Burleigh Property

The city property located at Fourth and Burleigh in southeastern Yankton.

A long-empty tract of land in the southeast corner of Fourth St. and Burleigh St. in Yankton may soon be developed.

During its regular meeting Monday evening, the City Commission voted 7-0 to approve a $90,629.13 purchase agreement with Yankton Area Progressive Growth (YAPG) for 2.7 acres of land known as “Block 69.”

Community and Economic Development Director Dave Mingo said the property has been looked at a few times over the years with little success.

“It’s been cleaned up for some time,” Mingo said. “We’ve been marketing it, both actively and passively, over the years, welcome at any time to receive proposals. There’s been several different proposals on the site that have not come to fruition for one reason or another.”

While few details were given about the nature of the development, renderings included in the packet for Monday night’s meeting show at least four single-story buildings surrounding a central parking lot.

Mingo said it would be a multi-phased development.

“What this agreement does, if approved, it would have the City Commission transfer the property to Yankton Area Progressive Growth, which would provide the opportunity for the third-party that’s eventually going to own it to do due diligence in the investigation they need to do on the site prior to making a final commitment for acquisition,” he said. “The city would have all of its tools available to it as far as claw-back provisions as we do with typical land sales.”

Development would need to occur on a regular basis, or the city would have the ability to take back portions of or all of the property.

The decision for the third party to purchase must be made by June 1 with the stipulation that the development of the first phase must begin by June 1, 2022.

While many large-scale commercial developments have involved tax-increment financing or some other incentives recently, Mingo said that this development would not be among them.

During the discussion, Mayor Nathan Johnson addressed a persistent rumor that he’d been hearing about another potential development on that property.

“One thing I keep seeing coming up in conversations, especially online, is that Fareway wanted to go here and wanted to build a grocery store on this property and the city denied them that opportunity,” Johnson said.

City Manager Amy Leon said that this is false, even though there have been general discussions with Fareway in the past.

“Fareway Foods has been the interest of a lot of people in the community over a lot of years,” Leon said. “The last conversation that I had with them is that we’re always open — like we would with any entity looking to coming to our community — to looking at buyable properties that we own or that are owned by private individuals should they want to locate in our community.”

She said that there may even be some future developments to watch.

“They know about us; in fact, we are on their radar,” she said. “They expressed to us the last time we spoke to them that they keep an eye on us. Chains know when they can make money somewhere.”

Commissioners Mason Schramm and Stephanie Moser were both absent during Monday’s meeting.  

In other business Monday, the commission:

• Heard an update from YAPG CEO Nancy Wenande on some of the positive developments in the community throughout the past year.

• Approved the purchase of a vehicle and some vehicle accessories.

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