A proposal to build a bike-pedestrian bridge over France Avenue in Edina has changed with developers eliminating one of the residential towers they envisioned to anchor one side of it.
The Crossroads Project, which was first submitted to the city last month, was reproposed Friday with modifications that include aligning the bridge to a city easement on the east side of France.
While the designers are committed to the bridge, the residential tower could still be built without it, said Jamie Stolpestad, principal at EG Capital, the New York firm that owns the property on the west side of France.
If approved by regulators, the bridge would connect parts of the Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail so pedestrians and bicyclists won’t have to cross the lanes of traffic on France. Work is already being done elsewhere in Edina on the trail, which, when completed, will stretch about 15 miles from Hopkins to Bloomington.
“It’s a major accomplishment especially for the biking community and for the city of Edina,” said Dean Dovolis, principal at DJR Architecture, who dropped off the plans to city offices Friday.
The firm and developers initially proposed a 19-floor residential tower on the small parking lot at the northwest corner of the Centennial Shops center at France Avenue S. and Gallagher Drive with the bridge connecting it to a 14-floor residential tower on the other side of the street, where two dated office buildings now stand. A U-shaped apartment complex of varying heights was also proposed next to the shorter tower.
However, after the project was first formally submitted, Michigan-based Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust, which owns Centennial Shops, said it had not signed off on the final plans. Ramco isn’t involved in the revised proposal.
The new plans still include New York-based EG Capital, which owns the property where the office buildings would be demolished on the west side of France.
The smaller U-shaped complex would have 121 to 164 rental units, some of which would be affordable housing, and commercial use space.
The adjacent tower would offer 145 to 170 apartment and/or condo units and some retail space.
“I think there’s just stronger demand for residential in Edina,” Stolpestad said.
The bridge would pass through a lower portion of the tower, cross France and then stretch across a small city easement to an existing bike trail.
Bill Neuendorf, Edina’s economic development manager, confirmed that there was a small easement at that location, but he said he hasn’t seen the new plans and wasn’t aware of anyone talking to the city about using the easement.