New parks, new trails, new stores, new schools. Lots of new stuff is springing to life south of the river in 2014. A huge new outlet mall that is to open late this summer, and a major regional park in the autumn, are among the headliners in Dakota County. In Scott County, which is “younger” from the standpoint of basic development, a marquee transit station is coming online and voters in two school districts in March will consider major construction projects. Here’s a rundown of some of what’s coming up:
Paragon Outlets’ large mall under construction in Eagan’s Cedar Grove redevelopment area is set to open in August.
The upscale outlet mall being built by Baltimore-based Paragon Outlet Partners will have an open-air design with about 100 stores. About 40 have already signed on, including Brooks Brothers, Calphalon, Coach, Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren and Swarovski. A Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th will anchor the complex.
The mall has sparked other developers’ interest in Cedar Grove. Next to the retail center, work has begun on a 190-unit upscale apartment building, the first to be built in Eagan since the mid-1990s. City planners recently approved plans for an all-suite hotel to be developed by Morrissey Hospitality, the company that manages the St. Paul Hotel and Hotel Minneapolis. Morrissey hopes to begin construction this spring and open it in the spring of 2015.
DECISION ON NEW HIGH SCHOOL
Voters in Shakopee will weigh in on a proposed $89 million bond referendum on March 11, with $78 million of that money going toward a second high school.
The new school is needed to accommodate large current junior high classes and any enrollment growth, district officials say.
Passing the building bond referendum would add about $156 in property taxes annually for 20 years to an home valued at $200,000 in Shakopee, said Superintendent Rod Thompson.
If the referendum passes, the new facility would open in 2017, and its design would be similar to that of the current high school, built in 2007.
School board and community members had long questioned whether building a new high school for grades 9-12 was really necessary. The district explored several other options, including adding on to the current high school or splitting up the school into two sites, one for students in grades 9 and 10 and the other for students in grades 11 and 12.
After completing the research and looking at enrollment numbers, though, the board decided another high school was the way to go and approved putting the referendum on the ballot in a 6-1 vote in September.
MAJOR PARK OPENING
Dakota County’s second regional park, Whitetail Woods Regional Park in Empire Township, will open in the fall after the first phase of development is complete.
The land — 450 acres formerly used for farming and hunting — will have roads, trails, electricity, bathrooms, running water and picnic shelters after initial spending of about $5.5 million.
Three camper cabins are also part of the plan, along with picnic grounds, a sledding hill in the heart of the park, 8 miles of trails and an overlook of pristine Empire Lake.
LOCKHEED SITE PLANS
The redevelopment of the former Lockheed Martin corporate campus in Eagan is likely to get underway in 2014, three years after Minneapolis developer CSM Corp. acquired the 47-acre site.