The development firm Mortenson hopes to transform an aging U.S. Bank branch on the corner of France Avenue and 70th Street in Edina into an office, retail and apartment complex.
The proposed project, to be developed by Mortenson and Orion Investment Real Estate, is in the conceptual phase. Initial sketches and re-use plans for a high-rise complex have been submitted to the city and will soon be reviewed by the Planning Commission and the City Council.
If approved, the bank will sell the land and Mortenson will tear down the existing building that houses a bank branch, a vacated urgent care center and an architecture firm, and replace it with four facilities that the city estimates would easily cost more than $100 million to build.
The proposal includes plans for: a 23-story residential tower with 254 units; a 10-story office and retail building; a seven-story apartment building with 100 units; and a 6,000-square-foot U.S. Bank building and drive-through.
Mortenson spokesman Cameron Snyder said its broad proposal still has a ways to go to get public input and approvals from various city divisions. But the idea “was informed by and is consistent with all the prior community and city work conducted to create” a plan for the greater Southdale area in Edina.
The new redevelopment concept for 70th and France Avenue is larger than a previous plan submitted to the city of Edina by U.S. Bank and its former site partner — Ryan Cos.
After the first presentation, the city emphasized that it wanted something more grand for such a prized corner as 70th and France Avenue, said Edina Economic Development Manager Bill Neuendorf. After some revisions, Ryan left the project and U.S. Bank searched for new development partners before settling on Mortenson earlier this year.
With the submission of a new concept, Neuendorf said, the city is “excited that they picked some local players that are experienced and have the wherewithal to do something very ambitious on the site.”
U.S. Bank spokesman Jeff Shelman noted that the site’s busy location creates a “unique opportunity” for redevelopment. “While plans have not been finalized, we are optimistic about the possibilities with Mortenson and Orion and we are excited about the potential of being able to serve our customers with a new, modern branch on the site that would be built around how people bank in 2020 and beyond.”
The current bank branch is nearly 40 years old and was built for a different generation. It has several teller windows, which bank customers use infrequently in this age of internet banking, Neuendorf said.
“Whatever the final [redevelopment] project looks like, it will be a big investment for the city of Edina,” he said. “One reason Edina loves to see these new concepts is it repurposes these locations for a new generation” and increases the tax base.