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BROOKLYN PARK, MN-Kraus-Anderson Realty Co. is working on plans to redevelop its Village North Shopping Center as part of a larger project underway by the city. At present, the 168,480-sf shopping center is 52% vacant, says Cynthia Hable, director of properties at Kraus-Anderson.

Developers and city officials believe the shopping center would perform better with less space devoted to retail and more devoted to commercial and residential uses.

The city is planning to guide $160 million in new development in the area along Shingle Creek that would include town-house development built by Minneapolis-based Hunt Gregory, a new YMCA, as well as converting some buildings to other uses. Brooklyn Park plans to buy land, upgrade streetsand utilities and improve Shingle Creek by creating walking paths along it as well as improving the waterway.

“The main concept behind it is to recreate the Main Street feel, more of an urban shopping experience, like some of the other suburban cities here aredoing,” Hable says.

For its part, Bloomington-based Kraus-Anderson, which owns about 21 acres of the site that includes the mall, plans to raze the current building and build70,000 sf of retail space, likely oriented to service and convenience shops, and a medical office building that would be about 60,000 sf to 80,000 sf, Hable says.

Right now, Village North still has a Hallmark store, a Radio Shack, as well as floral shop, jewelry store, and beauty salon, Hable notes. The project lost its grocery store anchor, and has suffered ever since.

Kraus-Anderson hopes to start the project next year, at which time the building would be razed. The developer has not yet picked a new name for thedevelopment, Hable says.

In December, “The Village” project won a livable communities grant of $1 million from the Metropolitan Council in 2000.

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