Home News Duluth’s repeat effort to redevelop former Kozy Bar property falls flat – Duluth News Tribune

Duluth’s repeat effort to redevelop former Kozy Bar property falls flat – Duluth News Tribune

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DULUTH — The request for proposal to renovate the buildings of Pastoret Terrace and Paul Robeson Ballroom, formerly home to Kozy Bar & Apartments, received only one answer and did not pass consultation with the Duluth Economic Development Authority.

On Wednesday, the Commissioner voted 4-0 to reject its only proposal from Bedrock-Flint Inc.

“It was considered infeasible. Basically, it didn’t contain all the elements we needed,” said Chris Freej, director of planning and economic development in Duluth. Told. He explained that the Duluth-based masonry business proposed repairing the façade of the building, but failed to meet other historic preservation standards.

Since 2018, the city has been involved in a court battle over what will happen to the building. The proceedings confronted the current owner, DEDA, with former owners Eric Ringsred and a group of conservationists called Respect Starts Here. Ringsred has been accused of losing ownership of the building in a series of fires dating back to 2010. Ringsred is not insured for real estate, is lagging behind taxes, and eventually saw the building fall into tax confiscation.

Kozy Bar & Apartments has been accused of human settlement since the fire caused serious damage to the building late at night on November 15, 2010.

Bob King / File / Duluth News Tribune

The city issued a second request for proposal for redevelopment in 2016 and 2017, with only three responses and none considered appropriate or feasible.

DEDA then began to move towards the demolition of fire-damaged buildings until civil lawsuits blocked those plans. Initially, the city won the district court and received a go-ahead to destroy the structure. However, the Minnesota Court of Appeals could not carry out due diligence when citing the historical value of the building and considering a proposal by local officials to restore the Pastore Terrace building designed by Oliver Trafagen in 1887. Admitting that, he overturned that decision.

The court returned the case to Judge Eric Hilden for a retrial in August 2020 and told DEDA “all maintenance and repairs necessary to prevent further deterioration of the property until further court proceedings were taken. I ordered to do. “

November 2020, still

Another fire

Occurred in a property and disappeared.

File: Kozy fire 2020
Duluth firefighters will be on fire on November 1, 2020 at Pastart Terrace, once home to Kozy Barand Apartments.

Steve Kuchera / File / Duluth News Tribune

When he began attempting a second incident, Hilden ordered DEDA to reinforce the Façade of Pastert Terrace to prevent the outward collapse of the structure. However, the requirement is that the plaintiff has to invest a $ 140,299 deposit to cover the construction costs, allowing the city to repay the case if it wins.

Plaintiffs have never been able to do so, and the building remains essentially as it is.

Fleege explained why the city issued yet another RFP in March of this year, but the proceedings are still underway.

“It was really to assess if there were viable options for historic refurbishment,” he said.

Pastoret terrace
Oliver Trafagen designed the six townhouses that make up the Pastore Terrace in Romanesque Revival style architecture. This is essentially the “trademark look” of the Duluth building.

Contribution / Duluth Public Library

According to Fleege, the RFP was published and emailed directly to more than 700 registered developers. The initial proposal deadline was April 21st, but that deadline was extended by another month and was of little use.

The city’s aide, Bob Athlesson, said he was not particularly surprised that he was not interested in the historic redevelopment of the damaged assets.

“Obviously, if someone who hadn’t been contacted before came out and said,’Hey, I have a great idea and money to pay for it,’ we would have received it. But in essence, that was our expectation that no one would. ” Nonetheless, Asleson suggested that a repeated RFP should help show the court the city’s ongoing and fruitless efforts to see the historic restored building.

Hilden will hear testimony about the condition of the building on July 5th and 6th and will be sentenced later this year.

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