Former Duluth Councilor Speaks Out Against ‘Lincoln Park Flats’ Partial Hotel Conversion

DULUTH, MINN. — Former Duluth city councilor Joel Sipress says the news that P&R Properties plans to convert 24 rental units into hotel rooms at Lincoln Park Flats did not please him.

“I voted for this with every expectation that what the development agreement called for is what would happen. And I am very disappointed and in fact, appalled that that that is not happening,” Sipress told FOX 21 Wednesday.

Sipress said when the development agreement between the city and the developer was signed the intention was to help improve the housing situation in Duluth. The agreement specified that Lincoln Park Flats would have “not less than 74 apartment units.”

The announcement on Tuesday by P&R Properties said it would convert the second floor of the building to a Boutique Hotel caught him by surprise.

“It’s bad enough that we’re losing 24 apartments, what’s worse is we’re losing 24 apartments that the taxpayers of Duluth are helping to finance,” Sipress explained.

On Wednesday, Duluth Mayor Emily Larson said the city is reviewing the development agreement to determine if the developer is meeting all the clauses of the agreement.

“If for some reason that clause in the development agreement is not legally enforceable, we need to make sure that in the future we write these development agreements in such a way that this can never happen again,” Sipress said.

P&R Properties said the addition of the hotel rooms would offer some financial flexibility and stability at the property. Click here for the company’s press release on the issue.



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