Fifth & Water Street Redevelopment / Northfield Liquor Store Reconstruction
Overview of the redevelopment
More than a liquor store
The City Council intends to redevelop the 5th and Water street area where the existing liquor store sits to a mixed-use, multi-story complex to house the new Northfield Liquor Store and other complementary amenities for private and public uses.
Gateway to Downtown
This redevelopment site provides an opportunity to establish an attractive, expanded gateway into Downtown that capitalizes on the location adjacent to the historic district, Bridge Square redevelopment and riverfront redevelopment.
- 116 Fifth Street West (Northfield Liquor Store; city-owned)
- 411 Water Street (Ameriprise building; purchased)
- 115 Fifth Street West (Northfield News building; purchased)
- 112 Fifth Street West (Reese, Winter & Associates building; negotiating purchase)
On March 22, 2022 the Northfield City Council approved the purchase of the Ameriprise and Northfield News properties. The Council also approved a temporary agreement for exclusive negotiations for the purchase of the Reese, Winter & Associates building next to the current liquor store.
This is an estimated timeline. Dates are subject to change.
- 2022 property acquisition, project scoping, conceptual design, private partner selection
- 2023 prepare for construction
- 2023 temporarily relocate liquor store to 115 5th Street West (Northfield News building)
- Spring 2024 begin construction
- Fall 2025 complete construction
- Fall 2026 occupy building; move liquor store back to its permanent location
Potential uses for the mixed-use, multi-story complex
Besides housing a newly constructed Northfield Liquor Store with customer parking, the mixed-use, multi-story complex could house complementary businesses and amenities for private and public uses. Depending on community input, site capacity, money, and other factors, these are some of the possibilities:
- Public restrooms
- Shared meeting room or tasting room
- Hospitality such as restaurant or banquet
- Residential: owner occupied or rental
- Commercial offices
- Parking: surface or structured
- Public green space
You will have multiple opportunities throughout the project to give input. This redevelopment project gives the city and the public a unique opportunity to lead the development rather than a private developer to lead the development.
Once the City Council selects a developer, city staff will work with the developer on a community engagement process.
Along with an ample community engagement process, the City Council will need to approve several steps along the way with most steps allowing for public comment.
Have ideas on what you would like to see?
Fitting in with the surrounding historic area
Regardless of whatever businesses or amenities occupy the complex, this redevelopment provides an opportunity to honor the heritage and historic architecture in the area. The city’s Comprehensive Plan establishes a high value on quality design. We will have professional designers consider the surrounding context of the cityscape of buildings and surroundings.
These redevelopment site is not in the historic district nor have any official historic designations. However, the Heritage Preservation Commission will review design concepts and plans, which is required with properties immediately adjacent to the historic district.
We want to maximize development for the site and consider the street level to enhance the pedestrian experience and feel of this unique place as well.
City code requires a minimum of a 2-story building. The building could be 3 or 4 stories depending on height limits. We have the option to apply for a conditional use permit to go above the height limits.
New opportunity for the Northfield Liquor Store
History of the liquor store location
The City has been exploring a solution for the Northfield Liquor Store more than 20 years to better serve its customers and community. We found discussions in City Council meeting minutes contemplating relocation as far back as the 1960s.
After comprehensively exploring sites across the city, completing multiple studies and analyses, and years of thought, we’ve got a solution right where we are and look forward to moving this forward.
Need for a new liquor store
There are many deficiencies with the existing facility. One in particular is its limited accessibility. The upper floor area requires going up stairs and the lack of overall space makes it hard to maneuver narrow aisles. We need to serve all in our community; those who use wheelchairs or have limited mobility.
During construction, the Northfield Liquor Store will temporary move across the street to the former Northfield News building at 115 5th Street West. It will operate while normally while in its temporary location. When construction is complete, the Northfield Liquor Store will move back to anchor the newly constructed redevelopment site.
Connecting our goals and plans
This project meets a number of strategic priorities of the city’s strategic plan including economic vitality, quality facilities and service excellence. This includes maximizing redevelopment opportunities in the urban edge that encourages a more integrated relationship between the downtown and the river.
The project also checks off a number of objectives from different plans, such as the 2008 Comprehensive Plan, Riverfront Action Plan, Downtown Streetscape Framework Plan and the mission statement.
- “Old Northfield” including the downtown core…will define Northfields character
- Mixed use centers will be compatible in scale and character to surrounding uses and develop in a form that reflects “Old Northfield”, including such elements as building mass, placement and orientation to the street.
- The Cannon River is a defining natural feature of Northfield and the City will commit to protecting and enhancing the river corridor wen development, redevelopment, or intensification occurs. The corridor will be integrated in development, redevelopment or land intensification to create high quality public spaces that connect people to the river.
- The preference for accommodating infill first then redevelopment.
Incorporate “park once” site design requirements in areas called for mixed use. Improve walking and biking travel patterns through improving existing connections to the Northfield trail system improved street crossings and foot bridges.
- “…providing excellent, innovative municipal services…”
We’ve maximized the space and we have great employees providing excellent services. However, this facility is well past its useful time and isn’t serving all.
Riverfront Action Plan
- “The urban edge encourages a more integrated relationship between the river and downtown.”
- “With building uses spilling out onto the water’s edge, the Riverwalk has the potential to become a world class riverfront experience.”
Downtown Streetscape Framework Plan
- Reinforce a positive, genuine character.
- Design a hierarchy of streetscape elements.
- “String of Pearls” concept identifies a series of focal points or pearls in the streetscape.
- Improve the gateway experience into downtown.