Princeton is getting additional funds to connect two industrial parks on the west side of the city.
A grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development was expanded to include additional money for a connection between 19th Avenue and 21st Street.
The grant originally was worth $310,000, with the city providing matching funds of $330,000 to extend infrastructure to the end of Sylva Corporation’s recently acquired property north of its facility.
“We were able to then apply for further funding to complete the connection,” Community Development Manager Stephanie Hillesheim said.
The total funding for the project is now $575,000 in grant money with the city paying $625,000. The total cost is $1.2 million.
To get the grant, the city needed a corporate sponsor, but the sponsor doesn’t pay for the infrastructure improvements. Instead the sponsor has to be a private entity intending to invest in the property that benefits from the improvements, according to Hillesheim.
The money comes from the Greater Minnesota Business Development Public Infrastructure Program, overseen by DEED. The goal of the program is to help stimulate new economic development through investments in public infrastructure, according to DEED’s website.
The extension of 19th Avenue will allow for the establishment of a buildable lot for Sylva Corporation north of its current facility, according to city documents.
Currently the land is considered an outlot because there is no street access. To extend the needed infrastructure to improve the lots will cost an estimated $643,000, according to a BDPI application filed by the city.
On Sylva’s side, the expansion is expected to include a 7,000-to-15,000-square-foot building that will support the addition of a new product developed by the company. Sylva plans to create a new soil enhancer used in potting and planting soils, according to the application.
In addition Northwoods Finishing, Inc. is looking to expand its operations by moving its headquarters to the intersection of 21st Avenue and First Street.
The new headquarters is expected to be a 50,000-square-foot facility, double its current location. The estimated cost of the project is $3.5 million in site improvements and machinery, according to the BDPI application.
Between Sylva and Northwoods, Princeton expects to see just over $5.4 million in private investments in the five years following the completion of the project, according to the application. The city anticipates a total of 265 jobs to be created or retained by the project in the first five years.
Princeton is hoping the project will be moving by the end of the year, but it could take until next spring to sort through the various regulations that come from building next to an airport, Hillesheim said.