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WOODBURY, MN-Opus Corp. and RED Development, who built the Twin Cities’ first lifestyle center in Maple Grove, recently began construction of a 393,000-sf open-air mall on Hudson Road featuring upscale stores and restaurants. Developers of Woodbury Lakes say they are going ahead despite two lawsuits that have been filed against the City of Woodbury by a rival developer in connection with the project.

The developers expect the center open on schedule next fall. Opus officials say more than half the space has been claimed by tenants who have either signed leases or letters of intent. When completed, the shopping center will have up to 75 stores and several restaurants.

Some tenants that have already signed on to the project include American Eagle Outfitters, Ann Taylor Loft, Buckle, Camille’s Sidewalk Café, Christopher & Banks, Claddagh Irish Pub, Coldwater Creek, DSW, Express, Granite City Food & Brewery, J. Jill, Jos. A. Banks, Limited Too, Linens ‘n Things, Michaels, the Sharper Image, Shoes to Boot, Talbots, Urban Traveler and Victoria’s Secret.

Robert Muir Co., the Edina-based developer that brought the lawsuits against the city, recently says it has changed course and will go ahead with a 206,000-sf shopping center called Oakdale Village in nearby Oakdale. Muir is constructing its shopping center across Interstate 94 on Inwood Road, which is also expected to open next fall.

One lawsuit alleges the city approved Woodbury Lakes without adequately studying the environmental and traffic impacts, while the second alleges the city failed to follow its zoning ordinances when it approved Woodbury Lakes. Muir is requesting that all zoning approvals for the shopping center be voided.

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