Otsego opens year with two major projects

by Dawn Feddersen-Poindexter

Contributing Writer

The Otsego City Council kicked off the new year discussing two large building projects in the city at their meeting on Jan. 13.

City Administrator Lori Johnson announced a new 300,000-square-foot distribution center for Ruan Transportation Management Systems that is in the works for the Gateway North Business Center near Highway 101 and County Road 37. The new $15 million to $16 million building will replace the company’s two facilities currently located in Brooklyn Park.

“We’re very excited to have that happen here in the city. It’s a great benefit to Otsego,” Johnson said.

Council Member Tom Darkenwald noted that it will be the largest building in the city.

Ruan is looking to move forward quickly with the project and hopes to have the facility ready to begin operating on Nov. 1.

“It’s full speed ahead for us on a staff level. We want to be able to accommodate them in any way we can,” Johnson told the council.

Also at the meeting, the council approved preliminary plans for the construction of 47 single-family homes.

The new two-story homes are planned to be built on 19 acres in Pleasant Creek Farms, north of 77th Street and east of Highway 19. The homes will range in size from 2,200 to 2,700 square feet and in price from the mid-$200,000s to the low $300,000s.

The previous owner had received approval for construction of 62 townhomes. However, as the economy declined, the project never got underway.

The new developer, K. Hovnanian Homes, plans to break ground this spring. Tom Bakritges, of K. Hovnanian Homes, has developed other housing additions in Otsego in the past.

“(Otsego) provides a good quality place to build houses. Quality houses. Families can get good value out here,” he told the council.

This new addition continues the trend of increased development in Otsego, which saw 184 single-family homes built in 2013.

In other matters, the council is accepting applications for seats on its Planning Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission, Heritage Preservation Commission and Police Commission. Applications are available at http://www.ci.otsego.mn.us and are due by 4:30 p.m. Feb. 4.