Woodbury's massive State Farm office complex, once symbolic of the city's prosperous status in the east metro economy, soon will fall to the wrecking ball.
Developers of the CityPlace project said Friday they couldn't find tenants for the 400,000-square-foot building and so plan to replace it with office towers better suited for modern business needs.
"The goal from the start has been to bring daytime office jobs to CityPlace," said developer Juan DeAngulo of Elion Partners, the firm that's transforming the sprawling property along Interstate 94.
"The office building was originally built 20 years ago to serve as a corporate campus for a large, single tenant. It will now be reconfigured to meet the demands of today's office user."
The CityPlace development, which extends to every corner of the 100-acre site surrounding the State Farm building, answers the city's hopes to restore tax revenue and vitality to land that has sat vacant since 2006.
"It's a gateway site. I describe it as the best of suburban and urban," Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens said Friday.
She added that it was the right time to raze the State Farm building because new office towers will mean more tax revenue for the city.
"CityPlace's amenities and services will draw a variety of businesses that will find the new multiunit development extremely attractive," she said.
This fall several businesses, including restaurants, opened in new buildings on the south side of the State Farm complex. A 116-room Residence Inn by Marriott is being built on the north side, and the anchor tenant will be a 75,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market.
In a related announcement Thursday, Elion Partners said that a three-story Tria Orthopaedic Center is coming to CityPlace. The 75,000-square-foot clinic is expected to open the summer of 2017.
CityPlace, along Radio Drive on Woodbury's north end, is considered a strategic regional location because of its proximity to the planned Gold Line, a bus rapid-transit corridor that in a few years will run between Woodbury and Union Depot in St. Paul. Stations have been proposed for Oakdale, but locations remain under discussion.
State Farm opened its Woodbury building in 1994 as a headquarters employing about 2,000. But 12 years later the company vacated the building and moved to Nebraska.
Demolition of the State Farm building will begin immediately, DeAngulo said.