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CityPlace completes retail Phase I

CityPlace is starting to take shape with the completion of the project's second phase.

At a ribbon-cutting event last Thursday, members from Kraus-Anderson and Florida-based Elion Partners—both of whom are spearheading the project—announced the completion of the 100-acre project's retail Phase I.

"We almost have to pinch ourselves because not too long ago, we were walking this site ... among trees, a vacant building and a lot of asphalt," said Elion Partners Managing Principal, Juan DeAngulo. "It's exciting to see a vision come to a reality."

Anchored by Whole Foods, the multi-billion dollar project will include Sur La Table, Nordstrom Rack and La-Z-Boy Home Furnishings and Décor. The new retailers join a 116-room Marriott Residence Inn hotel and are slated to open next year.

The list of other tenants includes who have made—or are making—their way to CityPlace include Verizon Wireless, Bank of America, Café Zupas, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Pie Five Pizza Co., CycleBar, Wedding Day Diamonds, Caribou Coffee & Einstein Bagels, Naf Naf Grill, Chuck & Don's, Mattress Firm, Potbelly Sandwich Shop and TU Nails.

The site has drawn about 20 new businesses, some of which are making their debuts in Minnesota.

Last fall, Elion Partners announced plans to redevelop the site of a 400,000-square-foot office building at CityPlace as a multi-unit office park. TRIA Orthopaedic Center announced it would be the first in a series of new offices.

"As you look around, you really see the transformation growth that the development around us represents," Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens said. "That vision is quickly becoming a reality."

The former site of the State Farm Insurance building, the site remained undeveloped and vacant for years after the insurer moved out of its headquarters in 2006.

Development plans remained largely uncertain when developer Wellington Management had troubles selling its concept to the city in 2011.

Three years later, the Woodbury City Council approved the mixed-use development, after Elion Partners and Kraus-Anderson Realty Co. purchased of the land and proposed its concept for the CitiPlace project.

Since breaking ground, the project moved 480,000 yards of earth moved, built 1-1/2 miles of road and removed several thousand trees, Kraus-Anderson vice president of development Matt Alexander said.

"It's a big project, and it takes a village," Alexander said.

CityPlace development is expected to wrap up next year.

WATCH: Long awaited, the CityPlace development is starting to take shape, and business interests, the Woodbury Area Chamber of Commerce and local officials are celebrating accordingly.