Wal-mart completes land deal

Walmart has taken another step towards becoming a reality in Princeton.

Thousand Acres Development and the Wal-Mart Real Estate Business Trust completed a $2.68 million land deal on Friday, April 6 designed to bring a new 121,000 square foot retail store to the Rivertown Crossing development, located immediately west of Highway 169 and south of Highway 95 on the west side of Princeton.

On Monday, St. Paul-based Shaw-Lundquist Associates was named as the general contractor on the project, city officials confirmed.

The deal closed April 6 and all funds have been deposited in the bank, confirmed real estate agent Dylan Howard, son of Dan Howard , who with Jack Gracik owns Thousand Acres Development.

“Everything’s done, 100 percent,” Dylan Howard said.

Plats and warrant deeds were filed with the Mille Lacs County Land Services Office, according to Michele McPherson, Mille Lacs County Land Services director.

As a matter of fact, two warranty deeds were filed that transfer land ownership related to the project.

The first was a transfer from Hatch Properties granting the land to Thousand Acres Development for $426,000.

The second was a general warranty deed transferring the land from Thousand Acres Development to the Wal-Mart Real Estate Business Trust for $2.68 million. Taxes of $8,851 were paid on that land transaction, McPherson said.

Among the paperwork filed April 6 at the county was an access agreement, a development agreement, and a release of land between the city of Princeton and the Wal-Mart Real Estate Business Trust, McPherson said.

The access easement lays out rights for the installation of sanitary sewer and a lift station that will service the proposed retail store. The development agreement lays out the terms and conditions of agreements between the city and retail development company. The land release allows for the release of some land from a previous developers’ agreement, McPherson said.

The land transfer brings to an end Dan and Dylan Howard and Jack Gracik’s efforts to bring Wal-Mart to Princeton.

Five years ago, in 2007, Thousand Acres Development had an agreement in place to bring a Walmart store to the Rivertown Crossing development, but those plans eventually fell through, Dylan Howard said.

The latest effort to lure Wal-Mart to Princeton began about 1 1/2 years ago, said Howard, who noted that it is very nice to have a deal done.

“We’re excited to see Princeton grow again,” Howard said.

“We continue to have a vested interest in the community and we hope this brings good things,” he said.