Hennepin County is looking at a shopping mall as a potential home for the Southdale Library, currently in a building scheduled to be leveled later this year.
In the meantime, the final gavel is about to come down in Hennepin County District Court’s satellite location in the same Edina building.
With Feb. 1 as the last day for misdemeanor and traffic offenses to be contemplated at the Southdale Courthouse, those cases are being relocated to other courthouses in the county. Hundreds of cases are heard there every week.
The 45-year-old building on York Avenue S. at W. 70th Street is slated for demolition this fall.
A new library will be built — with a tentative opening in 2022 — but the question still on the table is where.
Margo Geffen, the county's facility services director, said Wednesday that options for locating a replacement library include the current site or in the nearby Southdale Center shopping mall.
A state Department of Vehicle Services licensing bureau moved in 2016 from the library building to the mall.
Geffen said the mall’s operators would benefit by the 300,000 or so annual library visits, while being in the shopping center offers “our patrons to do many things in one place.”
While evaluation of the future of the 7.7-acre Southdale site is well underway, Geffen cautioned there are many details to sort out before deciding on any location for the new library, and “there is not a public meeting scheduled at this time” about the library’s future.
The Minnesota Judicial Branch announced Wednesday how the Southdale Court’s cases will be divvied up, meaning the accused, attorneys, judges and various support staff will need to relocate as well starting Feb. 4.
A state courts spokesman said there are no bench or staff reductions looming because of relocations and everyone currently employed at the Southdale Court have been offered and accepted positions at the other courts.
Cases from Bloomington, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and Richfield will head downtown to the Hennepin County Government Center.
Edina and St. Louis Park cases will go to the Ridgedale Court location in Minnetonka. Those additions are pushing cases from Golden Valley, Plymouth and Maple Grove out of Ridgedale and over to the Brookdale Court location in Brooklyn Center.