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EDEN PRAIRIE, MN – Cincinnati-based North American Properties has plans to develop a “transit village” on a 22-acre site surrounding a 3-acre Southwest Metro Transit Station in Eden Prairie. The project could include as many as 510 apartment, condominium and townhouse units, along with 100,000 sf of retail, office and restaurant or entertainment space and two major parking ramps.

The cost of the project could run from $75 to $80 million or more, says Jay Scott, vice president of development at the Twin Cities office of North American Properties. “That corner is a key development site for the city, and we are taking a new urbanism or smart growth approach,” says David Lindahl, housing and redevelopment authority manager for the city of Eden Prairie.

The site, which now serves as a surface parking lot for the transit station, is located at Highway 5 and Prairie Center Drive, and is owned by the transit commission. North American Properties has agreed to buy and develop the site. The developer plans to submit plans for the project early next year, but construction will not begin until after the transit commission builds a 900-car, 6-level ramp that would serve both its customers and those who will shop and work at the new complex. That means construction on the transit village will likely not begin until May 2002, Scott says.

The residential portion will consist of four high-rise apartment and condo buildings ringed by 32 townhomes, according to Scott. The City may be tapped to pay $15 million to $18 million in tax increment financing to help build an 880-car ramp that would serve the residential complexes on the west end of the site. Poor soil condition and dense development have made the ramp especially expensive, and the City is likely to share some of that cost, Lindahl says. A 10,000-sf restaurant called the Pickled Parrot recently opened on the site, and the project would accommodate that restaurant in its plans.

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