France Avenue Business Park IV 401 Lake Breeze Av. N., Brooklyn Center

Type: Office/warehouse Size: 91,800 square feet

Lot: 8.67 acres Developer: Real Estate Recycling

Details: The Brooklyn Center City Council is set to consider approval for a new, 90,000-square-foot office/warehouse building that Minneapolis-based Real Estate Recycling is proposing for a once-contaminated site.

The council will hold a public hearing Monday on whether to rezone the site to a planned unit development, which would permit construction of the facility within the company's France Avenue Business Park at Hwy. 100 and France Avenue N.

The proposed building would be the fourth at the business park, which was once a heavily polluted Superfund site that for many years was the home of the Joslyn Manufacturing and Supply Co. Decades of dumping sludge and wastewater into pits and ponds on the property contaminated the groundwater.

Real Estate Recycling redeveloped the site in three stages starting in 1999. Those buildings now house a Wickes Furniture distribution center, Baker Furniture Manufacturing Co., MTI Distributing (a subsidiary of Toro), and Caribou Coffee Co. headquarters, where coffee beans are roasted and stored.

The latest addition would be to the south of the other buildings and is not part of the former Superfund site. A Northwest Racquet & Tennis Club that was built there in the 1980s was purchased by Life Time Fitness Corp. and demolished in 2006.

City officials say Real Estate Recycling has a purchase agreement with the company to acquire the site, which is contaminated with fill (probably from the construction of Hwy. 100) and asbestos paint materials from the former tennis courts.

Real Estate Recycling partner Paul Hyde says that he has a pair of unnamed tenants lined up for the new building. If approved, the space will come online at a time when demand is high and supplies tight for new, modern warehouse space with high ceilings that's located near the urban core.

Hyde, who has worked to redevelop several contaminated sites in the Twin Cities since the 1990s, said that he's applied for $1.5 million in cleanup grants from the state, the Metropolitan Council and Hennepin County.


Don Jacobson, a freelance writer based in St. Paul, can be contacted at