After years of redevelopment talk but little action, Eagan resident Stephen Hurst is excited to see plans for a proposed, 441,300-square-foot outlet mall in the Cedar Grove Redevelopment Area moving forward.
But Hurst's excitement is balanced by his concerns about increased traffic volume on nearby roads—particularly Cedar Grove Parkway—if the outlet mall is constructed.
Hurst wasn't the only Eagan resident to speak up about traffic concerns in the area during a Tuesday night public hearing hosted by the Eagan Advisory Planning Commission at City Hall. Despite a few critiques and questions from both audience members and planning commission representatives, the commission voted unanimously to recommend the preliminary subdivision and rezoning of the proposed, 25-acre outlet mall site, as well as a preliminary planned development designation.
The commission's actions set the stage for final approval of Paragon Outlet Partners, LLC.'s mall proposal. The project will likely appear before the Eagan City Council on Nov. 20 for preliminary approval and may return for final approval in February. If the council gives the project a green light, developers plan to begin construction next spring.
Earlier this month, Baltimore, Md.-based Paragon Outlet Partners submitted its preliminary design plans to the city. The plans give a detailed overview of the proposed, six-building mall, which would be flanked by two large parking lots and a multi-story parking ramp and interwoven with pedestrian walkways and covered concourses.
Paragon representatives Kelvin Antill and Salem LaHood spoke extensively about the company's background and plans for the new mall during a presentation at the Eagan Advisory Planning Commission meeting.
The company owns one already-open mall in Grand Prairie, Texas, and is in the process of opening similar outlet centers in Livermore, Calif., Antill and LaHood said. For those outlet projects, the company brought in national brands like Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste and J. Crew. as tenants.
The company is planning to house roughly 100 retailers in its proposed Eagan facility, with at least one large, 20,000- to 25,000-square-foot anchor tenant. The mall, which will have its own food court, may bring in as many as 1,600 to 2,000 new retail jobs to the city, Paragon officials said.
The company is currently in the process of recruiting tenants for the building, Antill said.
Eagan resident Mark Ryan, who also spoke during the public hearing portion of the meeting, questioned whether city officials had evaluated stormwater and traffic impacts in the area. Ryan worried that the development of the mall may overburden the already busy intersection of Hwy. 13 and Cedar Grove Parkway with excess traffic.
Although he eventually voted in favor of the mall proposal, Advisory Planning Commission member Mark Filipi questioned the orientation of the building on the site.
"Here, I think we do really have an option for a gateway, and what are we going to be putting facing out toward [Hwy.] 13 and toward Cedar [Avenue]? A parking lot and the backside of the development," Filipi said.
"I just think that couldve been al little more innovative about how we designed the site to get a more attractive facade."
Want to find out more about the proposed Cedar Grove outlet mall? Check out these previous articles on the subject: