Growth in the West End development of St. Louis Park is spilling across Interstate 394 into an area of Golden Valley that city officials have long been eager to develop.
Just across the highway from the West End, a 165-unit luxury apartment building, the Arcata, is nearing completion. The first residents will move in on Dec. 1. Across Xenia Avenue S., the 372-unit Xenia apartment building is set to begin construction in the spring.
And about a mile to the west, near the Louisiana Avenue highway exit, the city is nearing final approval of plans for 27 single detached townhouses.
"It's good for the city and it's good for the region," Mayor Shep Harris said. "I'm very happy that this is going forward. It can't happen fast enough."
Jason Zimmerman, Golden Valley's planning manager, called the area "ripe for redevelopment.
"This is an area where the city has been hoping to see some action for a long time," he said. "As the West End grows and that activity and energy spills over, our hope is that the southern edge of Golden Valley can benefit from that."
Golden Valley also has a more direct stake in West End development. Although most of the West End is in St. Louis Park, the easternmost 6 acres actually lie in Golden Valley. That sliver of land is part of a 14-acre parcel that could soon see a new hotel and some significant office buildings, as well as additional residential construction, said Kevin Locke, community development director for St. Louis Park.
Duke Realty, which is looking to sell its stake in the West End, is working with the prospective new owner, Florida-based DLC, to finalize plans for the still-undeveloped portion of the complex.
The interplay of the West End across the two cities' border makes for "a nice complement," Locke said.
"Whether you're on the Golden Valley side or the St. Louis Park side, you would frequent whatever businesses you like that are nearby," he said. "When we were going through the planning stages of the West End, there were many people in Golden Valley who were particularly interested in seeing a grocery store go in."
Harris said the area would have eventually been developed as the housing market recovers, but the draw of a thriving commercial district nearby broadens the appeal.
"That 394 corridor is a fantastic location for housing and economic development opportunities," he said.