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Kmart Developers Visit Richfield Planning Commission Monday

Wellington Management Inc. talks with the Richfield Planning Commission about its plans for the vacant Kmart site.

Steve Wellington, Jr., president of Wellington Management Inc., made another appearance at Richfield City Hall Monday night to present the company's initial development plans for the building of an LA Fitness and other retail on the former Kmart site.

Wellington to discuss the three-building plan for the site, which included the possibility of a Goodwill and a restaurant in addition to an LA Fitness.

Wellington said the new development would be about a $10-15 million investment in the community.

"It will bring a lot of people through there, so [the property would be in] active use, which I think is very exciting," said Pete Keely, of Collage Urban Design Studio, an architectural firm working with Wellington on the site development.

Keely said one of the key issues on the site is circulation.

"Even where the access points are right now, getting in and around it can be somewhat problematic," he said. "So, we're trying to be real cognizant of how that happens."

Commissioner Joshua Root said he felt that the one-story structure of LA Fitness would be too suburban, due to the fact that most of the existing development in the area exhibits a downtown, urban feel.

In response, Keely said the one-story stucture is an extremely tall, 40-foot building that might possibly feature a loft level or similar structure, which would fit well with the downtown atmosphere.

"It's up there, it's going to feel like a big building," he said.

The commission also heard from members of the Richfield Chamber of Commerce, including Timothy Carter, managing owner of , Pat Brekken, president of (RBCU) and Mike Elliott, of , who discussed possible ways to attract commercial development.

Community Development Director John Stark said partnerships, especially with the local chamber, are necessary when it comes to attracting businesses to the area.

Carter added that promoting Richfield as a regional draw and highlighting its access to the freeway system are some of the ways to promote commercial development.

"We're not here to tell you what to do or what should go where, that's up to you," Carter said. "We just want to make sure we get people extremely excited about coming here and when they do, you find a way to make it happen."

As reported earlier by Richfield Patch, the Wellington Management Inc. is in its very initial stages of planning for the redevelopment of the Kmart site and we will continue to bring more information to readers as it becomes available.

The next planning commission meeting is at 7 p.m. May 23 at Richfield City Hall.

Caitlin Burgess May 03, 2011 at 08:25 PM
Yes Claire. Patch is actually working on a story about this right now! Stay tuned!
robert Coursolle August 10, 2011 at 12:47 AM
We need L.A. fitness with a pool and sauna there is no other facilities nearby-----Ballys does not have these accomodations. Would fit well within the community-----a much needed facility to update Richfield. Everybody goes elsewhere to work out. Where there are full service facilities.
Row Gray August 10, 2011 at 04:36 PM
Bally's HAD a pool. They filled it in and made a workout room. Why, I don't know. And why is everything always centered on the "young professionals". I moved to Richfield because I thought it WAS a nice community of older retired folks.
Claire Killian August 10, 2011 at 04:41 PM
Ballys had a pool, but had to fill it because everytime the train would go by, it would cause cracks in the bottom of the pool.
JonesJababerson September 15, 2012 at 04:27 AM
What about the Snap fittness on lyndale? No one talks about the impact.

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