Developers unveil vision for Duluth bayfront siteby Bob Kelleher, Minnesota Public Radio
Duluth, Minn. — A set of Duluth waterfront concrete storage elevators could become a modern hotel with condominiums and retail space, if a plan revealed this week becomes reality.
The project would be developed on a pier close to Duluth's Bayfront Festival Park. Investors hope to build pedestrian bridges over two boat slips. A parking ramp would be placed in one of the slips, topped with several feet of water for kayaking, canoeing and ice skating.
Development partner Sandy Hoff said the core project would be privately financed, but a tax increment financing district could be created to pay for some public portions.
"There's so much public infrastructure that has to occur in terms of utility, and re-routing roads into the site ... that we're going to need a [tax increment financing] district to make this successful," Hoff said.
Hoff said the project planning is still in the early stages.
"We still need cooperation and/or a working relationship with the Corps of Engineers, the DNR, the MPCA," Hoff said. "We still have all of that in front of us. We've had initial conversations with many of those organizations, and I think they are equally as excited about doing something special on the waterfront, but those details still have to be taken care of."
Developers say the project could cost up to $75 million, and be underway on early 2012.