Woodbury is nearing solutions to two hiccups in the creation of its massive Bielenberg Sports Center.
A tentative deal has been reached to fill two big empty spaces inside the new fieldhouse, which was added in 2014. And the city is close to finishing the playground nearby, a costly venture that is well behind schedule after fundraising languished.
The deal is with Summit Orthopedics Ltd., to finish out and occupy empty space at the sports complex and to help cover the playground cost.
“Bottom line,” said city spokesman Jason Egerstrom, “this is an intriguing reuse proposal that benefits the city and a growing business that houses its corporate headquarters in Woodbury.”
The space in question includes an unfinished fieldhouse annex once destined for the pro soccer team Minnesota United, and second-floor space for a restaurant.
Details were provided to City Council members at a Nov. 18 workshop. Among them:
• The annex space would be leased at $15 per square foot, or a net of $103,500 per year, rising with inflation.
• The second-floor lobby space of 1,811 square feet would net $27,165 per year over 10 years.
In the lobby, instead of a restaurant, the firm will create a meeting and activity room, giving the city shared use.
The city chose from five proposals.
The City Council gave the deal a nod of approval, Egerstrom said, adding:
“Once the lease with Summit is finalized, the item will be placed on a future City Council meeting agenda for discussion and consideration. We expect this could occur as early as the next council meeting on Dec. 9.”
The deal also helps with the long-standing problem of raising enough money for a promised playground: Summit agreed, as part of the arrangement, to donate $100,000 for that.
The playground build out happened last month, with help from about 100 volunteers.
Officials said the funding gap is down to $25,000 and the equipment is 95 percent installed, with final site work next spring.