The front page of the May 24 business section the StarTribune featured an article titled Face-lift for Edina’s venerable Southdale mall by Steve Alexander. Some excerpts:
Southdale is getting a makeover, and the city of Edina is helping to pay for it. A $19.1 million renovation of the nation’s oldest enclosed shopping mall announced Thursday features redesigned entrances, a dining pavilion, a new play area and a change in decor from floor tiles to lighting…
Funded by a $5.1 million interest-free loan from Edina and a $14 million investment by mall owner Simon Property Group of Indianapolis, the face-lift is designed to make Southdale competitive with the metro area’s other regional malls…
Edina city officials will fund the $5.1 million loan for the project with tax increment financing, in which the money is recouped from presumed future increases in property taxes in and around the mall that are related to development. Scott Neal, Edina’s city manager, said the loan represents a low risk to the city because the terms say that if the city’s increased tax revenues aren’t enough for the city to make the annual payments on the $5.1 million loan, Simon will make up the rest. Simon Property Group originally offered to invest about half as much in the renovation of Southdale, but increased it to $14 million after city offered the loan.
In Edina City Manager Scott Neal’s March 9 Friday Report:
Southdale TIF District – Staff are working with our consultant team to prepare the necessary documents and maps for the City to establish a new Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District around Southdale Center. We will present the maps and documents to the Council in the next two weeks and will ask the Council to take action at its March 20 meeting to set a public hearing for April 17 to create the TIF district and, possibly, to approve a development agreement with Simon Properties.
Here’s the HRA Resolution 2012-5 document from the March 20 council meeting. The Council approved setting a public hearing for the April 17 Council meeting.
In Edina City Manager Scott Neal’s March 23 Friday Report:
Southdale TIF District – Staff and consultants will brief Council Members on the proposed development agreement with Simon Properties in a special work session on Tuesday, March 27, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Mayor’s Conference Room.
In this StarTribune article about the Maplewood Mall (another Simon Properties mall):
Meanwhile, work continues at Southdale. The Edina project includes a new concourse, food court, entrances, elevators, stairs and other mall finishes, including painting over the teal-colored trim that evokes a strong 1980s flashback.
Unlike Maplewood Mall, which did not seek any public subsidies, Simon has requested financing assistance from the city of Edina. According to a proposed development agreement, the package would include a no-interest $5 million loan that would be paid back over an eight-year period. City documents state that Simon would be required to spend at least $14 million on common-area renovations to the mall to qualify for the loan. The project will be voted on at the City Council’s April 17 meeting.
[reposted from my blog here]
There’s an article in today’s Star Tribune called “A role of the dice at Southdale” by Thomas Lee. The article focuses on the role the new Hergberger’s department store will play in the future success of Southdale Center Mall. Later in the article there is a discussion about the potential incentive deal the City and Simon Properties (the owner of Southdale Mall) are discussing that might result in an even bigger & better improvement at Southdale, primarily (but not exclusively) on the inside of the mall.
It would not be appropriate to comment too much on the status of those discussions between the City and Simon, but I can confirm the conversations are taking place. I can also say the conversations are complicated – for both parties. They’re complicated for the City because City officials are receiving a lot of mixed feedback about whether we should incent Simon to do anything; or, whether we can really incent them to do anything. They are a multibillion dollar corporation. Does their willingness to improve Southdale really tip on whether the city government of Edina will give them a $5 million dollar grant or loan? That’s something we have to evaluate.
The recent flap about Ralph’s Shoe Repair is also adding to complication to the discussion. Is it the role of the city government to step into a mediating role between the mall and one of its tenants? I would say that it is not, but the fact that the issue is in the air right now is going to get into our discussion at some point. I’m not sure how, but I’m sure it will.
We’re going to keep talking to Simon until we frustrate them or we make a deal. As long as both parties are talking, anything can happen.
Dec. 9, All Things Considered on NPR: Maryland County Rethinks The Shopping Mall
Like other suburban areas, Montgomery County, Md., is wondering what to do with aging shopping malls like White Flint. The solution may be a radical redesign that makes malls look like the things that suburbanites once ran away from: urban downtowns.
Edina Patch has a story with many photos titled: Herberger’s Takes ‘First of Many Steps’ Toward Southdale’s Revitalization
Hundreds of eager shoppers lined up inside of Southdale Center Wednesday morning, Nov. 9, all for a first-hand glimpse at the mall’s new tenant. They jockeyed to be the first customers to walk the pristine interior of the new Herberger’s department store, housed in a three-story, 135,000-square-foot retail space that sat vacant for seven long years. It’s the sixth Herberger’s store in the Twin Cities.
[Edina] Mayor Jim Hovland said he could not thank Simon Development and Herberger’s enough for working to create "something that’s extraordinarily beautiful."
"This mall is going to be restored to its former glory," Hovland said, to applause from the crowd of shoppers. "Between Herberger’s showing their faith and leading the way and Simon Development agreeing to put an extensive amount of remodeling into this mall, we will once again be the best mall in America."
Edina City Manager Scott Neal was at the Herberger’s opening and has a blog post about it.
We’re using a new tool to solicit questions from citizens about our current crop of engagement projects.
See my post on the main blog titled October Q&A Now Live For All Four Projects.
Or go right to the October Q&A to submit your Southdale-related question and vote on the questions of others.
Update, Nov. 2: I’ve shut down Google Moderator for now. See my comment attached to the post on the main blog.
In yesterday’s St. Paul Pioneer Press: New owner Simon Properties hopes to turn around Southdale by Tom Webb.
But now, a turnaround is finally under way at Southdale. Its new owner, mall giant Simon Property Group, is investing in the Southdale property and addressing long-standing problems. It has signed key tenants, most notably new anchor Herberger’s, which this November will fill the 140,000-square-foot hole left vacant since Mervyn’s went out of business five years ago.
Recently, the mall announced more new tenants, including Michael Kors, the designer and "Project Runway" judge who will open a store later this year, and Francesca’s Collections, a women’s boutique to open early next year. "It’s starting the process of Southdale’s transformation," said Laurie VanDalen, Southdale’s manager. "We expect to have some more tenant announcements as we get into the final part of this year and into next year."
In this week’s Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal: Apt. plans for Southdale Center
An Indianapolis developer is in the early stages of planning a 300-unit apartment complex next to Southdale Center in Edina. Flaherty & Collins Properties is working with the shopping mall’s owner, Simon Property Group Inc. , on a development plan for a collection of four- and five-story luxury apartment buildings on what is now parking lots at York Avenue and West 69th Street, said Chris Kirles, vice president of development for Flaherty. The site is across 69th Street from The Westin Edina Galleria hotel.
It isn’t clear if Flaherty plans to buy the land from Simon or work out some sort of land lease. Kirles said there are many moving parts to the project. The company hasn’t selected an architect. Les Morris, a spokesman for Simon, also based in Indianapolis, declined to comment.
Edina City Manager Scott Neal said that Kirles and David Flaherty, CEO of the development company, met with city staff informally about the project a few weeks ago, but did not submit plans or a timeline for development. Neal said he recommended developers come back with a formal plan and share their proposal with the neighborhood, which is primarily the 80 condos attached to The Westin.
In the live chat with Edina City Manager Scott Neal that we hosted at the end of June, there were two references to a possible residential/multi-family housing at Southdale at 69th & York:
The City Council met with Simon representatives earlier this spring. The Simon reps mentioned at that meeting that they are interested in the possibility of building a residential property on their property at the intersection of 69th & York.
Comment From Katie Mintz, Sun-Current
Can you tell us about the approval process for the construction plans? Because the use of the mall is not changing, will there be any public hearings?
Probably not. The footprint of the mall is not getting larger. They are not changing uses inside the mall. Now, if they want to building a residential project at 69th & York, Yes. There would be a public hearing required for that.
I’ll be teaming up with Edina City Manager Scott Neal this week to host a live text chat about all things related to Southdale Center’s economic development.
Use the form below to email yourself a reminder about the event’s date/start time: Wednesday, June 29, 3-4 pm.
If you can’t attend the live event:
- Submit a question for Scott ahead of time by attaching a comment below to this blog post
- Come back anytime after the event is over to read the transcript