Late last year, reports started to surface that Kathy Cargill, the wife of James R. Cargill II who is one of the 12 heirs to the Cargill fortune and is worth an estimated $5 billion according to Forbes, was beginning to purchase properties on Duluth's Park Point.

People began to question the motive behind these purchases and what that would mean to the future of Park Point.

Now, as spring approaches, there are still no answers from anyone in the Cargill family, and agents acting on behalf of the Cargill family are continuing to acquire property on Park Point at a pace that is making both residents and city leaders uneasy.

Over 20 Park Point properties have reportedly been sold to the Cargills. On Tuesday, Duluth Mayor Reinert posted a video on social media to address the purchases and concerns they have aroused.

Reindert, who has lived on Park Point and is still a member of the Park Point Community Club, says he has been following the Cargill purchases, and because the plans for these properties are unknown, he is concerned and is working to get answers and protect the area.

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Along with the video, his post on Facebook also stressed four specific points:

  1. In February, Mayor Reinert sent a letter to Ms Cargill urging her to speak meet with him about her plans. He has yet to receive any reply to that letter so he intends to send another that he plans on having co-signed by City Councilors. The letter will stress to Kathy Cargill that communicating her intent to the city and the area residents would go a long way in easing minds.
  2. He pointed out that in many cases, these homes were being purchased at well over market value. While it's perfectly legal for homeowners to sell to whomever they want for whatever price, they can also always choose NOT to sell their property.
  3. He's also asked the City Attorney for other actions the community might take. They are investigating zoning and other regulations that would apply to future construction and also address future demolitions.
  4. Lastly, Mayor Reinert wanted to stress to the public that no matter who owns the adjacent properties Park Point's beach will remain public, as will the street-end beach access points. To the point, "public access to Lake Superior is not going anywhere."

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Time will tell what becomes the Mayor's request for a meeting with Kathy Cargill and with these Park Point purchases. Hopefully, for all parties, there will be some clarity sooner than later.

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