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Hudson's St. Croix Meadows up for sale

A Twin Cities real estate broker says he's already fielded some inquiries from potential buyers of the long-closed St. Croix Meadows greyhound race track. The 126-acre property includes a 372,000-square-foot grandstand facility. Website photo

The former St. Croix Meadows greyhound race track on Carmichael Road is for sale after having sat vacant for 10 years.

The 126-acre property -- including a 372,000-square-foot grandstand facility, 12,000-square-foot office building, racing track, dog kennels and parking lot -- was a featured property in the real estate section of Sunday's Minneapolis Star Tribune.

"It's an interesting building and the imagination kind of runs wild about what could be done there," the Star Tribune quotes real estate broker Frank Jermusek as saying about the facility.

"I'd see a master developer type of buyer for it," Jermusek added. He noted that city water and sewer utilities run past the site.

Some have speculated that the Hudson School District may have some interest in the property as the site of a new high school. School officials announced recently that the district is searching for a site of at least 100 acres, preferably with amenities like sewer, water and established roads. Any interest, however, may be influenced by the price of the dog track property.

St. Croix Meadows opened in 1991 at a cost of $40 million to build.

Soon after, Native American casinos opened in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and proved to be stiff competition for the dog track. The track lost money most of the 10 years that it was open.

Owner Fred Havenick of Florida tried for years to open a casino at the track in partnership with Wisconsin tribes, but that effort was finally rejected in 2001 by then Gov. Scott McCallum.

The track closed soon after and has remained closed since then.

Havenick died a few years ago. His family is selling the property through the Twin Cities office of Grubb & Ellis/Northco Real Estate Services. Jermusek is a principal of the real estate firm.

The firm hasn't disclosed the asking price for property to the public.

"It's remarkable to walk through the place because it's still in great shape," Jermusek was quoted as saying. "It has been well maintained since it was closed."

He told the Star Tribune that the bustling commercial district that has grown up nearby along I-94 makes the dog track an attractive redevelopment site.