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Quality One Woodwork gets $1 per acre deal

The Hastings City Council signed an agreement that gives Quality One Woodwork the option to purchase 1.8 acres of city property for $1 an acre within the next nine years.

The property is adjacent to the Hastings business's current location, 3005 Millard Ave. Quality One would use the lot to expand its business. Quality One is in the process of attempting to either purchase the property it currently occupies and expand the building or find a new location entirely. The plan would consolidate the business's Hastings and Ellsworth, Wis., locations.

The agreement approved by the council Tuesday evening gives Quality One the option of purchasing the 1.8-acre city lot at some point in the next five years, with two optional two-year extensions. The purchase deal is part of the city's land subsidy program, which provides land to businesses at $1 per acre in exchange for guaranteed jobs, wage and improvement values for five years following the purchase.

The city is offering the land subsidy as a way to encourage Quality One to stay in Hastings, rather than relocating elsewhere. The business currently employs about 100 people in the Hastings location.

"We're hopeful we can provide incentives for them to thrive and grow their business," Community Development Director John Hinzman told the council Tuesday.

The city is also prepared to establish a tax increment finance (TIF) district to help with the cost of expansion. Construction of the new, roughly 50,000-square-foot addition may not begin for another year or more, Hinzman said, and establishment of the TIF district would occur closer to the actual project.

Even though new development could be about five years off, the agreement signed Tuesday provides the assurance to Quality One that, when it is ready, it will have certain options available.