Long-empty Cottage Grove building may finally see new life
COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. -- After years of sitting empty, The Rush Nightclub building in Cottage Grove is up to date after more than $300,000 in overdue property taxes were paid and redevelopment plans are being discussed. The $342,902 tax bill in Wa...
COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. -- After years of sitting empty, The Rush Nightclub building in Cottage Grove is up to date after more than $300,000 in overdue property taxes were paid and redevelopment plans are being discussed.
The $342,902 tax bill in Washington County was paid in full Wednesday - one day before the deadline - by third party entity Premier Storage on behalf of property owner Entertainment Concepts, under the premise that Premier Storage is going to redevelop the former dance hall.
Community Development Director Jennifer Levitt said early discussions point to a higher-end storage facility similar to what is being constructed on the south end of West Point Douglas Road.
“At this point, there has been talk of trying to integrate the (existing) building into the design, with obviously some exterior improvements,” she said. “Obviously the developer is well aware of our design standards and has indicated he as every intention of conforming.”
Levitt said the facility would be one where owners of storage units would have to drive into the building to access their units. No doors would be visible from the outside.
It’s likely the redevelopment would be a phased project, Levitt said, and that once complete it would be more of a “showroom-type of style” along with some “storage-type elements.”
City officials are meeting with Premier Storage representatives Monday to discuss the plans in more detail, but Levitt said the developer has indicated an “aggressive” development schedule.
The former roller rink turned dance club was shuttered in 2007 and fell into disrepair. Burst water pipes, a gaping hole in the roof, exposed electrical work and extensive mold growth, among other safety concerns, were found during an inspection earlier this year and forced the city to condemn the property. The city took legal action against The Rush Nightclub’s owner and threatened to abate the property if it was not repaired.
Work got under way shortly after, and Levitt said since then the majority of the immediate health and safety issues on the interior have been remedied.
Prior to to this year, only one building permit had been pulled by the Rush’s owner, and minimal upkeep was conducted throughout the years. And property taxes, along with safety risks, accumulated.
Jennifer Wagenius, director of Washington County’s property records and taxpayer services, said about $89,000 of the total tax bill was interest and other penalties and fees, and the back taxes went unpaid since 2012.
Mayor Myron Bailey said the county has been working with Premier Storage to get a payment plan in place, but said the decision to pay in full “was pretty cool.”
“This is definitely a good thing,” Bailey said. “It’s good news to one, get the tax piece taken care of, and two, we’re going to get a new development out of it, which will be a big shot in a positive way to that area.”