Monk pursues construction of commercial building downtown

City Council
Kim Brooks
Express Associate Editor

     With demolition and a new commercial building in the works for the lot at 218 W. First St., the Monticello City Council set a public hearing to amend the city’s urban renewal area (TIF) and urban renewal plan. The future goal is to include the property in the city’s TIF district. The hearing will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 2.

     The current building was acquired by Brian Monk, B&J Hauling & Excavation, Inc. of Monticello. Monk would also be the developer of the proposed new building, which is planned to house three additional/existing businesses in downtown Monticello.

     The new storefront, Monk said in his letter to perspective purchasers of the space, would include brick in the storefront from the former building. Each of the three units would be individually owned by the occupants.

     City Administrator Doug Herman used Armin Plaza, which houses Subway, Keleher’s Jewelry, Edward Jones, and Pure Image Salon, as a basis to figure the incentives Monk would receive on the property on W. First St. The total valuation of the four units in Armin Plaza is $572,420. With that figure based on four units, Herman reduced Monk’s valuation by 25 percent, down to $429,315.

     He reduced it yet again by 20 percent due to the fact that Armin Plaza is served by off-street parking, bringing the total to $343,452.

     With the improvements proposed and the increase in business Monk’s commercial building would bring to Monticello, Herman taxes could rise from $1,076 currently to over $7,000 a year.

     The city could offer two grants to Monk, totally $20,000. B&J Hauling could receive $5,000 when the building is demolished and cleared; and $15,000 when the three-unit building is completed and ready for occupation.

     Herman explained each owner of the three units would also be eligible for a 10-year partial tax rebate.

     “With the grants and rebates,” shared Herman, “the new building will create more new taxes to the city.”

     Monk is proposing a 50-by-70-foot building, housing three different businesses. As of the Sept. 5 Monticello City Council meeting, he said he had two units confirmed.

     The units would be set up like zero lot line condos, each with its own deed and abstract. Each unit would be approximately 1,100 square feet, and build-out ready. They will also have their own heating and air conditioning, and restrooms.

     Triple 5/8-inch firewalls will be built between each unit, too.

     The three units will have access to a shared concrete drive/walkway in the back of the building. With this area being a part of the adjacent property, a permanent easement is in the works. Monk said he has already spoken to the adjacent property owner on this matter. Customer/public parking will be on the street.

     Monk said he plans to start construction yet this fall before the frost, with interior work to continue throughout the winter. A move-in date of the spring of 2018 is being proposed.

     Monk’s letter is asking for a per unit cost of $85,000.

     “When you subtract the tax rebate being proposed (by the city), this makes each unit very economical in the long run,” he said.

     “We’ve never done something like this before in our downtown,” said Herman. “We’ll see a new and improved building that houses professional offices and businesses. This is a good thing.”

     Council member Dave Goedken said the area in question “is in dire need of something being done.

     “It’s great that we have a private investor willing to do something,” he said.


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