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Oakdale Mall Construction Could Begin Sooner Than Expected

Oakdale Community Development Director Bob Streetar said developers are working closely with a senior housing provider that might want to begin building in the spring or fall.

New construction on the Oakdale Mall property could begin sooner than expected if the city’s developer reaches an agreement with a senior housing company interested in constructing a 120-unit building at the site, a city official said.

“It’s a great way to start, we’re a year ahead of schedule,” said Community Development Director Bob Streetar at an Oakdale City Council workshop Tuesday, April 26. “The fact that this more than likely is going to go, it means we reduce bond costs; it provides some energy to the project; it lets people know that investment’s happening.”

Streetar said the proposed four-story building would be worth $13 million to $15 million, not including the cost of the land.

Demolition of the old mall should begin around June 20th and be done by the end of July he said.

Council member Kent Dotas asked whether the dilapidated “Oakdale Center” signs at the entrances to the site could be removed sooner.

“If that sign's coming down, my thought is let’s get it down ASAP,” Dotas said. “If it’s going to happen anyways, sooner rather than later.”

The signs will likely stay for a little while, Streetar said, because the city doesn’t have a contract for demolition yet, and developers plan to put hoods over the signs with the site’s new name, “Tartan Crossing,” printed on them.

Work on the infrastructure within and surrounding the site will begin this year, Streetar said.

The city plans to do a number of improvements including adding a right-turn lane from southbound Hadley Avenue to 10th Street, installing signal lights at Hadley Avenue and 11th Street, burying overhead lines along 10th Street and building a road through the site.

The senior housing company, which Streetar did not name, is asking that a pond planned for the site’s northwest corner be moved south of the proposed building.

Because the owner of the property to the north of the site wants to work with the city, it’s possible that part or all of the pond could be moved to that property, Streetar said.

An energy-related company with a location in Roseville also has expressed interest in building at the Oakdale Mall site, Streetar said. Because they would need redundant power, he said the city has suggested that an alternative location for the 60,000 square-foot building they’re looking to construct might be at the former site of a tennis bubble near the city’s at 50th Street and Hadley Avenue.

Oakdale is one of multiple locations being considered by the company, Streetar said.

Randall Johnson April 27, 2011 at 11:48 AM
Not enough has been told for me to form a solid opinion, but on first blush, this looks like a less-than-best use. This site is large enough and ideally located enough to host something really special. Senior housing and "retail/commercial"... I'll bet those stores end up being hair salons and dentists. Not that those aren't needed, but I was sort of hoping for something that would really set Oakdale apart. With our other entertainment features, this would've been a great place for a development consisting of a variety of restaurants and night spots, or to the other extreme, for something like a water park. I don't know, I'm not impressed so far.
jeannie novak April 27, 2011 at 02:49 PM
I believe there shouldn't be any consideration for senior housing in this location being that Cardinal Pointe is a half block away and is not full to capacity. There are still several empty units at Cardinal Pointe which tells me that there isn't really a need for more senior housing in Oakdale. Do we really need 3 senior housing complexes within a half block of each other?
sheila marfell April 28, 2011 at 12:33 PM
Our home is at 524 Gentry & I'm on the Hamline University Staff, working in Facilities Services. Our office is in the process of building a 30 Million$ building on Campus. I would WELCOME a New Neighbor planning to build a Financially & Environmentally Sound, Attractive & Sustainable Building. I look forward to watching future construction plans. Gd luck!!
Randall Johnson April 28, 2011 at 12:41 PM
I would welcome that, too, from 1733 Hallmark Av N, but I don't believe any of that has been evidenced or even claimed. Oakdale is not hurting for retail locations, with many vacancies north of 10th and Century as well as in Bergen Plaza, and a commentor here indicates more senior housing also is not in demand, though I don't have any first-hand knowledge of that. This is one of the very best pieces of real estate in Oakdale, commercially. It should be treated accordingly.

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