Sluggish sales prompt Princeton to discount business lots

$1 plus cost of assessment buys an acre in Aero Industrial Park

The Princeton City Council decided at its last meeting to offer for sale the lots in Aero Business Park for $1 plus the cost of assessments.  Photo by Debbie Griffin,  Union-Times
The Princeton City Council decided at its last meeting to offer for sale the lots in Aero Business Park for $1 plus the cost of assessments. Photo by Debbie Griffin,
Union-Times

PRINCETON – The Princeton City Council agreed at its Nov. 10 meeting to reduce the purchase price of six city-owned lots located in the Aero Business Park to $1 each plus the cost of whatever assessments may be attached to the property from when the city extended sewer and water infrastructure to that area.
One lot on the corner of First Street and 21st Avenue N consists of 2 acres, and the rest are 1 acre; all the lots are zoned as B3, general business.
Community Development Director Jolene Foss said at the meeting that the discount would be offered as an incentive to developers looking for land.
“We haven’t seen a lot of interest in development out there,” Foss said.
Foss said there would be some requirements attached to any of the lots sold for $1. For example, a person could not buy the land and then leave it undeveloped; the city would be looking for development to happen within a certain time frame, perhaps a year. The time frame and other requirements have not yet been determined.
Foss mentioned to the council the possibility of changing the zoning of the six lots to a mixed-use designation that would possibly allow for some types of residential in the area, too. The council members agreed that the planning commission could research the benefits of allowing mixed-use development in the Aero Business Park.
One of the reasons to rezone the property, Foss said, would be to prompt new business development including mixed use, which generally allows for housing variety, reduced travel distances and more compact neighborhoods. A mixed-use zoning designation would allow, for example, retail business on a first floor and condominium-style living on a second floor. She said another potential benefit to developers of land is the fact that the Princeton Police and Fire complex is located adjacent to the developable land.
The council discussed the assessments attached to the property, listed in tax records as an annual total for the entire property, which in 2016 was about $12,000. Foss said the city has been paying down the assessments each year since Aero Business Park was established 12 years ago, but she would have to figure out the current individual assessment amount for each site. She said any developers interested in the property deals should contact her at City Hall.