LONG LAKE — The old BP gas station building on Wayzata Boulevard is no more.
The gas station had been sitting vacant and in disarray for 8-10 years before the Long Lake Economic Development Authority (EDA) for the city of Long Lake authorized the purchase of the land on Feb. 19. The sale went through a few days after the authorization, City Clerk Jeanette Moeller told Lakeshore Weekly News.
The city paid $225,000 for the property, according to Long Lake City Administrator Scott Weske.
On Nov. 20, 2018, the Long Lake City Council discussed the purchase of the property after a closed-door EDA meeting on the topic. The council voted unanimously to direct staff to execute the purchase agreement recommended by the EDA.
The city followed a 90-day due diligence period that was included in the purchase agreement and the council voted unanimously to purchase the property at its Feb. 19 meeting.
The city demolished the standing buildings in the end of June in order to clean up the corner property. Moeller said for now, the plan for the site is to enjoy the new appearance of the area.
The city does not have a plan for the development of the site at this point but is seeking public input as to what should replace the old BP station, Moeller said. Interested residents can submit input for the land at 1905 Wayzata Blvd. W. and a piece of land next to city hall on Virginia Avenue through the city’s online survey at surveymonkey.com/r/D6MVJNH.
The building sat vacant for nearly a decade. Croix Oil, the group that owned the property, paid both property taxes and a vacant building fee as part of the city’s vacant building ordinance, Weske said. The property had been up for sale for many years, but Weske believes the cost of testing the soil for oil contamination, which can be very expensive, deterred any private buyers.
The city is currently testing the soil and removing some contaminated soil. The extent at which it removes soil will have to do with what ends up occupying the land. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency allows certain levels of contaminated soil for certain businesses and other uses of the property, Weske said.