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Master Developer Selected for 325 Blake Road Redevelopment in Hopkins

Project is the centerpiece of Minnehaha Creek Greenway restoration
Thursday, June 14, 2018


Aerial of cold storage, credit Erdahl Aerial PhotosFollowing a thorough search process the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD), with strong support from the City of Hopkins, has selected Minneapolis-based Kraus-Anderson as the master developer for the redevelopment of an industrial site at 325 Blake Road in Hopkins. The site, which is home to a large cold storage warehouse, is the centerpiece of the Minnehaha Creek Greenway restoration. It is adjacent to Minnehaha Creek, the newly restored Cottageville Park and the proposed Blake Road light rail station. The redevelopment of the 17-acre parcel meets the city’s goal for an integrated residential development and the MCWD’s goal to restore Minnehaha Creek through its most degraded stretch.

“By working in partnership, the MCWD seeks to realize its vision of integrating the natural and built environments and create thriving communities,” said Sherry White, MCWD board president. “This project epitomizes our approach of working in partnership to improve water quality while achieving our partners’ goals and Kraus-Anderson’s combination of skills and experience is a great fit.”

Kraus-Anderson was among a field of six applicants who replied to the request for qualifications, which was drafted with input from the Southwest LRT Community Works Blake Road Corridor Subcommittee. The subcommittee included representatives from the cities of Hopkins, St. Louis Park and Edina, Hennepin County, and the Blake Road Corridor Collaborative. A joint working group representing the City of Hopkins and MCWD reviewed the submissions, interviewed the top three applicants, and recommended Kraus-Anderson based on how its proposed concept aligns with the community’s vision for the site.

Over the next several months, Kraus-Anderson will work closely with the project partners to refine the concept and create a transit-oriented redevelopment that integrates affordable housing, invites people into Minnehaha Creek’s green space, and improves water quality by restoring the creek and treating regional stormwater.

“The city is enthusiastic about the potential for this site to contribute to the ongoing revitalization of the Blake Road corridor,” said Aaron Kuznia, member of the Hopkins City Council and joint working group. “We applaud the community-driven process that was used to select the master developer and we look forward to continuing that inclusiveness through design and construction.”

The 325 Blake Road redevelopment is the latest phase of the restoration of Minnehaha Creek through its most degraded stretch in Hopkins and St. Louis Park. The MCWD purchased the site in 2011 as a key piece of the Minnehaha Creek Greenway, a comprehensive restoration of the creek that will provide 50 acres of previously inaccessible green space, treat 450 acres of regional stormwater, improve habitat, enhance public access to the creek, and connect residents to transit and local businesses.

Of the site’s 17 acres, MCWD will retain approximately four acres for treatment of stormwater that flows into the creek from 260 acres of surrounding area, and restoration of 1,000 feet of creek frontage. The remaining 13 acres will be sold and transformed into a residential development that features a restored Minnehaha Creek and meets the needs of commuters as well as residents and visitors.

“This project has tremendous potential to benefit our communities and the environment,” said Jan Callison, chair of the Hennepin County Board and the Southwest LRT Community Works Steering Committee. “I am really pleased with the inclusive spirit of partnership that has brought us this far, and I look forward to continued community engagement.”

After finalizing the terms of the contract, which is expected to take 90 to 120 days, the project will move into design phase. Construction is expected to begin in 2019 with completion slated for 2021. Demolition of the cold storage warehouse is expected to begin in late summer 2018. The demolition is being timed to coincide with the reconstruction of Blake Road to minimize disruption for the community.

For the latest information on the 325 Blake Road redevelopment, the public is invited to sign up for project updates. Sign up for project updates and learn more about the project.