Type: Office, warehouse, distribution

Size: 295,000 square feet

Parcel: 33 acres

Developer: Jim Deanovic

Details: Developer Jim Deanovic of Edina is the latest to try building out a strategically located, 33-acre parcel in Eagan that was once slated for a private school.

Deanovic is seeking a land use designation change for the vacant lot, tucked between Hwy. 55 and Lone Oak Road in Eagan's largely industrial "Northeast Special Area." Currently guided as "office/service" in the city's comprehensive plan, the developer is asking it be redesignated as "limited industrial," which would allow uses such as warehousing and distribution.

The new guidance would allow the "Gift of Mary" site to be developed into as much as 295,000 square feet arrayed across three buildings. In a narrative submitted to the city, Deanovic said the key to making the site viable for commercial development is the flexibility to respond to a variety of market conditions.

The parcel is owned by Minneapolis social services provider Sharing & Caring Hands. Its founder, Mary Jo Copeland, had plans to build the Gift of Mary private school and shelter for homeless children on the site. After winning city approval in 2002, her organization never managed to raise the funding necessary to launch it.

Last year, developer Ryland Homes sought to change the parcel to a low-density residential designation to allow for a 52-lot single-family home subdivision. That idea was rejected by the city's Planning Commission, partly due to the impact of aircraft noise on the area.

Don Jacobson is a freelance writer in St. Paul. He can be contacted at hotproperty.startribune@gmail.com.