BLAINE, Minn. – (Sept. 13, 2018) – Panera Bread, Hy-Vee, Kwik Trip, Taco Bell, Harbor Freight, Starbucks. Those are just some of the businesses in development or under construction in Blaine. Backed by a continued growth in residential development, commercial development is booming, making 2018 one of the busiest development years in recent memory.
“We are having a record year as far as value and development this year we’re looking at over $200 millions worth of development and we’ve never touched those number before,” said Erik Thorvig, the Blaine’s economic development coordinator.
And the most talked about development in town hasn’t even made it through the approval process yet.
“We’ve been working with Hy-Vee for almost over a year now, there’s been a lot of site prep that they’ve had to go through and a lot of due diligence, the site they’re looking at is unique with the soil conditions that they have there so they’ve been doing a lot of work determining what needs to be done as far as soil improvements, wetlands and so forth so we’re anxious to get their formal application and we’ve finally got that and they’re going through the approval process with the planning commission and city council,” Thorvig said.
Hy-Vee is looking to build on a 40 acre vacant site at Main Street and Jefferson. The site near Roosevelt Middle School was once a farm and has been empty for many years. Hy-Vee had its first formal review in Blaine this week.
“Whenever development like this is brought forward they go to the planning commission first and that happened on Sept. 11 and the planning commission did recommend approval of the project,” he said.
Next the city council will review the plan and hear from anyone in the community who wishes to speak to them about the project. Hy-Vee will be on the council agenda on October 4. If approved construction is expected to start on the site this fall.
“So at this time, Hy-Vee is proposing an 85,000 sq. ft. store, that’s a little bit smaller than their typical footprint, typically they do 95,000 sq. ft. that’s what we’ve seen in Oakdale and Brooklyn Park and some of their other locations, but to increase the setback from the adjacent residential neighborhood, they wanted to shrink the size of the store so they’ll have that, it’ll have a liquor component, it’ll have the restaurant and a lot of things that you see at the Brooklyn Park location, and they’ll also have the gas station component with the adjacent Starbucks coffee on the front end, but they also have room for additional development as well, they showed us a concept plan that had senior housing and retail, but that’s just what it is at this point, it’s conceptual,” Thorvig said.
Other development projects are father along and several are under construction.
“Taco Bell just broke grown on their new store on south side of 117th next to the AutoZone and on the north side Harbor Freight is starting to do some site work, so those two projects will be going on this fall, winter and next spring, and then next spring we anticipate ground breaking on the Cedar Point apartments which was approved by our city council on the corner of 117th and Ulysses and then Kwik Trip has its sights on the opposite corner so a lot of activity on 117th and Ulysses,” Thorvig said.
The Kwik Trip at 117th is just one of three new stores Kwik Trip is bringing to Blaine.
“Kwik trip is building two new locations currently, one on 105th and Radisson which is very visible next to the National Sports Center and then over near the park side north development at 102nd and Lexington Ave.,” he said.
Commercial development also includes a new hotel expected to open in time for next summer’s inaugural 3M Open and a new Panera near Super Target on 65. Additionally, two large industrial projects are underway.
“The most notable one is Crown Iron Works, this is a project that we’ve been working on for about two years, they’re looking to do a 70,000 sq. ft. building over off of Naples Street, this is going to be their global headquarters a lot of high-paying jobs, they’ll be bringing over one hundred new jobs to Blaine so we’re excited about that, and the other industrial project is Protofab Engineering which is a great success story of an existing Blaine business that is doing so well that they’re expanding and building a new facility in Blaine,” he said.
Blaine also continues to experience residential development growth which has lead to this boom in commercial development. And, according to Thorvig, the development won’t slow down anytime soon.
“The large developments especially the apartment projects that we’re going to see, those projects are $50 million apiece and then you add all of our residential and commercial activity we will be probably well into the $200 million range again for 2019, so things are definitely not slowing down, and in fact, they’re increasing,” he said.
The website, blainebiz.com is a great resource to keep you up to date on all the developments in the community. You are also encouraged to contact city staff with any development questions you have.