UPDATE: Lyndale Garden Center Developers Hope to Secure Building in August

With many requests from readers, Richfield Patch follows up on the redevelopment plans for the Lyndale Garden Center site.

The space has gotten the community excited at the prospect of redevelopment and the creation of a new city center.

After many requests for a follow-up on the site plans, Richfield Patch talked with Colleen Carey, president of real estate development firm The Cornerstone Group and purchaser of the site.

Here’s what we found out:

The Richfield City Council recently gave its support and the go-ahead for The Cornerstone Group to . The firm is hoping to receive funding from one of the sources, or a little from each source, to conduct a soil investigation and get a better idea of how severe the contamination is.

Carey told Patch The Cornerstone Group would likely hear about whether or not it got the funding in June 2011.

Ideally, if funding was secured the investigation would take place before The Cornerstone Group finalized its agreement to take over the property in August 2011.

While the exact businesses and community resources that will be part of the site are not any where near being finalized, the property will be mixed use and include commercial, retail and community spaces as well as housing.

“The process of figuring that out isn’t quick,” she said. “[However], our vision for the site is that it could become the town center for Richfield.”

The site will likely house anchor businesses such as retailers and restaurants, which will be open year round, as well as seasonal spaces, for things such as farmers markets.

However, while plans are moving along, Carey said, “Before we can start the full renovation of the garden center space we have to identify potential tenants.”

Currently, some restaurants were interested in the space, Carey Said. However, with it being so early in the process, she wasn’t able to give names.

Among the things being talked about for the community space portion include: A skating rink, an outdoor movie venue, a bandshell for concerts, an outdoor market, urban agriculture and edible gardens.

As for the housing portion of the site, Carey said since the original presentation of the plans to the council The Cornerstone Group hadn’t done any more work on housing design.

However, she said, “[Ideally] we would like to provide a variety of housing types … at different price points and different ownership options.”

In addition to the Lyndale Garden Center site itself, Carey mentioned the possibility of expanding the development boundaries. The expansion possibilities would also play into the type of housing built.

“Because we are trying to fit so much stuff into this small site, we are considering how the boundaries for the project could expand and we are open to other opportunities to expand,” she said.

While The Cornerstone Group is working hard on the site plans, Carey said before going too far, those who will use the space need to be heard.

“I want to hear from the community first,” she said. “And we’d like to get people [involved] early to help rather than get farther along.”

The first of three community meetings will be held June 6 at Oak Grove Lutheran Church.

Richfield Patch will continue to follow the development of the Lyndale Garden Center site. Stay tuned for more!


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