May 17, 2022

Botu Linum

The Car & Automotive Devotees

St. Joseph closer to developing former downtown gas station site

2 min read

ST. JOSEPH — A downtown St. Joseph property is another step closer to being reinvented after the city’s Economic Development Authority was awarded a grant to investigate whether the property is contaminated.

The 13 Second Ave. NW location was most recently a gas station and auto service shop, but the EDA’s hopes are for it to become a restaurant or something similar, said City of St. Joseph Community Development Director Nate Keller.

“It’s been vacant for some years now, and the condition of the building is deteriorating,” Keller said. “And it’s on a very prime location — it’s right within the downtown … so it was identified as a high-priority redevelopment site for the city for some years.”

St. Joseph EDA was awarded $18,750 in investigation funding for the 0.14-acre site, according to a press release from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. According to DEED, the project is expected to create seven jobs and increase the tax base by almost $3,000. This grant is one of eight from DEED’s Containment Cleanup Grant Program, which together totaled $1.56 million in grant allocations.

According to Keller, the grant will cover 75% of the cost, while the remaining 25% will be split by the city and the property developer.

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The former gas station site at 13 Second Ave. NW is pictured Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, in St. Joseph.

A specific tenant has not been announced, and the city may be changing developers, Keller said, but it is still focused on a “restaurant-type of space” in that location.

The grant money will cover an assessment and an investigation; the first phase evaluates the historical use of the site, and the second would involve on-site sampling to determine whether contaminants exist.

“From there, we’ll have a better determination on how to proceed for redevelopment of that site,” Keller said.