– Sun Post
Resident input will help inform master planning process for 35-acre site
A fourth and final community outreach event related to the potential development of the former Brookdale Ford and Brookdale Square sites in the area dubbed as Brooklyn Center’s opportunity site was hosted May 1 at the Brookdale Library.
The series of meetings has been a partnership between the city and the developer Alatus LLC, which has a preliminary development agreement with the city for a portion of the opportunity site. The Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Coalition’s Corridor Development Initiative has also been a partner in the workshops.
In its entirety, the opportunity site has an 81-acre footprint and is bounded by Shingle Creek Parkway, Bass Lake Road, Highway 100 and Summit Drive North.
The property in discussion at the development workshops has been a smaller, approximately 35-acre, Brooklyn Center Economic Development Authority-owned parcel in the southern area of the opportunity site. This parcel is also referred to as the Brookdale Ford and Brookdale Square site, and the city council granted Alatus exclusive rights to work towards developing the site in 2018.
In studies dating back as far as 2002, the opportunity site has been identified as an area ripe for redevelopment as a downtown or signature center, with mixed uses and a walkable design.
The fourth meeting was an effort to compile a set of final recommendations based on the previous discussions, and to collectively edit a draft copy of development guidelines. That is, participants collectively read and edited a seven-page document of aspirational development guidelines for the site, with the group coming to a collective consensus on the document’s nature and contents.
“The goals of this workshop and what we’re really hoping to create with these recommendations is to flesh this vision out into something that is measurable, something that when we create a master plan, that we can have recommendations that will both inform that master planning work — but also, when we take that master plan to our council, and the council is asked to approve it, they’ll have a document that they can say that the residents of Brooklyn Center have identified what’s important to them, their values what they want out of the site,” said Meg Beekman, community development director. “We can measure how well we’ve done, and match it up against … the plan that we’ve actually created.”
The meeting space at the Brookdale Library was divided up into tables, and each table was given an opportunity to provide feedback or changes on the development guideline document. As groups provided feedback, the document was projected on a screen and edited with changes highlighted in red.
The document was split into an overview of the site’s history, an overview of the city’s demographic makeup and a description of the redevelopment site. This was followed by development recommendations related to economic vitality, housing, and public spaces and connections. It largely lays out a description for a site with a variety of housing stock, places to gather and recreate, and space for local or otherwise regionally unique businesses, among other development concepts.
After editing, the document will be included as part of a report for the planning commission and the city council, along with a document summarizing the four workshops. The documents will be “attached to this master plan once that’s completed,” Beekman said. “But in addition, obviously these recommendations will begin to inform the master planning work. So this is really the stepping off point.”
By: Kevin Miller
Date: May 8, 2019
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