Richfield Community Members Weigh in on Lyndale Garden Center Redevelopment Plans
Members of the public provide redevelopment ideas for the Lyndale Garden Center space.
The vacant Lyndale Garden Center property is one of the latest redevelopment hot spots in Richfield and residents have several ideas on what could occupy the space.
Richfield-based real estate company The Cornerstone Group, which is in the process of purchasing the property, is conducting a series of meetings that take input from the public on how the space should be used. The first of these meetings took place June 6 at the Oak Grove Lutheran Church.
Colleen Carey, president of the Cornerstone Group, told Patch in a previous interview that before making major development decisions she wanted to make sure the public was heard and had a hand in the process from the beginning.
Mayor Debbie Goettel agrees with Carey and addressed meeting attendees by saying the city considers the site as a regionally significant location and resident feedback was important.
"We think your information about what is important about this area … really needs to be provided at the front end," Goettel said.
The space is definitely going to be mixed-use to include retail/commercial and public spaces, as well as a housing element. However, meeting participants brought several specific ideas to the forefront, including:
- Sustaining the area's natural resources and natural environment: Residents said they enjoy the portion of the property that includes Richfield Lake and the natural area around it, and wish to preserve it as is.
- New restaurants: Many meeting attendees said they hope to have a locally-owned restaurant, offering sit down dining with a family-style atmosphere rather than fast food. Further ideas included the possibility of having outdoor dining that faces the west side of the property and offers a natural view.
- Another grocer option.
- Highlighting the area's local agriculture, as well as its diverse agricultural producers.
- Incorporating a liquor store in some way.
- Creating an artist venue.
- Building owner-occupied housing in the residential area, featuring townhouses or patio homes.
- Having a holistic health center.
In addition to these considerations, The Cornerstone Group handed out a survey meant to determine how residents felt about the importance of collaboration and integration of design principles. The survey included statements such as, "I believe that collaborations produce better results" and "I believe that the lay community can contribute significantly to a successful development concept." Participants were given a number of choices based on how much they agree or disagree with those statements.
The purchase of the property by The Cornerstone Group is expected to occur in August 2011, after a soil contamination evaluation. The company recently applied for two contamination investigation grants to fund the evaluation and identify any potential environmental hazards on the property. Obviously, cleanup of the site would need happen before tenants could occupy the space. Beth Pfeifer, director of development for The Cornerstone Group, said the company should know by the end of June or beginning of July 2011 if the grant application was approved.
The next meeting, which is entitled “Development Scenarios—The Block Exercise,” is from 6-8 p.m. June 27 at Oak Grove Lutheran Church. The workshop will feature an interactive workshop to create feasible development scenarios for the site.