Menards is planning an expansion of its Apple Valley store that includes a 23,250-square-foot garden center and a 31,007-square-foot warehouse and shipping area. The Apple Valley Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the plan to the city council.

The store is located in the Fischer Market Place at County Road 42 and Flagstaff Avenue. The warehouse and shipping area would be to the north of the store along 147th Street. The garden center would be added onto the existing building on the east side.

Menards also is proposing a new street entrance off of Flagstaff Avenue, for which it would pay the cost.

Thirty trees along the north side of the property would have to be removed for construction of the new warehouse. The trees would be relocated to the south side of 147th Street.

CVS coming to HOC?

The building at the corner of Burnsville Parkway and Nicollet Avenue in Burnsville that used to house a TCF Bank has sat empty for three years, providing a less-than-attractive entry way to the Heart of the City. Velmeir Companies, a Michigan developer with a branch office in Bloomington, has a new tenant in mind, but so far the Burnsville City Council isn't biting.

The plan calls for a 14,000-square-foot CVS Pharmacy surrounded by parking spaces for 96 cars. The council got a look at the proposal during a recent sketch-plan review and said it didn't meet the vision for the Heart of the City. The problem with the plan, council members said, is that the parking lot would abut both Burnsville Parkway and Nicollet Avenue, giving the corner a typical suburban look, while the council envisions a city block look.

Council Member Dan Kealey cautioned, however, that the city should find a way to make the plan work. "In this economic landscape it doesn't make a lot of sense to be turning away national retailers," he said.

One change that could get the council on board would be to add retail space along each side of the pharmacy, producing that city block look the city is seeking.

Changing housing plans

Tradition Development of Lakeville and K. Hovnanian Homes of Eden Prairie are joining the trend toward switching a proposed townhouse development to single-family homes instead.

The two companies got a favorable response from the Apple Valley Planning Commission at a sketch-plan review for a 54-home development at the intersection of Pilot Knob Road and 155th Street. The homes would be built on a 7.5-acre site. An adjacent 5 acres would be subdivided into two 1.5-acre lots and a 2-acre lot for future commercial development.

The two-story homes would be between 1,900 and 2,300 square feet and sell for approximately $250,000. The lots would be 40 feet wide and 125 feet deep.

The commission was generally pleased with the plan.

Dean Spiros • 952-882-9203