After years of work positioning the Cedar Grove Area in southwest Eagan for redevelopment as a community "gateway," Eagan city officials now have a proposal to develop a 400,000-square-foot retail outlet center on the site.
Baltimore-based Paragon Outlets wants to purchase 35 acres of city-owned land near the intersection of Cedar Ave. and Hwy. 13 and build a regional outlet mall and two-story parking ramp at the site, according to documents released by the city. The proposed project would include a variety of small- to medium-sized shops and restaurants.
The proposal comes just weeks after developer . While details about Paragon's preliminary proposal are few, the company says previous projects of a similar scale have generated as many as 400 construction jobs and 1,500 to 2,000 retail jobs, according to a letter addressed to Eagan Mayor Mike Maguire.
City officials say Paragon has spent considerable time evaluating sites in the Twin Cities market, and likes Cedar Grove's proximity to the Mall of America and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Previous market studies found that the Cedar Grove site wouldn't be able to support significant community or sub-regional retail centers, Eagan Community Development Director Jon Hohenstein noted in a memo to City Administrator Tom Hedges. For that reason, the city previously chose to focus on high-density housing and office/service developments. But an outlet center could become a destination and draw "tourist shoppers" from beyond the immediate area, Hohenstein said.
The project may require the city to realign Cedar Grove Boulevard and move an existing Xcel Energy gas pipeline. The cost to move the pipeline alone may be as much as $1.2 million, according to city officials. The proposal would leave room for other, smaller developments in the Cedar Grove area.
The city hasn't yet named a purchase price for the 35-acre property; that price would likely depend on an analysis of the total project cost and other factors. Based on previous projects, Paragon's preliminary investment could total as much as $100 million.
Paragon will present the preliminary project plan to the Eagan Economic Development Authority during the Eagan City Council meeting on Tuesday evening. If the EDA gives preliminary approval to the proposal, city staff would likely draft a sales agreement for the land. The proposal would still need formal council approval to move forward.
"We at Paragon believe the Village at Cedar Grove Redevelopment Area is ideally suited for a state-of-the-art destination outlet project with its proximity to the Mall of America, the Minnesota Zoo and all of the other great attractions in and around the Eagan area," Paragon Outlets representative Kelvin Antill wrote in a letter to Maguire.
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