Albany City Manager Wes Hare has signed an infrastructure funding agreement with the Perlenfein family that brings the city one step closer to getting a Lowe’s home improvement store at the southeast corner of Oak Street and Ninth Avenue.
Hare signed the papers Wednesday at American Title Co. Under the contract, the city agrees to pay the Perlenfeins $1.6 million for the right-of-way needed to extend Oak Street to Pacific Boulevard. The property contains the party store, which is in the way of the punch through. The Perlenfeins are responsible for demolishing the store.
Hare believes Lowe’s has or is about to sign a contract with the Perlenfiens, the Conser family and others for the 12-acre building site.
Lowe’s has said it intends to construct a 125,601-square-foot store with a 31,544-square-foot garden area. Under the agreement, the center must be built no later than 2014.
The next step is for the city to complete the design of the Oak Street extension and the improvements to be made on Oak from Ninth to Queen Avenue, said Public Works Director Mark Shepard. “We anticipate going out to bid by next spring and complete the work in the fall of 2012.”
The total cost of the right of way and improvements on Oak to Queen that include curbs, sidewalks, storm drains and water lines is a little more than $5 million, he said.
Lowe’s will pay about $700,000 of the improvement costs with the city responsible for the rest.
About $313,000 will come from the parks and recreation department’s assessment for nearby Kinder Park; $3.5 million from transportation system development fees; $247,000 from the water capital fund and another $280,000 from a source not yet identified.
Getting to this point has taken about three years.
“This is a project the council had voted to support some time ago, and it will bring a significant new business to town. Obviously, that’s a positive thing,” Hare said Thursday.
Last December, the city council voted unanimously to step back from further project design work after Hare told the panel Lowe’s had not reached an infrastructure agreement with the city after months of negotiating, nor had it signed a purchase contract with property owners.
Another problem developed when Lowe’s cleared local land-use hurdles only to learn state and federal wetlands problems had developed.
A wetland location and mitigation study done earlier had expired and a new one had to be done.
All of those issues are resolved.