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BEDA seeks ideas for south shore

Bemidji elected officials, seeking a more open process for development along the Lake Bemidji south shore, did not take action on a proposal for development.

Instead, the Bemidji Economic Development Authority, composed of city councilors, decided to direct staff to develop a Request for Proposals.

The RFP will ask developers to submit ideas for the entire south shore redevelopment area - and also invite ideas for the redevelopment of the former Minnesota Department of Transportation site along Paul Bunyan Drive South/state Highway 197.

The BEDA met in a closed session Monday evening to discuss the potential sale of land.

"Their desire is to have a more open process and open up the process," said City Attorney Al Felix following the closed session.

The closed session followed a public hearing on the proposed sale of land that includes the Nymore Beach area. The land now set to be sold does not include the boat launch.

No one addressed the council during the public hearing, after which the BEDA voted to approve the land sale of 2.14 acres to the Edgewater Group, which includes Rich Siegert, the owner and operator of the Hampton Inn & Suites.

The Edgewater Group plans to use the developable land to either expand the Hampton Inn and Green Mill businesses, construct a new hotel or construct a new restaurant, according to BEDA documents.

The agreement states that the current Nymore Beach must be continued to be used as a public beach for five years or until the new Nymore Beach is completed further east.

The city plans to construct an expanded and enhanced Nymore Beach area east of the existing beach as part of the public land included in the south shore redevelopment.

The BEDA has negotiated to sell the land for $650,000 with $575,000 in cash and $75,000 as in-kind consideration for the continued five-year use of Nymore Beach.