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Cornerstone Presents Plans for Redevelopment of Lyndale Garden Center

The Cornerstone Group presented its initial plans for the redevelopment of the Lyndale Garden Center space and the area surrounding Richfield Lake Park Monday night.

The Cornerstone Group revealed its initial plans for the redevelopment of the Lyndale Garden Center to members of the Richfield City Council, Richfield Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) and the Richfield Planning Commission Monday night. The plans included ideas for everything from the building of an amphitheatre for outdoor concerts to installing a carnival-like carousel.

The Cornerstone Group, which developed and owns the Kensington Park retail and condo development on 76th Street and Lyndale Avenue, received a signed purchase agreement , which shows a purchase price of about $3 million, on Feb. 17 and immediately began working on its vision for the project, according to Colleen Carey, president of the real estate firm.

The redevelopment is part of the city’s comprehensive plan for the , which Richfield Patch has reported on in the past.

Plans for the Lyndale Garden Center property redevelopment are two-fold:

First, the group plans to revamp the existing Lyndale Garden Center building—which, from the outside, looks as if it is ready crumble in on itself.

“While the building looks like it’s falling apart [from the outside] … But, it’s only superficial,” Beth Pfeifer, director of development for The Cornerstone Group, reassured commission, council and audience members.

During the refinishing process, the building would be turned into a mixed-use building that would blend anchor, flexible and common spaces together:

  • Anchor Spaces: These spaces would house long-term tenants such as restaurants, a small scale grocer, the post office, one of the city’s liquor stores and a commissary kitchen.
  • Flex Spaces: This space would be geared toward users who want a short-term commitment or don’t require a defined space. For example, winter markets, food vendors, special events, community education classes and theatrical productions.
  • Common Spaces: Common spaces include are shared amenity and would include something like a indoor or outdoor recreation center.

So what’s the main goal of all the different spaces? To create activity.

Carey and Pfeifer said the key to any healthy, strong community is activity. In addition, the more activity you can create in an area the more people who will take advantage of it.

The redevelopment of the site would also include opening up the area to and a connection route making it easy to travel from , the park, through art areas and up to the new development.

Secondly, in addition to the commercial space, three new housing units are planned for the area. About 120 units would be available for rent, with 23 apartments being deemed affordable housing.

The apartment facing Lyndale would likely by four stories, while the west facing buildings would likely by three stories to help blend with the neighborhood and still highlight the lake.

Some may ask, “What about the ?”

Well, Pfeifer and Carey said the developers have been great about sharing their plans for the new 90-unit apartment complex.

“We think that the project across the street is a plus for us and I think [the Lyndale Garden Center project] will be good for them too,” Carey said.

Carey also added that they didn’t want to go head-to-head with the other development and rather work together to create a successful commercial and residential area.

by Patch, the city has yet to hear from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on whether or not the Woodlake Plaza project has received funding to move forward. The verdict is expected to come in May 2011, according to john Stark, director of Richfield Community Development.

The redevelopment process of the Lyndale Avenue area is just in the beginning stages and Richfield Patch will continue to cover the projects as they move forward.

Caitlin Burgess March 22, 2011 at 04:00 PM
Update: The decision from HUD on the funding for the Woodlake Plaza project has been pushed into July 2011, according to Steve Lindgren, Richfield Chamber of Commerce. Representatives may be giving a more detailed update at Tuesday's Richfield City Council work session at 5:30 p.m. before the regular meeting.
Mary Barnes March 22, 2011 at 11:10 PM
Great Job, Richfield! On a sober note, our hearts go out to the MNDOT worker, St. Peter, and, Perham High School.
Tom L. April 20, 2012 at 02:29 PM
bla, bla, bla, meanwhile the Lyndale Garden sight sits vacant for yet another year. Maybe the Cornerstone Group is just like all the rest, property $$$ is all they're interested in.
Richfield Commoners United June 01, 2012 at 02:34 PM
So now we need to ask if TIF sheds some tax dollars to the school system. In all Ron Clark will only pay $3900. per year in taxes on the land for 30 years, what will the school get in cash for the next 30 years? The next question that should be asked is this, Kennisington Place on 76th and Lyndale was given $500K in up front TIF but now the courts have decided that Richfield was a second mortgage and we not getting one cent back ? How much did the school system loose on that one? Ron Clark is the only one walking away with the cash in hand!

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