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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 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 .

Colleen Carey, president of the Cornerstone Group, 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.

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 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 is from 6-8 p.m. June 27 at . The workshop will feature an interactive workshop to create feasible development scenarios for the site.

Ellen Stinger June 08, 2011 at 12:55 PM
I am excited by the prospects offered to our community ! I hope there will be an artist space - someplace to have art exhibitions and also to have concerts. A good example is Marketplace -in the old Sears building on Lake Street- there is central kind of open area,and although it is partially filled with tables and chairs- there is a stage area where they can have concerts ! (the ceiling in the Garden center might need to be addressed- so the noise level from people shopping doesn't interfere with the music) It would be really great if you could bring food from the indoor restaurant and eat it while you enjoy the music there ! There are many organizations that are looking for new venues to hold their exhibitions-If the middle of this area had moveable dividers (with space to use on both sides) and they could be placed to accomodate paintings (or other works)-- movable pedistals could also be placed there to accomodate sculpture,3d or other (needlework, baskets,quilting?) works of art. An outdoor venue that takes advantage of the view of the lake, perhaps screened in and connected to an indoor restaurant would be another draw ! I also would like to see- a holistic health center and an indoor market - for locally produced food ! that would be awsome !
Stefanie Carano June 09, 2011 at 10:26 PM
Hi Ellen, thanks for the comment. People have some very interesting ideas for what should go in that space.
Kevin O'Donovan June 13, 2011 at 06:13 PM
As long as the owners of the property conform to zoning laws, it is their right to do what they think is best. I assume that the plans are already drawn and the mayor and city council agree on what's going to happen. Isn't that what happened with Best Buy Headquarters? I remember going to the final meeting and immediately, before public comments were over, council members were bringing out their pre-typed statements that they read after the vote. You had to be blind to imagine that anyone listened 'or were considering the public input, and this was a plan that involved eminent domain, huge job losses, and residences being lost. Let's not put on a drama where none exists. I like Richfield and I think the mayor and council do a good job. Let developers do what they do best and get out of their way. I appreciate that they want public support and not opposition. So let's call them good neighbors for being nice enough to give us a preview of their plans and designs, and wish them well.
Stefanie Carano June 13, 2011 at 08:35 PM
Hi Kevin, Thanks for your input.
Robert June 15, 2011 at 05:18 PM
Surly Brewing Company just announced they are searching for a place for their new brewery and rstaurant. This would be perfect! A locally owned, fast growing company Richfield would be proud to call home to. It would provide industrial and commercial jobs. It would provide a locally owned restaurant, an artist venue, and outdoor dining.
Mary Barnes June 16, 2011 at 02:02 AM
Ellen, I love your comments, The Sears building is my favorite! Thank you, for looking outside the Richfield box. If for one moment, Richfield, and the mayor and the council, would look beyond. A visit to our Historical society, would be an eye opener, for many. We have been bulldozed, and run over, by the airport, etc. Please, take a look, at what we use to look like, Richfield, use to extend to yes "shock" Lake Street... Our VFW & American Legion, look up the history of Fred Babcock. How many of you know who he was, and how he died? 76th & Lyndale. Good reading project. Enjoy the RHS marching band, I did today on 67th & Grand. Awesome. Mary
Mary Barnes June 16, 2011 at 02:18 AM
Hopefully, My above comment will not be flagged as not readable, by anyone under the age of five. Or 65, in my case, over 58! If so, Caitlin & Tony, will send me a very nice e-mail. Good to be back in Minn e soda. :)
Stefanie Carano June 16, 2011 at 02:45 AM
I like the back story for this company. I wonder what they'd offer as far as food. Typical brewery fare, perhaps? I'm eager to find out. I noticed the company is actively trying to pass a state legislative bill (SF416) that allows the issuance of a brewer tap room license authorizing the sale of malt liquor produced by the brewer on or adjacent to premises. In other words, you can sell the beer you make on or next to where it was made. Not sure how this differs from the license of places like the Town Hall Brewery or Granite City Brewery, both of which make their own beer. I am intrigued.
Stefanie Carano June 16, 2011 at 03:17 AM
Thanks, Mary.
Robert S June 16, 2011 at 08:22 PM
I'm pretty sure that Surly was successful in the State Legislature. Their website currently says they're actively searching for a site. They're having a celebration on the change in the law this weekend at their current site. I think Richfield would be a great place for their new spot!
Stefanie Carano June 16, 2011 at 10:31 PM
Hi Robert, That's great news.
Mary Beth Mohn June 27, 2011 at 11:08 PM
I think it would be a good location for a Trader Joe's...
Mary Barnes June 28, 2011 at 02:59 AM
Me too! With parking, unlike St. Louis park! I'd like to see "Maaco, (also St. Louis Park) move to Richfield. I'm torn, since my husband, grew up in SLP, I think, I just love Hennepin county. that pretty much sums things up.
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) June 28, 2011 at 05:59 AM
Yes! The idea of a Trader Joe's has been thrown around for the Kmart site by other readers. I would also love this. However, Joe's wine sales are a huge part of their business and with Richfield's municipal liquor system, I doubt we would allow a store that sold two-buck-chuck - Unfortunately. But, I like that the stores support the parks and rec system.
Mary Barnes June 29, 2011 at 01:58 AM
This property is now in Sheriffs Sale, meaning, 6 months from foreclosure. There will be nothing here, anytime soon, the woman that owns the property, was not making her payments. Do your homework, if you do not know what a sheriffs sale is, I would suggest that you call Hennepin county, sheriff, in the AM.
Mary Barnes June 29, 2011 at 02:03 AM
I am so thankful for Fred on the council, he is the only one, that questions what the heck this city is doing. Along with Fritz. I am sometimes embarrased to say that I watch the kindergarten council meeting. Minnetoka, Bloomington, Edina, they laugh at our council meetings. Our meetings are like grade school. Watch your self on TV, just once. Our mayor, wants to be in St. Paul, and is clearly not looking out for us, only her & her family.
Mary Barnes June 29, 2011 at 02:05 AM
Minnetonka.
Mary Barnes June 29, 2011 at 02:10 AM
I stand by the Richfield employees, but, as the people, you elected the people that are causing the problems, and I do not mean Gov Dayton. Just that nut in Edina, and the Stillwater gal, that thinks she knows where Jacobson is. not.
Mary Barnes June 29, 2011 at 02:17 AM
Go Public Works :)
Jeremy Larson June 30, 2011 at 07:09 PM
I like the way Robert is thinking! Brewpub w/ outdoor seating overlooking Richfield Lake.
Richfield Commoners United March 26, 2012 at 05:19 PM
No They said they do not need a wine sales to come. See http://www.statecollege.com/news/local-news/state-college-trader-joes-to-cover-12500-square-feet-693820/ We informed Steve Devich and also John Stark in December at a meeting. Acted like we tried 3 years ago....They need to gout and try harder...

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