Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville - General Topics

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Tiller
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Re: Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville - General Topics

Postby Tiller » June 26th, 2019, 3:27 pm

lorwest wrote:
January 13th, 2019, 7:36 pm
Tower crane went up in the last couple weeks at the approximate site of the future high-rise hotel at the Viking Lakes project in Eagan. I could make out a Kraus-Anderson trailer. Eagan permits don't seem to indicate a tower being constructed yet (wasn't even sure it was approved). Anyone know anything?
This is still going up. I didn't count but they have maybe 5 stories of the concrete skeleton so far.

Edit: Looks like this is the hotel plan.
https://www.twincities.com/2018/09/05/v ... an-campus/

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Re: Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville - General Topics

Postby luigipaladio » June 26th, 2019, 9:42 pm

This will end up being either the tallest or second tallest building in Eagan. From what I’ve seen of their proposals/wish list, this will remain the tallest building in the development. Most of the office buildings proposed for Viking Lakes are in the seven to ten story range. Housing is predictably stuck in the four to six story range. Their documents brag a lot about nature trails and natural amenities, but they have done a pretty complete wipe out of most of the wooded areas on the property, much of it given over to “temporary parking” used during the Viking’s training camp.. They have spared a few trees and have actually planted some in some of the areas,

The other big project that was recently finished (at least on the exterior and more than half of the interior,) nearby is the Prime Therapeutics building, which could only have been built in suburbia. It has a massive parking lot for the planned 2,000 to 3,000 workers ultimately expected in the building. The completely finished portion is already occupied and it looks Iike the remainder is close to being occupied as well,. The site looks out over a small but stretched out lake with many bays and inlets. The building seems to take advantage of that position, at least for employees on that side of the building. For a very long, five story building, of about 500,000 sf, it is a clean and relatively handsome design, but it really sucks up space - because it could and it’s cheaper to have a “tower” laying on it’s side. The killer however, is the vast parking lot. It is peppered with the blue lights of emergency phones - probably to help people that get lost in the prairie size parking lot.

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Re: Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville - General Topics

Postby Silophant » June 26th, 2019, 9:57 pm

So disappointing that St Paul couldn't seal the deal to get them to the Midway.

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Re: Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville - General Topics

Postby luigipaladio » June 26th, 2019, 10:22 pm

I suspect that there was not quite enough imagination at work with Prime Therpeutics to be able to picture the company rooted in a tower in the Midway. Right now, the elegant swooping lines of Allianze Fiield seem hopelessly out of place shoved up against 94 by an array of tired, strip malls and desperately needing renewal older buildings. The Snelling Unniversity intersection combines some of the worst aspects of suburban commercial sprawl with some of the worst aspects of an urban grid shattered by freeways. The spot Prime chose in Eagan is almost idyllic on the side way from the parking wasteland. I’m sure it was a lot easier, and cheaper to think about being there than being in the Midway.

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Re: Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville - General Topics

Postby QuietBlue » June 27th, 2019, 9:59 am

They were already in Eagan, a few miles away, so it's not surprising they would stay there if they could make it work.

Plus, commuting to Midway from the suburbs would suck for many of their employees. Either of the downtowns would have been better fits; at least those have direct transit links.

Moving a company is always disruptive to a certain extent, but a move like the one they are doing wouldn't be as rough as it could be.

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Re: Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville - General Topics

Postby luigipaladio » June 27th, 2019, 1:26 pm

Yes, Prime is actually consolidating several offices, including the old Eagan site and folks working at another site - I think in Bloomington near the Normandale/494 interchange. This would have been a prize for either downtown or the Midway, but I doubt the economics would work for the company. In any case, this has added a sudden explosion of job density and activity to the Northeast corner of Eagan. In the mean time, Northwest Eagan is becoming nearly urban with apartments, townhouses, a hotel and senior living all filling the area around the Twin Cities Outlet Mall. Another hotel and an apartment building are supposed to be on the way adjacent to the mall and to the Red Line station in the middle of 77.

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Re: Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville - General Topics

Postby Didier » June 27th, 2019, 6:10 pm

Them moving to Midway also would have generated an interesting discussion surrounding the massive parking ramp they inevitably would have had to build.

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Re: Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville - General Topics

Postby Anondson » July 25th, 2019, 12:20 pm


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Re: Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville - General Topics

Postby Tcmetro » July 25th, 2019, 1:01 pm

I believe there was a policy in place that limited apartments to 50% of housing units in Burnsville. This was removed, allowing developers to build apartments again.

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Re: Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville - General Topics

Postby twincitizen » July 25th, 2019, 1:43 pm

There's no way apartments make up 50% of the housing units in Burnsville... while that may have been an actual city policy, I think it was more so that they had a City Council majority that was extremely hostile to rentals, even high-end luxury apartments (i.e. "future slums" if you're the kind of person who hates renters). The Council makeup shifted after a recent election (same Mayor for like 20 years though, but she is supportive of development, new urbanism, etc. AFAIK)

EDIT: it's closer than I thought, but not that close. See the Community Profile here (click on Housing tab) https://stats.metc.state.mn.us/profile/ ... c=02393472. 11,577 single-family homes. 8,558 multi-family (5+ units, apts & condos combined). There are also 4,809 townhomes, probably a mix of owned & rental. It's certainly true that single-family homes make up less than 50% of the total housing units in Burnsville, but that's not really an accurate measure of ownership vs. rental, considering SFHs can be rented, and condos can be owned. After looking at a few community profiles, it is true that Burnsville has a lower share of SFHs than many of their peer suburbs. Much of that I think can be attributed to a handful of very large (300+ unit) apartment communities in Burnsville, skewing the overall numbers.

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Re: Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville - General Topics

Postby Tcmetro » July 25th, 2019, 6:22 pm

I think it may have been the policy of 50% SFH, 50% other housing types. The removal of the policy a few years ago allowed for the development of the giant apartment building near 35/42.

I don't know if I would call it "skewed". Big apartment complexes are the norm in the suburbs, and the housing stock is defintely at the lower-middle class range, with pockets of SFH that are upper-middle class range. The apartment complexes in Burnsville were primarily developed in the 70s and 80s. These were definitely up-market then, but are probably reasonably affordable for the Twin Cities now.

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Re: Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville - General Topics

Postby QuietBlue » July 26th, 2019, 8:49 am

Some other factors to consider:

-- Burnsville has also long had a much higher percentage of multifamily housing (whether owned or leased) than the other SOTR suburbs. So I think there was a feeling of "we've done our part; time for everyone else to step up" at play there too. Which is understandable -- the whole area needs more multifamily housing, but Burnsville should not have to do it singlehandedly.

-- Several of those older complexes have been purchased and renovated, so there's not as much NOAH as there used to be. I think this also may be contributing to why the city is more welcoming of apartments now -- they see the demand for it. Unfortunately it was also true that, along with the higher amount of multifamily housing, Burnsville has had more crime and poverty than its neighbors too. Whether these were linked or not, the perception was that they were. And some of the older apartments were basically owned by slum lords who didn't maintain them well, which didn't help either.

-- Finally, the Heart of the City project (i.e. the area along Nicollet between 13 and Burnsville Parkway, roughly) basically crashed and burned when it was created around fifteen years ago. It was probably a bit ahead of its time for the area, and the housing crash soon after didn't help. One of the condo buildings went into foreclosure in 2006, and later on, one of the retail/office buildings did so as well in 2012. So that left Burnsville very apprehensive about similar projects in the future. Nowadays, of course, it's a completely different environment, and more construction is happening in the area.

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Re: Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville - General Topics

Postby twincitizen » July 29th, 2019, 7:17 pm

I can’t believe someone other than mattaudio used “SOTR” in a post. In disbelief that’s a real acronym.

But anyways, that was a very good summary of housing issues in Burnsville. It never occurred to me that Heart of the City was a bit ahead of its time, but that sounds right. It is kinda cool to see places like this and Excelsior & Grand coming into their own a decade+ after getting started in that early 00s wave of new urbanism, prior to the recession.

And great point about the transition from having a city motto of “we have too much affordable housing, other cities need to share the burden” to “holy crap we lost half of our affordable housing and people are literally being displaced”. This has played out in Richfield and Hopkins and many other well-located suburbs. It’s crazy how quickly the equilibrium of that discussion can change in a suburb. What I’m not clear on is if it’s happening everywhere or if there are parts of the metro that have experienced more mild rent increases in the past 5 years

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Re: Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville - General Topics

Postby mattaudio » July 29th, 2019, 9:45 pm

You don't know SOTR unless you've lived SOTR. I challenge you to rename this thread.

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Re: Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville - General Topics

Postby QuietBlue » July 30th, 2019, 7:37 am

LOL, I don't know how widespread the acronym is, but I find it useful. It's a good way to distinguish that area from the other suburbs that could also technically be considered south suburbs (i.e. Richfield, Bloomington, etc) but that are more connected to the core. The Minnesota River valley is still a significant barrier.

Yeah, I think the Heart of the City project in Burnsville will end up looking better in the long run that it did at first. Apple Valley had a similar project (around Kelley Park, south of 42) that stalled out, but has been seeing a resurgence in the past few years, with several apartment buildings going up. Eagan was also originally planning to create something similar to both of those areas where the outlet mall is now, but the difficulties in those areas led them to change course -- they still added housing, just not as much.

Something else I'll add -- while market rate multifamily housing has been taking off recently, 55+ apartment construction has been ongoing for quite a while now in the area. It may have slowed down during the depths of the housing crash, but got started up again rather quickly.

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Re: Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville - General Topics

Postby luigipaladio » August 1st, 2019, 2:46 pm

The Wilf’s Omni luxury hotel and conference center is now up to the ninth of it’s fourteen flours. It already stands out forcefully for drivers along 494 and from the surrounding area, it looks like it just sprang up out of farm land - thought the property it sits on was actually woodland but you couldn’t guess that from the way the area was leveled. The most recent drawings for the hotel have changed somewhat from the original design - with a lot less drama. There is little or no evidence of either design in the structure, meaning, the design changes have all been surface finishes. Supposedly, one of the large residential segments of Wild World will get under construction this fall. Somewhere, a forest will be consumed!


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