Hot property: Edina Medical Plaza

  • Article by: DON JACOBSON , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 6, 2012 - 6:36 AM
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Edina Medical Plaza

Photo: ., Edward Farr Architects Inc.

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Edina Medical Plaza 6500 France Av. S., Edina

Type: Medical office Size: 102,406 square feet

Height: Six stories Developer: Mount Properties

After rejecting an initial proposal, the Edina Planning Commission has unanimously approved the preliminary plans and rezonings necessary for construction of a six-story medical office building near Fairview Southdale Hospital.

Stephen Michals of Mount Properties has teamed with Luigi Bernardi of Aurora Investments on the Edina Medical Plaza proposal, under which the partnership would buy a site on the southwest corner of 65th Street and France Avenue S., raze a 52-year-old, one-story law office now there, and construct a new medical office building on the spot in two phases. 

In April, the commission turned down the development team's first proposal, which was deemed too dense for the lot at 6500 France Av. S. Since then, however, Aurora Investments has reached an agreement to also buy an adjacent building at 4005 W. 65th St. -- a similar one-story structure, which would also be torn down to make way for the new medical building.

With the increased space, Mount and Aurora resubmitted plans that showed less density.

The project is envisioned as being built in two phases. The first phase would have four stories and 69,456 square feet of medical office space. Two more floors would be added later, bringing the total to 102,406 square feet. 

Also included would be a three-level detached parking ramp, with plans for two more levels in the future. 

Because of the additional expenses of acquiring the land, Michals told the commission that the project must ultimately top out at six stories to be economically feasible. 

Despite concerns from some residents of the Point of France condominiums over the project's impact on their views, the commission approved the modified plans June 27 and recommended to the City Council that it rezone the site as a planned unit development.

Don Jacobson is a St. Paul-based freelance writer. He can be reached at hotproperty.startribune@gmail.com.

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