The city took one step toward its goal Tuesday night, while also helping Richfield Bloomington Honda do the same.
The Richfield City Council unanimously approved two resolutions and an ordinance allowing LaMettry’s Collision to move forward with relocating and rebuilding its facility. The project is a piece in a larger plan for Richfield Bloomington Honda to expand its business.
Honda has agreed to purchase the land LaMettry’s is currently on, providing the Richfield Housing and Redevelopment Authority agrees to sell the out-lot. The HRA has already expressed interest in selling the land to LaMettry’s and will vote at its meeting next Monday night.
Dealership owners have been planning an expansion for more than a year. In March 2011, representatives presented a redevelopment plan for the very lot LaMettry’s is proposing to move to. Commonly called the Candlewood out-lot, Honda proposed a mixed-use building with a coffee shop, an electric car showroom and service center for the property. At the time, the city was in talks with another developer for the site. Obviously, that development never happened.
According to Community Development Director John Stark, there are a few minor issues with the development plan as presented including some tree removal and a spacing issue on the front façade. However, Honda is working with staff to correct them.
While the plan is pretty run of the mill, city staff is dealing with a small problem regarding the access into the parking lot. Currently, the only access into the hotel lot is from 77th Street and will remain that way if the plan goes through. Staff worries the hotel will be less than pleased with a shared entrance and parking. Stark said there is some ambiguity in the map of the current parking agreement that staff is working to resolve. He hopes they’ll able to leverage a change in the agreement that would benefit Candlewood Suites.
The HRA will meet at 7 p.m. July 16 in the council chambers at Richfield City Hall and Municipal Center.