Biz beat: Apple Valley OKs rezoning for Super Menards
- Article by: JIM ADAMS
- Star Tribune
- March 23, 2012 - 6:37 PM
New construction and businesses are sprouting in Apple Valley.
A groundbreaking was held about a week ago for a $3.3 million center that will provide a day program for adults with disabilities. It will be run by Lifeworks, an Eagan-based nonprofit that plans to open the center in the fall. The facility will replace Lifeworks' program center in Burnsville.
Walls are going up for the center, which is being built in what was formerly a farm field at Johnny Cake Ridge Road and Upper 147th Street, said Apple Valley Chamber President Ed Kearney.
This week, Mayor Mary Hamann-Roland also announced that a technical support company with more than 30,000 employees worldwide is moving its headquarters to Apple Valley. Stream Global Services, based in the Boston suburb of Wellesley, Mass., will relocate most of its senior corporate staff this year to an office building in downtown Apple Valley, officials said. The headquarters will initially have about 25 employees, with more expected in a later phase of development, a spokesman said.
The City Council this month approved land-use changes needed to build a Super Menards store in the southeast quadrant of County Road 42 and Flagstaff Avenue.
The council rezoned the 25-acre site, owned by Fischer Sand and Aggregate, from sand and gravel to retail business. The change was forwarded to the Metropolitan Council, which oversees comprehensive land use plans, for its approval, Mayor Hamann-Roland said.
The city planning commission, which initially opposed the project, approved it after Peter Fischer showed city officials a recent area market survey and assured the commission he had no plans to extend retail stores into his surrounding 250 acres.
Fischer, who owns the property with his sister, said this week that he has a signed a purchase agreement with Menards, which will need city approval for building plans.
"I would like to sell them some property. Menards would like to build a store over there. The city wants them there. But the wheels of government grind slowly," Fischer said. "It's a very small part of the comprehensive plan. Generally, I don't think Met Council stands in the way of this kind of stuff."
Fischer hopes construction can start this summer.
The city's Shops on Galaxie picked up new tenants this month. ThisWeek newspapers, which recently bought the Sun Current suburban papers, combined its offices in a remodeled space on the second floor of the complex at Galaxie Avenue and 153rd Street, said Kearney, chamber president. Dr. Tony Felten also is opening Health Source Chiropractic in a first-floor space.
Kearney said he just heard that Best Buy is planning a massive remodeling this summer of its store in the southeast quadrant of County Road 42 and Cedar Avenue near the downtown Super Target. He said the reinvestment is an encouraging signal to smaller businesses and follows a $1.5 million remodeling last fall by Sam's Club and a doubling of store size by Wal-Mart nearly three years ago.
The Grow Farmington promotion is gaining traction. The city's courting what could become its first hotel, said Clyde Rath, Farmington Business Association president.
Our biggest effort is trying to get a hotel," Rath said. "We are making headway."
He said a recently formed steering committee, including the school district superintendent, city administrator and mayor and other top decision-makers, has met with a Comfort Inn franchise holder. City staff are creating a report that will include a list of the potential sites, area traffic counts and Farmington's proximity to south-metro businesses and other organizations.
Rath said a 60-70 room hotel or motel would boost efforts to attract larger businesses and funnel the state convention and visitors' sales tax from a new hotel to the city for promotional efforts. He hopes Comfort Inn will make a decision within six months.
New hardware store
Burnsville, meanwhile, has gained its first local hardware store in about a decade with the recent opening of a Frattallone's Ace Hardware and Garden Center in the Burnhill Plaza mall.
The Arden Hills-based chain opened its 17th Twin Cities store in the former Wickes furniture building at 1350 County Road 42 W.
Jim Adams 952-746-3283
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