Proposed fertilizer plant near Grand Forks foregoes public funding for land purchase
A company planning a $1.5 billion fertilizer plant near Grand Forks is no longer seeking a city loan to help buy land for the facility.
Northern Plains Nitrogen had planned to come to the Jobs Development Authority Monday with a request for a $250,000 loan to help buy 320 acres northwest of the city where the facility would be constructed. But a company representative said earlier Monday that they instead planned on funding the land purchase themselves.
"We won't ask them for this loan at this time," said Darin Anderson, president of Northern Plains Nitrogen. "Financially, it just ended up being a better decision."
Anderson said the company found other funding sources "that weren't available a couple of months ago" to make the internal financing possible.
The city's Growth Fund Committee recommended approving the loan request Oct. 9, and Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp. Vice President Keith Lund said they found out the request wouldn't go forward last week.
The company will also forego a North Dakota Development Fund loan of $250,000 and an $850,000 bank loan, Anderson said. Both the city and the state loans carried a 6.25 percent interest rate, while the bank loan was projected to be 4 percent, according to a city staff report.
Anderson added that Northern Plains still plans on closing on the $1.7 million land purchase by the end of the year. The company hopes to break ground in 2015 and start production in 2017.
Corporate Center lease
The JDA unanimously approved a lease agreement with public accounting firm Brady, Martz & Associates to expand their offices into the Corporate Center II building Monday. That will bring the two city-owned buildings to full occupancy for the first time in their 14-year history.
Brady already leases about 23,000 square feet in the Corporate Center I building, and will continue to do so. The extra 5,000 square feet, which Brady will lease at $8 per square foot, will accommodate growth in the company.
The twin Corporate Center buildings, which sit in the 400 block of DeMers Avenue and are connected by a skyway, were built with the help of federal funds after the 1997 flood. The Corporate Center I building, which houses Alerus Financial; Camrud, Maddock, Olson & Larson; and Brady, Martz & Associates, has been full since it opened.
Parts of the second building, however, have been vacant for years.
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