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Official plans submitted to transform State Farm property

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A property that has gone through a few name changes over the past few years is finally getting a new and possibly permanent identity.

The 100-acre mixed-use development formerly home to the State Farm corporate headquarters that was named Woodbury Corporate Center when it closed is now dubbed “City Place.”

Plans call for the large corporate office development that has sat empty for years to soon breathe new life through a proposal by the national real estate investment firm Elion Partners, which is under contract with State Farm to purchase the site.

The city received the proposal this week to redesign the campus with plans to keep the existing office building and surround it with retail space, pedestrian trails, parks and water features.

“The building is unique to start with,” City Planner Eric Searles said. “Layering a retail area to a 400,000 square foot building is a unique opportunity to do a high quality project.”

The application will require a rezoning request from office use to “gateway” because it includes a 40,000 square foot grocery store, a 108-room hotel and 160,000 square feet of retail shops in addition to medical office buildings and two sit-down restaurants.

Properties zoned gateway, like Tamarack Hills, allow for complementary retail shops and restaurants to office use, Searles said.

The proposal includes entry from Radio Drive with the existing building as the center attraction and a plaza connecting the grocery store and retail to the medical offices.

“That strong connection is going to assist in the leasing of the office space,” Searles said.

The campus, located at Interstate 94 and Radio Drive, is a gateway to the community that’s been high on the priority list of redevelopment projects in the city.

“The name City Place articulates our original vision of bringing an urban development to this prime suburban location, providing complementary uses to the existing office building while preserving the places to work focus of the site,” said Juan DeAngulo, managing principal with Elion Partners. “We are excited to enter this new phase of the project and continue our collaboration with the city of Woodbury.”

The development will be done in phases starting with the hotel and the grocery store.

Construction is set to begin this summer once City Council gives its final OK. In the meantime, Elion will continue work with the planning department to tweak the proposal, work on a traffic study and schedule neighborhood meetings.

“It’s encouraging to see the amount of momentum the variety of uses have this early in the process,” said Matt Alexander, director of real estate development for Kraus-Anderson, which is collaborating with Elion Partners to reposition the former corporate campus. Alexander said he is also receiving early interest for medical office use at City Place.

The site is valued at $20.6 million, according to Washington County property records.

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.