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Redevelopment Authority approves incentives for new Superior funeral home

Tax increment will cover the cost of $300,000 in incentives to reimburse Lake Superior Capital Holdings for site improvements.

Lake Superior Funeral Home rendering.png
A rendering by LHB shows the foyer of the new funeral home planned by Lake Superior Funeral Homes, complete with a fireplace. Doors to a reception hall are in the background.
Contributed / Jeff Cushman
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SUPERIOR — The Redevelopment Authority for the city of Superior reached an agreement with Lake Superior Capital Holdings on Tuesday, Dec. 6, for construction of a new funeral home at North 34th Street and Henry Cohen Drive.

The limited liability company was formed earlier this year by Lake Superior Funeral Homes owner Jeff Cushman for the purpose of building the new facility. Cushman operates as Downs Funeral Home.

Under the terms of the agreement, construction of the funeral home will take place in 2023 and offers about $300,000 in incentives for site improvements paid out over 14 years, said Jason Serck, Superior's economic development, port and planning director.

The annual payments will come from tax increment collected by the city to cover costs incurred by Lake Superior Capital Holdings for site preparation; underground utilities and foundations; stormwater drainage; and above ground infrastructure like sidewalks, parking, and curb and gutter.

Cushman is planning to build a new 11,400-square-foot funeral home with a chapel and reception hall at an estimated cost of $4.2 million.

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As soon as the permit for wetlands comes through, Cushman said work will begin to clear the land, hopefully over the winter, so construction can begin as soon as the frost leaves the ground. His plan is to start construction in April with a target date for moving into the new facility of Oct. 1, 2023.

Serck said the timeline in the development agreement is a little different from Cushman’s plan to provide leeway for the start and completion of the new facility.

The Superior City Council will consider the agreement when it meets Dec. 20, at the same time it considers creating a new tax increment district for housing, commercial and manufacturing development in the area around the new funeral home.

The rendering created by LHB shows the new funeral home and grounds in the area of North 34th Street and Henry Cohen Drive.
The rendering created by LHB shows the new funeral home and grounds in the area of North 34th Street and Henry Cohen Drive. Plans by the owners of Downs Funeral Home include parking for about 120 vehicles and an area where military honors can be bestowed adjacent to the building. Construction is expected to begin in April 2023.
Contributed / Jeff Cushman

Shelley Nelson is a reporter with the Duluth Media Group since 1997, and has covered Superior and Douglas County communities and government for the Duluth News Tribune from 1999 to 2006, and the Superior Telegram since 2006. Contact her at 715-395-5022 or snelson@superiortelegram.com.
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