Despite being twice delayed, a new 15-story apartment building soon should be coming to Duluth's downtown skyline.
Adam Fulton, deputy director of Duluth's planning and economic development division, expressed optimism the project will be ready to go soon, beginning with the demolition of the Voyageur Lakewalk Inn, the former Hacienda Del Sol restaurant and a building that was formerly home to the First Oriental Grocery store.
"The City has been in close conversation with the development team on this project, and we anticipate they will be finalizing financing over the next few weeks. As far as next steps, we anticipate that demo, site prep, and construction will begin in the spring of 2020," he said Thursday.
Initially, Northstar Development Interests LLC was to have started work on a sleek glass-paneled apartment building in August of last year, but the Duluth Economic Development Authority twice amended a development agreement for the $75 million project, extending the deadline to commence work first to Dec. 31, 2019 and then to April 30 of this year.
Lakeview Tower at 333 E. Superior St. is expected to boast 204 apartments, with commercial space on the ground floor, perhaps even a grocery store.
The project involves Duluth-based Titanium Partners LLC and Madison-based Landmark Development. Brian Forcier, Titanium's managing partner, could not be reached for comment Thursday.
The development is expected to proceed with the help of $6.2 million in tax-increment financing — a form of subsidy that uses new property taxes generated by a project to cover certain qualifying development costs.