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Burnsville's first gas station1273 viewsThis station was on Lyndale Avenue in Burnsville.
Gas to be Used in Shopping Center1242 viewsDakota County Tribune
October 4, 1962

(Jet Plaza aka Valley Ridge Shopping Center)

An all gas shopping center un­der construction at county road 17 and S. 138th St., in Burnsville township will be the first of Its type in the midwest said Minne­sota Valley Natural Gas company. 8t. Louis Park.

The shopping center will de­rive both electricity and heat from natural gas.

George Grohoskl, Burnsville, developer of the shopping center said the electricity generated by a Caterpillar Tractor company system will cost but one-third of that produced by convention­al generation.

Coat of the power unit was $110,000 and consists of three gas driven Internal combustion en­gines each with a capacity of 17$ kilowatts of power.

The 13 stores. 84.000 square foot shopping center was begun September 1 and will cost approx­imately $400,000.
The heat will be used to warm the shopping center In winter and will aid in running alr-conditoning units In the summer.
Burnsville Center 1978285 viewsBurnsville's largest shopping mall "all decked out for the holidays".
Burnsville Center 1977239 viewsInterior Burnsville Center, August 10, 1977 Burnsville Current.
Burnsville Center August 1977232 viewsAn unidentified store "hiring" at the Burnsville Center.
Burnsville Center228 viewsAugust 9, 1978 Burnsville Current photo - First year anniversary of the Burnsville Center.
Burnsville Center 1977212 viewsSears parking lot upper level at the Burnsville Center.
Burnsville Center204 viewsDaytons was a lead store when the Burnsville Center opened. August 1, 1977 Burnsville Current.
Burnsville Center 1977199 viewsAugust 3, 1977 photo of the interior of the Burnsville Center.
Burnsville Center circa 1977192 viewsUndated photo of the Burnsville Center from County Road 42.
Burnsville Center 1977191 viewsAugust 3, 1977 Burnsville Current photo of the Burnsville Center.
Burnsville Center 1978187 viewsThe furniture section of J C Penney's at Burnsville Center. October 11, 1978 Burnsville Current photo.
Burnsville Center 1977181 viewsInterior photo of Daytons at the Burnsville Center from the Current August 3, 1977.
WK-6-403180 viewsBuck Hill Orchard Gardens area south
Burnsville Center then and now178 viewsA photo compares the Burnsville Center at its opening to the look in 2017.
Burnsville Center 1977174 viewsPowers was one of the major stores when the Center opened. August 3, 1977 Burnsville Current photo.
Burnsville Center Development Announced173 viewsLocal 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 1978170 viewsThe Sears parking area of the Burnsville Center is featured in this October 18, 1978 Burnsville Current photo.
Burnsville Center 1978169 viewsDisplays at J.C. Penney at Burnsville Center.
Burnsville Center 1978168 viewsJ C Penney was one of the lead stores in the Burnsville Center when opened. October 11, 1978 Burnsville Current feature.
Burnsville Center 166 viewsKeepsake Diamond one of the original stores at the Burnsville Center. August 3,1977 Burnsville Current photo.
Buck Hill 1954162 viewsAn early photo of Buck Hill ski area. Founded by Chuck and Nancy Stone in 1954, the big bump was a family business until 2016. This tiny hill was the site of internationally recognized training for racing. Among those who trained here was Olympic and World Cup Champion Lindsey Vonn.
Burnsville Center 1978160 viewsBurnsville Center celebrates first birthday. August 14, 1978 Burnsville Current.
Burnsville Center Grand Opening Poster159 viewsPat Paulsen was the celebrity employed to promote Burnsville Center during its launch and first year.
Burnsville Center and Chamber of Commerce158 viewsIndustrial Commission tours Burnsville Center. October 27, 1976 Burnsville Current.
Burnsville Center 1977153 viewsAugust 3, 1977 Burnsville Center photo from the Current.
Burnsville Center 152 viewsArt Show at the Burnsville Center. September 21, 1977 Burnsville Current.
Burnsville Center 1977151 viewsMerry Go Round was one of the original businesses when the Burnsville Center opened. August 3, 1977 Burnsville Current photo.
Burnsville Center151 viewsExterior photo of Burnsville Center August 10, 1977 Burnsville Current.
Burnsville Center 1977146 viewsAugust 10, 1977 Burnsville Current photo shows the interior of the Burnsville Center.
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