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MCWD and Kraus-Anderson Part Ways on 325 Blake Road Redevelopment in Hopkins

The MCWD to work with partners to further define the site’s public spaces
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) and Kraus-Anderson (KA) have mutually agreed to part ways following more than six months of visioning the future redevelopment of the 325 Blake Road site in Hopkins. Minneapolis-based KA had been selected as the site’s master developer in May 2018. While the MCWD and KA are both excited about the site’s potential to integrate a restored Minnehaha Creek with a transit-oriented, mixed-use development along the planned Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT) line, they could not come to terms on a vision and purchase price that was satisfactory to both parties.

“We appreciate Kraus-Anderson’s assistance in helping us and our partners discover the potential of this amazing property,” said Sherry White, MCWD Board President. “With a focus on the value-added benefits of the site’s natural resources, we look forward to exploring future opportunities for the development community to help us and the City of Hopkins deliver an integrated site that improves the quality of water and the quality of life in the community.”

The MCWD, which acquired the 17-acre property in 2011 as part of the largest restoration of an urban creek in Twin Cities’ history - the Minnehaha Creek Greenway - will be working with its public partners to add clarity and vision for the site’s public spaces. By further defining the restoration of the site’s natural resources and how they can complement a publicly-accessible development along the planned SWLRT line, the MCWD will further realize its mission of creating a balanced urban ecology. By taking the additional step to further clarify the potential public features of the site, we believe it will become an even more attractive opportunity to developers to leverage complimentary private investments.

“It was a privilege to work on this project with the MCWD and we look forward to seeing it take shape,” said Matt Alexander, Senior Vice President, Kraus-Anderson Development. “This project exemplifies the MCWD’s innovative spirit and desire to produce a high-value, sustainable development that meets community needs and is integrated with the site’s natural resources – a win, win for all involved.”

The 325 Blake Road site, which was home to a large cold storage warehouse that was demolished in 2018, is adjacent to Minnehaha Creek, the newly restored Cottageville Park, and the planned Blake Road LRT station in Hopkins. The redevelopment will be a gateway to the Minnehaha Creek Greenway’s 109 acres of contiguous and previously inaccessible green space, will treat 270 acres of stormwater, will improve water quality in the creek’s most degraded stretch, and will meet the city’s goal for an integrated residential development. With its unique position along the planned Southwest LRT line and the reconstructed Blake Road corridor, the future redevelopment is envisioned to be a mixed-use, transit-oriented site that invites the public into the Minnehaha Creek Greenway’s green space and trail system.

“We applaud the MCWD’s decision to focus on further defining the public spaces on the site,” said Mike Mornson, Hopkins City Manager. “The City of Hopkins looks forward to continuing the partnership on this amazing project, and bringing the highest possible value to the community.”

The MCWD is eager to further define the vision for 325 Blake Road as it master plans the Minnehaha Creek Greenway and regional stormwater components. As always, planning efforts will include opportunities for community involvement in helping to shape the future of the site.

Design of the streambank restoration and stormwater management practices are expected to begin this year with construction anticipated during the winter of 2019-20. Visit our project page for more information on the 325 Blake Road Redevelopment.