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Richfield’s ‘Downtown’ Quickly Getting a Facelift

Separate developments on Lyndale Avenue and 66th Street are moving forward.

While many city residents have recently expressed concern over the proposed , it’s easy to forget that a number of other construction projects are underway in Richfield.

Rapidly transforming the look and feel of the city’s ‘downtown’—that area of Richfield near the intersection of Lyndale Avenue and 66th Street—three major developments are rapidly transforming the look and feel of the area. The result, touted Richfield Community Development’s Karen Barton in an article published earlier this week by the Star-Tribune, will be a rejuvenated Richfield.

“We’re feeling really good about the redevelopment that’s occurring there and the regeneration of the whole area,” Barton told the newspaper. “We want vitality there, and it’s coming together nicely.”

Lyndale Plaza Apartments

Located across the street from the former Lyndale Garden Center, construction by the St. Croix Group is ongoing as Lyndale Plaza Apartments takes shape. The development will house 94 units—roughly a fifth of them reserved for affordable housing. Barring unforeseen delays, tenants could move in sometime next fall.

“They’re really what we need in Richfield in terms of updated rental units,” Barton said. “They’re incorporating a really nice transit plaza into the development as well, so they’re able to connect to bus—rapid transit—that goes right downtown."

Lyndale Garden Center Transforms Into Lyndale Gardens

Cornerstone Group is the owner and developer of the site of the former Lyndale Garden Center. Cornerstone officials expect to seek final city approval on their plans before summer. The garden center buildling, itself, will be incorporated into a space devoted to housing and retail.

The Former Kmart Site

Just south of Lyndale Plaza, the former Kmart space is being developed by Wellington Management. The company is building a 45,000-square-foot LA Fitness alongside 19,200 square feet of retail space. Wellington also expects to add a restaurant there.

Pizza Luce Comes to Town

After purchasing the building where Bridgeman’s ice cream used to sit, on 66th Street, P{izza Luce will renovate the space for an expected June opening. The new restaurant will feature an outdoor patio, full bar and seating for approximately 140.

Editor's Note: In the original article Wellington Management was spelled incorrectly. This article now reflects the correct spelling, we apologize for the error.

Barry L. March 01, 2012 at 03:55 PM
As you reported "A natural foods grocery store and Fratallone’s Ace Hardware are among committed tenants to Lyndale Gardens, and developers also anticipate leasing space to a restaurant in the converted building."
Barry L. March 01, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Drew, Here is some interesting facts about Lyndale Gardens, as they are the next target for 100% affordable housing unit. Richfield is now set up for stigmatizatize housing projects asAs Colleen Carey and Beth Pfeiffer from The Cornerstone Group presented an updated concept plan for the redevelopment of the former Lyndale Garden Center site, it came out that instead of a 80/20 mix of market rate/affordable housing for both buildings only one building was going to be mixed income the other was going to be 100% low income funded by Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), the same program that has been responsible for resegregating Twin Cities neighborhoods. Fortunately the nonprofit tenant "Life College" (not an accredited college) http://www.minnesotalifecollege.org/ said that the LIHTC program required that the building be open to anyone that qualified to live their not just their students.
Barry L. March 03, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Drew here is the audio portion to that meeting: http://soundcloud.com/richfieldminnesota/lyndale-gardens-life-college
Richfield Commoners United March 08, 2012 at 04:36 AM
Here is one great letter in the News today Thank you!!! http://richfield.patch.com/articles/concerned-residents-continue-plea-for-city-to-reconsider-pillsbury-commons
Barry L. March 09, 2012 at 05:14 PM
In dealing with Pillsbury Commons there seems to be confusion over the issue of just what "affordable housing" and low income housing are. The use of "low income housing " is not being derogatory. It is important to realize that all low income housing is affordable but not all affordable housing is low income. To prove the point, can a tenant be "affordable" or "low income"? Many of the apartments in Richfield are affordable - that is, they are affordable to people with low incomes but can be rented by people with high incomes. A low income housing development like Pillsbury Commons is housing that is set aside for people who meet low income guidelines. Richfield is very affordable and has quite a bit of affordable housing. Edina is not affordable has no affordable housing which is why it really needs affordable housing so people with low incomes can afford to live their.

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