The city council agreed Tuesday to ask the Metropolitan Council to amend the land use designation at 3333 Pilot Knob Road. If the Metropolitan Council approves the city's request, 41.2 of 47.4 acres near the corner of Pilot Knob and Yankee Doodle Roads could be used for retail space. It has been used as office space since the first building permit was issued in 1966, according to a city document.
It could be months before any lease agreements are made, but CSM Eagan LLC has some tenants in mind should this vision become reality. CSM acquired the 623,000-square-foot facility from Lockheed Martin after the company decided to transition hundreds of employees out of Eagan. Lockheed Martin will make that transition by March 2013, said Tom Palmquist, vice president of commercial development for Minneapolis-based CSM Corp., which owns retail and industrial properties, hotels and apartment complexes across the Twin Cities and the nation.
Eagan Mayor Mike Maguire made it clear, though, that if that space becomes a retail center, it needs to provide a unique experience in the Twin Cities area. He used the term "marquee destination" to describe his vision, saying he expects a retail outlet that can't be accessed in many or any other places in the metro area.
The city could lose more higher-paying jobs if this space switches from office to retail use. But Maguire said he would be more comfortable making that switch if the region gets a unique destination area.
Councilmember Cyndee Fields said city surveys have shown a need for more retail in the area. A retail market study will be done to see if the area can absorb more shops without cost or consequence.
Palmquist of CSM said he's on the same page as the city in terms of the vision.
"This is a great piece of property in a great community," he said.