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Burnsville Center Grand Opening PosterPat Paulsen was the celebrity employed to promote Burnsville Center during its launch and first year.
Burnsville Center Development AnnouncedLocal residents may get some tax relief and a few businesses arc expecting to feel new competitive pressure when the 530 million Burnsville Center opens mid-summer 1977.
The regional shopping center is being developed on a 114-acre site just west of J5W and south of County Road 42 by Homart Development Company, a wholly- owned subsidiary of Scars, Roebuck and Company.
The center is located in the 196 (Rosemount) Schoo District and will pay taxes in that district and to the City of Burnsville.
County Assessment Office figures show that 1976 rates payable as 1977 taxes that affect the Center include 19.44 mills for Dakota County. 16.91 mills for the City of Burnsville and 64.48 mills for the 196 School District.
An assessment office spokesman said unless there is a major increase in the budgets of the three taxing units the growing shopping facility will provide tax revenue that can provide relief for home owners.
On the other hand, the same source pointed out the opening of a new center may mean some smaller shopping areas in Dakota County will fail because of the strong competition such a center provides.
Scars. Powers and Dayton's Stores arc scheduled as major tenants in the 150-store Center.
In promotional literature Homart says a J.C. Penney store will join the Center in
Developers have mapped out their target area. They see customers coming to the Center from as far south as Northfield. from the west beyond New Prague and Prior Lake, and from as far east as Hastings and the Mississippi River.
While they also expect customers from as far north as Bloomington and Edina. the Homart leadership docs not believe the new Center will cut into their market for the Eden Praric Center also developed by Homart.
Both Burnsville City Manager Patrick Mclnnis and City Planner Glen Northrup see the new Center as a positive asset to the community.
"The opening of that center will make this more of a complete city." Northrup said. "It will provide 2,000 more jobs in the community, and an additional force in bringing people to the community to live and shop."
They believe the community and the developer have planned adequately for parking, traffic and city services.
While some business owners in the area predict "a giant traffic jam" when the Center opens. Northrup is more optimistic: "Traffic planning has been good. The developers have spent 5500,000 improving Buck Hill Road between 35W and the center for adequate entrance." He also pointed out that the state has planned and built appropriate interstate exits as well.
Mclnnis said, too. that work is beginning now to widen County Road 5 west of the center from County Road 42 to the Valley Ridge Shopping Center. The eventual goal, he said, is to urge county authorities to make County Road 5 four-lane from State Highway 13 to the Dakota County line.
The developers have planned for parking for more than 5,000 cars initially. Burnsville Center is built at the north
end of a much larger excavated site that was initially landscaped and cleared to include the center with satellite service centers, banks and office and housing complexes. When economic crunches were felt in late 1973 and early 1974 investments became more risky and building came to a halt.
Northrup said no plans have been brought to his office for other developments from the shopping center to Crystal Lake Road.
Some residents of the area said in interviews that while they have no complaint against the new shopping center they are discouraged that forest areas to the south were bulldozed as long as two years ago for buildings that have never materialized.
One government official said he felt "personally" that the development company got started with the new Center just before the economy went into a slump "or we wouldn't even have the new shopping center."
The same spokesman said he believes some smaller shopping centers will "lose out" to the new Center and will drop in value.
Burnsville city records show that it has been nine years since that area was zoned for a regional shopping center, with final approval of shopping center plans made in December 1973.
Spokesmen for three other shopping centers in the Burnsville area sec the new Center as retaining retail business in Dakota County instead of losing shoppers to the Twin Cities.
Earl Johnson, president of Sioux Trail Center Merchants Association, and owner of a television and hardware store, said "The more businesses we can get to come to Burnsville. the more we'll keep people shopping at home instead of across the
river." Sioux Trail's shopping area is three years old and located at Minnesota Highway 13 and Cliff Road.
Loren Henry, of Klodt Construction Company, heads the Diamondhead Center, now almost two years old. and located on the Burnsville Crosstown.
"There is a certain amount of anxiety in seeing such a huge center go up. We know, for example that a couple of our tenants plan to expand, adding stores there as well as keeping those at Diamondhead. But we do sec the center as serving people on a less regular basis than we do." Mclnnis said he did not see this as a major burden on the Department of Public Safety which now includes 34 sworn officers, 14 community service persons (interns and trainees) and seven volunteers to serve the city of 32,000.
As for the Center itself, it will be ready for interior work this fall. A visit this past week showed the Dayton's store with steel structure in place and footings being poured for the Powers store. The Sears exterior is complete.
"Our businesses are primarily convenience ones essential to the community." said Dale Sauer, of Kraus-Andcrson Properties which manages Valley Ridge, on Burnsville Parkway West Drive.
" We have groceries and hardware stores, beauty and barber shops, the local cleaners, the kind of neighborhood center people need every day. while the regional centers provide a place for major purchases and fashion interest." he said.
Burnsville will provide city police and fire protection services even though the new center will hire its own security personnel.
Dayton's tenth store in the state will be the largest of the major stores in the center with 171.000 square feet. It will be located on the west end of the center and will include a restaurant.
Sears will be located at the east end of the long mall, with Powers to the north and Penney's to the south.
When viewed from the access roads, the Center's obvious unique feature is a scries of octagonal skylights. These are
planned to provide an outdoor atmosphere to a central court which will have thousands of dollars worth of trees and shrubs growing in the midst of retail stores.
A fast food service is planned under a canopy of trees and the building is said to be designed for community events that will include comfortable seating.
Some old trees have been maintained on what was once the old farm site, and new plantings are already in the parking areas.
Burnsville Center by air 1977An undated 1977 newspaper clipping shows the newly completed Burnsville Center and County Road 42 by air.
B Dalton Kids Burnsville CenterOnce located in the Center, photo compliments of the Burnsville Center.
Burnsville Center 2021Pop up business for calendars at the Burnsville Center 2021.
Snacking on candy at the Burnsville CenterClassic "penny" candy is no longer a penny, but available at the Burnsville Center.
Burnsville Center 2017One in a series of random photos of the interior of the mall.
Burnsville Center 2019The Capitol Cafe with Crepes, vegetarian, meat and sweet crepes, sambosas, tea, smoothies and chicken tandora & salads - East African flavors.
Line drawing 1988 - Burnsville Center MallArtist Barb Starner created a series of Burnsville historic sites for the 1988 Cornerstone Copy calendar.
Aladdin's Castle1986 ad for Aladdin's Castle, Burnsville Center.
Burnsville Center being auctionedInformation about the Burnsville Center, during its October 2020 auction.
Daytons, Sears and Powers coming to BurnsvilleJune 28, 1973 Dakota County Tribune reports on the new shopping center coming to Burnsville.
Center designed to aid handicapped 1977The Burnsville Center has been designed to make shopping easier for the handicapped. Ramps between levels have been angled and sloped according to codes for use by the handicapped.
August 3, 1977 One era ends, another beginsJune 22, 1977 Burnsville Sun - Burnsville Center opening feature stories...
Burnsville Center Village redevelopment visionThe Burnsville Bulletin - Winter 2020 - The Burnsville Center Village redevelopment vision is a collaborative project that seeks to transform the current Burnsville Center area into a vibrant, walkable village....
Burnsville Center opens August 3, 1977April 22, 1977 Burnsville Sun -

The Burnsville Center, the largest shopping center in the Upper Midwest will open Wednesday August 3.
Burnsville Center undergoing renovation 2001November 10, 2001 Burnsville Current reports the Burnsville Center is undergoing what it calls its first major interior and exterior renovation since opening in 1977.
Burnsville Center redevelopment vision 2019
About the Project

The Burnsville Center Village Redevelopment Vision presents short, mid- and long-range goals for redevelopment of the retail area north and south of County Road 42.

The framework of this plan is market-driven, and is designed to be flexible by accommodating existing large-footprint stores while, over time, responding to changing needs in retail and new technology related to shopping habits.

The plan envisions new neighborhoods and housing mixed with retail uses; as well as other uses such as parks, hotels, clinics, co-sharing work places, start-up offices, brewpubs and maker spaces.
Burnsville Center 2019Checking the mall directory, 2019.
Burnsville Center 2018Random photos shot by the Historical Society of the stores at the Burnsville Center in 2017 - 2018.
Burnsville Center 2015The Management team of the Burnsville Center meet Santa 2015.
Chuck E CheeseFound at the Burnsville Center, 2020.
City seeks master plan for mall area 2018March 30, 2018 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News reports:

Burnsville officials are setting the stage for what Burnsville Center and the surrounding County Road 42 retail corridor might look like years from now.

The city marked the area for attention in its new comprehensive plan. Now it’s pursuing a master redevelopment plan for the shopping center and retail corridor.

The plan will be a “conceptual vision,” a “long-term redevelopment plan for the area,” Community Development Director Jenni Faulkner said.

The plan will guide current and future landowners as they develop or redevelop, Faulkner said. It will identify needed public improvements in streets, sidewalks or other infrastructure. It may include new rules for building layouts and setbacks.

“It’s really looking at that corridor and saying, ‘We have an opportunity to make something great,’ ” Mayor Elizabeth Kautz said.

A request for qualifications from consultants to lead the planning process went out March 23. Responses are due April 23. The City Council is scheduled to approve a contract with the chosen consultant on June 5.

The aging retail area has come under greater scrutiny as many shopping malls nationwide have struggled with vacancies caused by national retail bankruptcies and the rise of online shopping. Burnsville Center, which opened in 1977, had an estimated 19 vacancies out of 150 retail spaces late last year.

Eden Prairie, Minnetonka and Edina have undergone similar reviews of their main shopping areas, Faulkner said. Nearly two decades ago, Burnsville wrote a master plan to guide the Heart of the City, the New Urban redevelopment district between Highway 13 and Burnsville Parkway.

The new comprehensive plan redesignated some of the Burnsville Center area from purely commercial zoning to mixed uses, Faulkner said. Once the plan is approved by the Metropolitan Council, the zoning changes will come to the City Council.

The proposed new zoning includes areas of unused parking at Burnsville Center and some land west of Burnhaven Drive, Faulkner said.

The city will engage property owners in the revisioning, officials pledge. The study area is generally defined as north of Southcross Drive, south of McAndrews Road, East of County Road 5 and west of Interstate 35E.

Kautz said she’s been meeting with property owners, including CBL and Associates Properties, the mall manager and one of its four owners, and Seritage Growth Properties, a real estate investment trust that owns the mall’s vacant Sears space.

“Yes, there are some dark spaces, but they’re working to bring new retailers or experiences,” Kautz said, pointing to a new escape-game business, Escapology, opening at the mall.

Kautz said she has also met with the owner of the mall immediately west of Burnsville Center.

“He’s really engaged and wants also to be a part of this,” she said. “I’m having conversations with these folks so they know what’s happening and how they can be involved.”
Sears Closing at Burnsville Center 2017Burnsville is just one of the locations nationwide being closed by Sears in 2017.
J. C. Penney Burnsville Center 2018Our website shows photos of the interior of J.C. Penney at the Burnsville Center in 1978. This is a 2018 photo.
Community looks for Center revitalization 2017The November 16, 2017 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News includes a story: Burnsville officials and business leaders have been brainstorming ways to revitalize Burnsville Center. The city is seeking a grant to jump-start the process...Even if Burnsville doesn't win a grand prize, assembling the application has helped focus city officials and business leaders on framing the problem and developing solutions...
Countdown to Grand Opening May 1977Homart Development Company, May 1977 Newsletter on the scheduled opening of two malls - One near Los Angeles California and the Burnsville Center.
Homart Development Report June 1977Countdown to Grand opening of Burnsville Center and Brea Malls. The Burnsville Center's first day for the grand opening is June 29th. Also noted comic Pat Paulsen is a participant in Homart's Picky, Picky, Picky campaign for their Twin Cities area shopping Centers (Burnsville, Eden Prairie and Maplewood). A complete listing of original stores is found in this newsletter.
Burnsville Center opens 1977August 3, 1977 one of the Burnsville Center ads in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Burnsville CenterGrand opening ad for the Burnsville Center 1977.
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