Looking ahead to 2013: Southern Woodbury growth to ramp upWoodbury will begin to look a little different this year. New development in the southern sector and a major facelift to the city’s signature sports complex will be among changes residents can expect.
By: Woodbury Bulletin staff, Woodbury Bulletin
Woodbury will begin to look a little different this year.
New development in the southern sector and a major facelift to the city’s signature sports complex will be among changes residents can expect.
“We are entering an exciting time seeing our careful planning come to fruition, furthering our purpose for Woodbury to be a leading community in which to live, work and thrive,” City Administrator Clint Gridley said proudly.
In the meantime, a local charter school will expand and Woodbury High School will roll out a new Spanish immersion program, while Afton residents prepare for new community features and state lawmakers enter a new political landscape at the Capitol.
City looks to new projects
The $21.8 million Bielenberg Sports Center project is now in the construction plan development stage and is expected to be bid this month.
Woodbury City Council would have to approve the bids in February or March in order to start construction in April of this year.
The expansion project would bring tons more space for all sports groups in the community as well as the public who uses the facility for various recreational purposes.
The city plans to remodel the center to get rid of an aging bubble, fix up the lobby and add an outdoor ice rink.
“Bielenberg Sports Center is one of the premier athletic facilities in the metro area,” Gridley said. “However, the fabric dome field house at BSC has reached the end of its useful life and needs to be upgraded.
“Replacing the bubble field house with an expanded permanent structure will increase its year-round use, improve energy efficiency and provide space to attract community-wide events and other regional trade shows.”
The field house will go from the current 50,000 square feet to about 90,000. The city expects to host the last event at the old field house, the Woodbury Community Expo, in April, and tear down the bubble after that.
City Council already approved opening up Phase 2 for development at the end of last year and the area will finally see some building activity this year.
The Phase 2 development is made up of two areas: The Urban Village located at the southwest corner of Bailey Road and Radio Drive called “Bielenberg Gardens” and “Fields of Woodbury,” located east and south of East Ridge High School.
“It is expected that construction of Bielenberg Gardens retail/service center for the southern portion of the community could begin in 2013 and will incorporate a mixture of community-scale retail, service and office space, as well as medium to high-density residential and community gathering spaces,” Gridley said.
The first plat was approved in December for 40 acres of the 100-acre “Bailey Lake” subdivision adjacent to Salem Meadows.
Bielenberg Gardens is expected to bring the first grocery store to serve the southern portion of Woodbury and neighboring Cottage Grove residents. An official plan for the business has not been submitted to the city.
Related to developments, the city and Washington County are collaborating on a construction project that would expand Radio Drive between Bailey Road and Hargis Parkway.
The four-lane, divided roadway plan will add trails on both sides and a pedestrian tunnel under Radio Drive that would connect Bielenberg Sports Center to the new Urban Village.
Additionally, Washington County plans to improve the pavement condition of Radio Drive from Hargis Parkway to Military Road in 2013.
The city also plans to extend Pioneer Drive from Hargis Parkway to Dale Road in 2013 to allow for the developments of Phase 2, Gridley said.
Motorists will see some closures in southern Woodbury as another major roadway, Woodbury Drive, gets redone with roundabouts at Bailey and Lake roads.
The Gateway Corridor Commission, which has representation from Washington County, the city of Woodbury and neighboring cities, has been studying transit options along Interstate 94 from the St. Croix Bridge to St. Paul.
The panel decided that a bus rapid transit was the preferred option to link the east metro area, including Woodbury, to downtown St. Paul’s refurbished Union Depot.
“The next step is developing the transitway including preliminary engineering and environmental documentation, final design and then construction,” Gridley said. “Depending upon federal and local funding, a new transitway in the Gateway Corridor could be operational by 2022.”