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OAKDALE, MN-Carlson Real Estate Venture’s $72-million, 650,000-sf business park was recently approved by the Oakdale City Council, so the company is preparing the land for construction that could begin sometime this fall.

Called the Oaks Business Center, and referred to simply as the Oaks, the office and industrial development is on 56 acres of land near Helmo and Fourth streets, not far from the northeast quadrant of Interstates 94 and 694, according to the city’s development office.

Plans for the Oaks call for more than a dozen buildings, including a signature multistory office as well as single-story offices, flex space and office condominium space, according to Minnetonka-based Carlson Real Estate. Carlson is a commercial real estate firm that is affiliated with the Carlson Cos.

Oakdale officials hope to lure a corporate headquarters as well as other businesses interested in being close to the nearby 3M Co. headquarters in Maplewood. After a two-year process in which five developers vied to develop the land, Carlson last year won the right to develop the site, which was largely owned by the city.

Carlson officials say it may take up to a decade to fill out the development, depending on how much demand for space arises. The northeast sector of the Twin Cities office market had a 14% vacancy rate at mid-year, according to a recent market report by United Properties, the commercial real estate firm based in Bloomington. Two other office-industrial developments in the offing include Oakdale Tech Center, a 50,000-sf project by Welsh Cos., and Oakdale Crossing, a 17,653-sf project by Griffin Cos.

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