A sign that the economic recovery is still dragging along here in the exurbs came front and center Tuesday night as City of St. Michael staff revealed a deal to redevelop the Cinemagic movie theater site fell through last week.
City Administrator Bob Derus touched on the matter initially, saying the signs of an economic recovery are there, but development is just hard to move along.
"The news of the Cinemagic deal falling through was very disheartening," he told the city council at its regular meeting Monday night.
After the meeting, Community Development Director Marc Weigle said he still wouldn't tell media outlets who the potential buyer was, but that he had been told by both the potential developer and broker Wayne Elam that the deal was dead on arrival.
"Really, it was the construction cost to remodel the existing structure, and any bids that they had received to add on to the current building," Weigle said. "They just felt the bids they had in hand were way too high, and that the soil on the eastern side, where they wanted to expand, would be a problem."
Weigle said he learned that the buyer was walking away from the deal late last week.
"I think the Best Buy situation [closing in Rogers], which happened during their due diligence period, really made them re-examine this market. I think they're focusing on the inner ring [suburbs] right now, which is where a lot of people are at when it comes to development," Weigle said. "It's too bad. I don't think it was someone that was going to 'Wow' everybody, but it was something that would have fit our community and that location very well."
Weigle said he was going to honor the firm's request not to release a brand name, on the odd chance the firm makes another attempt to bid out construction costs late this season or next season.
"They could try it again. Maybe. You just never know. I think in a few weeks they may make some sort of announcement as to who it was," Weigle said.