At the end of September, Paragon Outlet Partners, LLC., the company behind the development of proposed outlet mall on nearly 30 acres in the Cedar Grove Redevelopment Area in Eagan, submitted its preliminary plans for the mall.
Click here to view new renderings of the proposed outlet mall.
Patch may not be able to tell you which tenants are going where yet, but the vision for the complex just got a whole lot clearer. Here's what you should know about what the developers have in store:
1) It's Bigger Than Expected
Early estimates for the size of the mall put the area at roughly 400,000 square feet. But Paragon Outlet Partners LLC., the owner and developer of the outlet mall project, wants to go bigger. The company is planning to build six buildings in an roughly oval pattern on the nearly 30-acre site, for a total of 441,300 square feet, according to preliminary plans. The largest building, located on the north end of the project, would have a footprint of 156,900 square feet. Other buildings on the site would be, in descending order: 92,000 square feet, 84,000 square feet, 45,500 square feet, 42,400 square feet and 20,500 square feet in area. Roughly 90-100 shops—ranging from small retailers to larger anchor tenants—will be housed in the outlet mall.
2) Walkability Is Key
Pedestrian access is paramount for both city officials monitoring the project and the developer itself. It's so important, in fact, that Paragon plans to build an open-air streetscape between the buildings that would include park benches, bike racks, lighting, planters and a large plaza in the center of the complex. Some of the concourses—as they are called in Paragon's plans—will be covered by canopies to limit exposure to the elements. Other parts will remain open to the sky.
The total length of the walkways—including a perimeter path running around the exterior of the mall? Roughly 8,300 feet, or more than a mile and a half.
3) That's a Lot of Parking
Under the current plan, two surface parking lots to the east and the west of the structure will provide a total of 829 parking stalls. A multi-level ramp, which may cost $19 million to construct, will contain as many as 1,400 additional stalls. Construction of the ramp will be paid for by a public-private partnership between the Eagan Economic Development Authority and Paragon. The developer is on the hook for roughly $4.23 million, while the EDA will pay the majority using Tax-Increment Finance funding.
4) Project Comes with a New Park
You heard me right. As we've reported before, the city is working to develop a new, 3.5-acre park on undeveloped land directly south of the proposed mall. Although city officials haven't unveiled an official park plan yet, Eagan City Administrator Tom Hedges said the favors a more natural concept for the park. Planners hope the park will provide a respite for weary shoppers and give residents of the Cedar Grove area some much-needed green space.
Building a huge, new outlet mall is taxing on the local infrastructure. Just to make room for the mall, the city is planning to reroute at least two streets: Rahn Road to the east, and Cedar Grove Boulevard to the north. The city isn't the only one that may have to make room for the mall. Xcel Energy is planning to move a 26-inch natural gas feed that runs across the site. The total infrastructure work may cost $4.7 million—which Paragon has agreed to pay.
Expect the mall, if it gets the necessary approvals from the Eagan City Council, to be open in late 2014. It may seem like a huge undertaking, but Paragon planners aim to be up and running in time for either the 2014 back-to-school season or the holiday shopping spree. Paragon submitted its Preliminary Planned Development application, as well as preliminary subdivision and rezoning applications, to the city at the end of September. The application may appear in front of the Eagan Advisory Planning Commission as early as Oct. 23, and go in front of the council on Nov. 20.
A massive outlet mall may not have been what city officials were planning when they first laid out a mixed-use plan for the area that called for offices, residential and retail, but city planners believe the project will ultimately fit with the community's vision for the area.
"We believe that the proposed project employs many of the principles found in the Cedar Grove design framework and readily aligns itself with the intent of the city’s vision in creating a pedestrian-friendly envionment," city officials wrote in the project's preliminary planned development application. "The city’s vision for the cedar grove redevelopment is to once again make the area a strong, vibrant gateway to the city of Eagan by creating a viable mixed-use area that utilizes its highway visibility and accessibility, while maintaining compatible land use relationships with surrounding uses.”
8) Room to Grow
While the project takes up a large chunk of the available land in the Cedar Grove area, there is more elbow room available. The city plans to leave to parcels to the southwest and southeast of the mall site open for future commercial development. Also, a storefront facade on the south side of the parking ramp may accommodate additional shopping.