Managing partner at Stonebridge Communities
While there's a lot of hoopla surrounding the new $100 million Twin Cities Premium Outlets retail center scheduled to open in Eagan in August, other big projects also are underway in Eagan's Cedar Grove Redevelopment District at Hwys. 13 and 77 (Cedar Avenue).
That includes the Flats at Cedar Grove, a $32 million, 192-unit, upscale apartment development — one of the first market-rate apartment complexes to be built in the city since the mid-1990s. Veteran apartment and condominium developer Andy Chase is managing partner of the project's developer, Apple Valley-based Stonebridge Communities. Stonebridge, which manages more than 1,400 apartment units, broke ground in March. The company will start preleasing units in October with move-ins starting in March 2015.
Chase, a 52-year-old Mound native, started as a homebuilder and has been active in the multi-housing market for more than two decades through several different companies. He's also president of Burnsville-based Chase Real Estate. Stonebridge and Chase Real Estate are currently developing Victoria Park Townhomes and Apartments, a two-phase, luxury apartment development in St. Paul that will total 400 units when complete.
Q: Was the new outlet center the primary reason for choosing the Eagan site?
A: The mall is obviously going to be a great amenity, but that wasn't the only driver. Eagan hasn't had any new apartments built for a long time and there's strong demand. We like the location. We were under contract [on the land] before the mall broke ground.
Q: The trend for new-apartment development is upscale complexes with lots of amenities like tech lounges, yoga studios, swimming pools and outdoor patios. Will that trend continue?
A: Every building we do, the fitness rooms get bigger and we're adding more and more common spaces. Apartments are starting to be more like hotels and trying to get people out of their rooms. So we have a lot of common spaces designed in such a way that you can have a handful of different groups in the space and they still feel like they have privacy to visit or read. And of course, everything's Wi-Fi-enabled with charging stations. People can basically have the common area as an extension of their living space. We're making them more so that they're 24 /7.
Q: The Flats at Cedar Grove will include first-floor retail space. Do you have tenants lined up?
A: We have a letter of agreement with an upscale, casual Italian restaurant. I'm guessing they'll have a liquor license. It will be about 4,000 square feet with over 100 seats. We could probably also do specialty sporting like a running store or something along that line.
Liz Wolf is an Eagan-based freelance writer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.