(BLAINE – Sept. 9, 2021) – A lawsuit the owners of Northtown Mall in Blaine filed against the Metropolitan Council over the bus station on the mall’s property has been postponed.
A spokesperson for Met Council confirmed that the trial, which at one time was scheduled to begin next week in Anoka, has been postponed. According to Met Council and to the Minnesota Judicial Branch, the parties were notified of a status conference set for December 8, where there could be word of a settlement or “progress on a settlement.”
As North Metro TV first reported, the owners of Northtown Mall, Washington Prime Group, sued Metro Transit, a division of the Met Council, because the mall wants the land the bus station–which serves as a transfer point for several lines and could ultimately be the terminus for a rapid bus route between downtown Minneapolis and Blaine–moved.
In June, Washington Prime Group–which also owns Maplewood Mall–announced it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
In 2019, the mall informed the transit agency that it wanted the station to move so that it could lease the land (on the south side of the mall near University Avenue) to a possible retail or dining establishment. According to the Met Council, the bus station is partly on land that the mall owns and partly on land the Met Council owns.
The plan was to move the bus station to the southeast corner, in a vacant mall parking lot along Sanburnol Drive NE along the Spring Lake Park-Blaine city limit border. That angered residents who live along the road, who said the noise and light pollution from the station would negatively affect their homes.
At the same time, the city of Blaine is working on a master redevelopment plan for the area around Northtown Mall.