BROOKINGS – The Old Armory is back in the spotlight as the Brookings City Council on Tuesday considers two proposals to redevelop the historic building.
One option from CD Properties is to turn the armory into apartments and retail and professional office space, while the other from Linchpin Corporation calls for the armory to be turned into a restaurant, lounge and commercial space with a parking garage and boutique hotel attached to the armory’s west side.
The study session starts at 5 p.m. at the Brookings City & County Government Center and will include recertification of the Brookings Regional Airport and discussion on adaptive reuse/redevelopment of the Old Armory, located at 221 Main Ave.
The regular meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and will include possible action on Linchpin Corporation’s proposal, which is the recommendation of the Armory Review Team.
An executive session follows the regular meeting for purposes of consulting with legal counsel or reviewing communications from legal counsel.
The 1937 structure was constructed by the Works Progress Administration. In 2014-15, the parks department moved out of the Old Armory. In 2016, the council asked for and received proposals to redevelop the space as mixed use, combining residential and community space. The Old Armory was closed to public use in the fall of 2018 as a safety hazard.
The building has mold, asbestos and lead from being an old shooting range. The roof leaks every time it rains. Estimates for demolition, remediation of the mold, asbestos and lead, and for possible rehabilitation, have been sought in the past. The State Historical Preservation Office has been consulted about options.
“Over the course of four years, city staff, city council, Brookings Historic Preservation Commission, state Historical Preservation Office, and a task force have made recommendations and reports on the Armory,” according to a memo by Mike Struck, director of Community Development, which is attached to the agenda.
There are some financial considerations, according to Struck’s memo.
City initiated demolition is estimated at $333,933.
City initiated rehabilitation is estimated at $3,140,122.
An estimate of a developer-initiated project is to be determined based upon a negotiated development agreement.
The city council has the following options, according to Struck’s memo:
• Select CD Properties, Inc.’s proposal
• Select Linchpin Corporation’s proposal
• City demolition of the Armory
• City rehabilitates the Armory for gymnasium/community space
• Do nothing.
Back to the drawing board
The council has requested proposals before but has done more research recently.
“The City Council provided staff direction to determine cost estimates on building demolition and rehabilitation of the existing structure. Banner Associates conducted a building evaluation and provided updated cost estimates,” according to an attachment to the agenda available on the city’s website. “Upon completion of the Banner evaluation report, another attempt ensued to see if there was interest from the private sector for an adaptive reuse/redevelopment of the Armory. A letter of interest was issued by the city on Jan. 29, 2019,” according to the attachment.
“Four responses were received from the private sector. A Request for Qualifications was issued on June 25, 2019, and four responses were received. All four responders were invited to proceed to the Request for Proposal (RFP) phase, and two development teams submitted responses to the RFP,” according to the attachment.
“The Armory Review Team, consisting of city staff and members of the Brookings Historic Preservation Commission, interviewed the teams on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, 2019,” according to the attachment.
According to the attachments, the two proposals received were from CD Properties, Inc., represented by James Drew, president of Clark Drew Construction; and Linchpin Corporation, represented by Angela Boersma, president of Linchpin Corporation.
“CD Properties, Inc. submitted a concept whereby the exterior Armory structure would be restored as closely as possible to the original structure. A terrace would be added to the exterior to provide gathering space for tenants of the building. The interior would include modifications providing for 31 residential units (1 and 2 bedroom) along with office/commercial space available for lease,” according to the attachment.
The pictures included with CD Properties’ proposal show the restored Old Armory with much the same look in the same footprint, surrounded by a raised terrace in front and along the street side. The parking lot to the west remains public parking.
“Linchpin Corporation submitted a concept whereby the exterior Armory structure would be restored, and the interior modifications would consist of office/commercial space, meeting space, restaurant and lounge, and back of house operations for an attached hotel to the west of the existing Armory,” according to the attachment.
“The boutique hotel will consist of 63 rooms above a two-level parking garage with between 100 and 135 parking stalls, depending on final configuration. The proposal is a two-phase project with a total cost of approximately $15.7 million,” according to the attachment.
The pictures included with Linchpin’s proposal show a glass vestibule on the front of the restored Old Armory building, which then attaches to a four-level new structure that extends west and curves to the north.
The agenda also has two proclamations listed: one naming Dec. 3 as South Dakota Gives & Brookings Gives Day, and one for the Brookings Police Department Foundation.
There will be a quarterly update on the Brookings Marketplace Development.
The Brookings Fire Department will make a presentation on what’s happening with the department.
There are two first readings: one on an ordinance amending the zoning ordinance in the city for Planned Development Districts; and the other on an ordinance authorizing a supplemental appropriation to the 2019 budget.
Contact Jodelle Greiner at [email protected]