreed to share the cost of designs for a Hwy. 10 interchange at Armstrong Boulevard, said Board Chairman Dennis Berg.

Funding is still being sought for the interchange, which would include a fly-over bridge crossing Hwy. 10 and the nearby tracks which will carry the Northstar commuter train starting in the fall.

Jim Adams • 612-673-7658