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Burnsville Center 2018The back to the 80s car show at the Burnsville Center, 2018 and being repeated in 2019. This is an ALL-Inclusive auto event - Ford, Pontiac, Chevy, Dodge, Nissan, Mazda, Toyota, Jaguar, Porsche, Ferrari...if it was made in the 80’s, bring it out!
Burnsville Center, Northwestern Bank 1978February 17, 1978 Northwestern Bank opens at Burnsville Center.
Exterior signs for the Burnsville CenterThis is the signage being used at the Burnsville Center - 2016 - 2017.
Brookstone - Burnsville CenterLocated in the Mall in the 1980s, photo compliments of the Burnsville Center.
Build a vision and market may follow - Burnsville Center area needs catalyst 2018November 16, 2018 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News reports:

Burnsville Center area needs catalyst, consultants say

Build a vision, and the market will come.

That’s the hope, anyway, for the 97-acre Burnsville Center property and surrounding County Road 42 retail area.

A city-hired consulting team working on the vision part says businesses need something to get excited about before they’ll descend on the area with new housing, hotels, restaurants, retail outlets and other attractions.

The team, assembled by Damon Farber Landscape Architects, is offering ideas for a mix of uses both north and south of 42, in a pedestrian- and bike-friendly area with a new set of streets and streetscapes and a “Center Village” anchored by the mall property.

The city and its consultants are trying to act as a catalyst to get things moving, Damon Farber President Tom Whitlock said at a Nov. 8 open house at City Hall, where about 40 people got a look at the plans.

Consultants have spoken with area businesses, major employers and the mall’s four owners — manager CBL Properties; Seritage, the firm spun off by Sears to handle its vacant big-box real estate as stores, including the one at Burnsville Center, closed; Macy’s; and J.C. Penney.

As retailing has changed in the online age, tens of millions have been poured into redevelopment of Eden Prairie Center, Ridgedale, Southdale and Rosedale, according to Whitlock. Burnsville Center, which has struggled with vacancies like other malls, has been left behind thus far.

“I think the city looked around the region and saw what was happening and sort of scratched their head as to why they’re not seeing the same kind of investing going on in Burnsville Center,” Whitlock said.

Redevelopment at other mall properties has been preceded by city involvement in proactive visions for what the areas could become, said Joan MacLeod of Damon Farber.

The Burnsville Center market area measures up to Eden Prairie, Ridgedale, Southdale and Rosedale in household income, population density and forecasted population growth, Whitlock said.

“So there’s a market there that we need to capture as part of this overall development,” he said.

The empty Seritage/Sears site on the east side of the mall, with its vast sea of vacant parking, could spark or dampen a larger redevelopment, Whitlock suggested. Seritage is “interested in seeing something happen sooner rather than later,” he said.

Housing is part of Seritage’s plans, consultant Bob Close said, adding that more housing may be built on the south side of the mall, which offers elevated views to the south.

Seritage is narrowing six development concepts for the Burnsville Center property but has 200 to deal with nationwide, Whitlock said. What will make Burnsville Center rise to the top?

“I think they would prefer to do something transformational,” he said. “Their message to us is, ‘The longer we wait, the more likely that we’re just going to re-tenant the building,’ and it’s not going to create a transformational change. I think that from the city’s perspective, they would like to see a transformational change instead of just re-tenanting old space.”

Macy’s and J.C. Penney have told consultants they’re “kind of waiting to see what Seritage is going to do,” Whitlock said. The retailers said they’re committed to their Burnsville Center properties, want to reinvest in them and don’t want to reduce their footprints, Whitlock said.

Concepts for the area include a new system of grid streets north of 42 between Aldrich Avenue and Burnhaven Drive. The grids could accommodate housing and businesses more diverse than nearby big-box retail.

Local employers such as health care provider Fairview and UTC Aerospace Systems told consultants that more worker housing and connectivity are important, Whitlock said.

“UTC has over 200 employees that ride bikes,” he said. “They want to see better bike connectivity to this district.”

A walking and biking tunnel could be built underneath 42. Consultants recommend better connection between the north and the south. The resulting bridge could be “kind of an iconic element for people passing by on 42 that announces the presence of the center,” Close said.

Aldrich could be continued from north of 42 to the south, running through the mall property and creating more streetscape for new businesses.

For the mall property itself, a “Winter Plaza” with skating and other common areas have been suggested. Mall tenants should transcend shopping, with more experiential uses for a diverse mix of people, consultants recommend.

The Center Village area needs a “cool factor,” said Andrew Montgomery of Damon Farber.

Changes to 42 and key intersections could also play a role, consultants said. A “strolling street” south of, parallel to and set back from 42 appears on a conceptual map.

A possible future Orange Line bus rapid transit station near Burnsville Center could be a further catalyst for development.

A couple of audience members wondered what could be done to help the mall before the area redevelops.

“It’s my favorite mall,” one man said.

It’s clear from talks with residents, employers and property owners that “everyone wants this to succeed,” Whitlock said. “That’s encouraging.”
Exterior of Burnsville Center MallA 2016 photo shows an entry to the Mall located on Co. Rd. 42
Interior Burnsville Center Mall 2016Portions of the food court and various levels of the Mall, located on Co. Rd. 42 are shown in this photo.
Burnsville CenterBurnsville Center while Sears was still open.
Sears at the Burnsville CenterOne of the mall's original stores, Sears closed when the company closed all its stores in MInnesota.
Burnsville Center 2016Mall Facts produced by CBL & Associates Properties, Inc.

Burnsville Center is a 1.1 million square-foot enclosed shopping center with more than 150 specialty retailers including Aéropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Best Buy Mobile, Charlotte Russe, Crazy 8, dressbarn, Gymboree, Hollister Co., Teavana, The Children’s Place,
The Limited, Victoria’s Secret and Zumiez. Burnsville Center also offers 11 quick-serve restaurants and six family sit-down restaurants.

New retailers include, H&M, Lucky’s 13 Pub, francesca’s, Shogun Hibachi, Vanity, Yankee Candle Company, Hoff Jewelers, Shoe Dept. Encore and Rogers & Hollands Jewelers.
Burnsville Center 2019A social and ballroom dance studio meant to create an inclusive and welcoming space for all dancers. Available for lessons, groups, and events, opened 2019.
Burnsville Center by air 1980sA view of Burnsville Center from Burnhaven Drive with roof of library, Buck Hill Road, 35 W and 35 E visible. Photo compliments of the Burnsville Center.
Burnsville CenterBurnsville Center around 1979
Burnsville Center 1976The Bicentennial Year Book published by the Burnsville Current June 30, 1976 includes this feature on the soon to be open Burnsville Center.
Burnsville Center 2016Interior photo of Burnsville Center - compliments of Experience Burnsville.
Burnsville Center amid retail activity 2018The Burnsville Community Guide 2018 - 2019 features the Burnsville Center.
Burnsville Center to celebrate anniversary with fundraiser 2002Burnsville Sun Current November 14, 2002 reports: This year marks Burnsville Center's 25th Anniversary and to commemorate the event, the mall is offering an evening celebration where the entire community can benefit. In its first NIGHT OF GIVING, the Center will play host to a special night of private after hours shopping to benefit local non profit organizations.
Burnsville Center 2017One in a series of random photos of the interior of the mall.
Burnsville Center 2017One in a series of random photos of the interior of the mall.
City seeking TIF authority for Burnsville Center area 2018The Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News December 21, 2018 reports:

City seeking TIF authority for Burnsville Center area

y John Gessner Dec 20, 2018 Updated Dec 20, 2018

As plans to remake the Burnsville Center retail area come into focus, city officials are focusing on the next step — locating money to grease the skids for redevelopment.

The city will seek special state legislation to create a tax-increment financing district for the County Road 42 retail corridor anchored by Burnsville Center. The City Council voted Dec. 18 to include the request in its 2019 legislative priorities, which council members will discuss with local lawmakers at a Jan. 15 work session.

Tax-increment financing allows local governments to grant incentives to developers and repay the costs of improvements such as new streets through increased future tax collections on redeveloped or newly developed properties.

Burnsville Center doesn’t qualify for a TIF district under state law because it doesn’t meet thresholds for building dilapidation or code noncompliance, according to a city staff report.

But experience with mall redevelopment in Minnesota and elsewhere shows that cities’ financial participation is “crucial to successful redevelopment,” the report said.

TIF has been used to assist the Ridgedale redevelopment in Minnetonka and the Southdale redevelopment in Edina, said Tom Whitlock of Damon Farber, the firm leading Burnsville Center/County Road 42 redevelopment planning for the city.

“That’s an important economic tool to pursue right away,” Whitlock told the council at a Dec. 11 work session.

Some properties around Burnsville Center may already qualify for TIF help, such as the aging Cub Foods-anchored mall at County Road 42 and Irving Avenue, which has lacked maintenance and reinvestment, Community Development Director Jenni Faulkner said.

At Burnsville Center, a new TIF district could be a game-changer. Seritage Growth Properties, which owns the vacant Sears store and parking lot, has told the city it would be “moved up the list” if it brought public assistance to the table, Faulkner said. Seritage holds numerous closed Sears sites around the country.

“And right now, they don’t qualify for TIF” in Burnsville, Faulkner said. “We don’t have any tools to offer them, except for (tax) abatement, and I don’t think that’s going to move the needle with them.”

It could take “one to three years” to secure special legislation, and “we don’t have much to come to the table with right now,” Faulkner said.

The longer the Sears site remains vacant, the greater the chance Seritage will seek a new tenant for the existing building rather than pursuing a “transformational” redevelopment, Whitlock has said.

The Damon Farber team has identified up to $31 million in public projects to complete the vision of a “Center Village” redevelopment in the corridor. The costliest projects are the extension of Aldrich Avenue north of 42 through the mall property on the south side, construction of a 42 pedestrian bridge and underpass, and a pedestrian bridge over Interstate 35W.

Center Village

The Center Village concept is split into North and South neighborhoods separated by County Road 42.

The South neighborhood is characterized by mall renovation and new development, offering shopping, entertainment, housing, public spaces and other uses in a walkable environment.

The North neighborhood would include new, smaller blocks of streets accommodating a mix of uses. It would include a “neighborhood-scaled park,” according to the plan.

A new, “iconic” County Road 42 bridge would allow continued unimpeded traffic flow with a bike and pedestrian underpass connecting the North and South neighborhoods.

Several retailers north of 42 are “doing very well,” while Burnsville Center is “struggling” and seeking renewal, said Bob Close of Bob Close Studio LLC, a member of the consulting team. Designs for the area stress flexibility and adaptability in a changing retail era, with the capability to accommodate both large and small stores, according to the plan.

Within Burnsville Center itself, the team is calling for a modernized interior, more food and beverage offerings, multiple spaces to create a sense of “place,” more natural light and improved entrances and welcoming points.

The earliest phases of a redevelopment plan that could take up to 20 years to complete would be south of 42, according to the plan. Land use, real estate value and taxes generated south of 42 could skyrocket with full build-out, consultants estimate.

Land use could increase from 1.4 million square feet to 3.1 million, real estate value could rise from $125.2 million to $935.4 million, and taxes generated could rise from $4.8 million to $36 million.
County Road 42 businesses near Burnsville CenterBusinesses at the Burnsville Center and surrounding area are identified on this 2020 google map.
Burnsville Center a brief history of a very picky (un)mega Shopping CenterA history written by Tom Robbins. Tom Robbins is on the Board of the Lake Alimagnet Center for the Arts. He currently works at the Upper Midwest Conservation Association located in the Minneapolis Institute for the Arts, produces a cable access show, publishes an internet comic strip and watches a lot of movies. He worked at Spencer Gifts in the Burnsville Center in the late 1980s. He left no legacy there. (Written by Robbins.)
Burnsville Center begins countdown until opening 1976July 14, 1996 the Dakota County Tribune reports: With three weeks left before opening, the countdown has begun for the new Burnsville Center.
A practical guide for Picky Shoppers - Eden Prairie Center Date neededThe Burnsville Center and Eden Prairie Center were owned and operated by the same company and both used
Pat Paulson and the tag line "Picky Picky" in their ad campaigns. This is the Eden Prairie Center version.
Where to find it at Burnsville Center Date needed.170 specialty stores plus Carson Pirie Scott, Dayton's, J.C. Penney and Sears appear in this directory (undated).
Burnsville CenterBurnsville Center under construction 1976 - 1977.
Burnsville Center by air undated estimated 1980sAnother view of the shopping center, streets and the freeway compliments of the Burnsville Center.
Burnsville Center celebrates 20 years of shopping 1997The Sun Current newspapers for various communities August 13, 1997 report on the 20th anniversary of the Burnsville Center along with a history of the center.
Burnsville Center continues revitalization 2006May 18, 2006 various Sun-Current Newspapers write: When Mervyn's department store closed at the Burnsville Center in August 2004, the mall lost one of its four anchor tenants. While some might view this as a problem, mall owners took that as an opportunity to change the look of the 27 year old center. Fourteen months later, Steve & Barry's University Sportswear opened in the lower level and Dick's Sporting Goods opened on the upper level.
Burnsville Center Directory 1977This is likely the first Burnsville Center directory with spokesman Pat Paulson on cover. "Relaxed family shopping..." That's the way we designed Burnsville Center. For you. We want you and your family to experience a pleasant, relaxed environment while you visit our many shops, theatres, restaurants, banks and convenient facilities... Major stores included: Dayton's, Powers, J.C. Penney, Sears. At this time there was a movie theatre.
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