325 Blake Road Planning Background
The City and Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) are working together on the restoration and redevelopment of the 17-acre site at 325 Blake Road. With its proximity to Minnehaha Creek, Cottageville Park, the Blake Road LRT Station, Cedar Lake LRT Regional Trail and the newly reconstructed Blake Road, the site presents a unique and exciting opportunity to create a water-focused, sustainable, transit oriented development that blends seamlessly into the Hopkins community.
The City and MCWD adopted a joint Development Vision (PDF) for redevelopment of the site, informed by the community engagement and plans identified below. The development vision was shared with prospective developers.
In 2011, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District acquired the 17-acre property at 325 Blake Road as a key element in the restoration of the Minnehaha Creek Greenway.
The Watershed District’s goal is to implement a regional stormwater improvement project on approximately 5 acres of the site to treat polluted stormwater that flows into the creek from approximately 270 acres of surrounding area and restore more than 1,000 feet of creek frontage.
The cold storage warehouse building that was located on the site was demolished in 2018.
The City of Hopkins and Minnehaha Creek Watershed District identified the potential to integrate a restored Minnehaha Creek with a transit-oriented, mixed-use development near the future Blake Road LRT Station of the METRO Green Line Extension (Southwest LRT).
The 325 Blake Road site is an element of broader planning and engagement efforts that have occurred within the Blake Road Corridor over the years.
Blake Road Corridor Small Area Plan (2009): The City and Hennepin County commissioned a small area plan to serve as a vision for the Blake Road Corridor with regard to redevelopment near the light rail line. A series of community engagement workshops informed the plan.
Building Hope, Building Community: A Community Action Plan for the Blake Road Neighborhood (2010): In 2008, Wilder Research conducted a survey of residents and businesses in the Blake Road area, which was supplemented by a community planning process led by the Blake Road Corridor Collaborative that helped inform the development of the community action plan.
Blake Road Corridor LRT Station Area Guidelines (2015): The City, together with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), completed a Corridor Development Initiative (CDI) process with the community in 2015.
Blake Road Station TOD Early Implementation (2017): This project explored the redevelopment potential of three key sites in the Blake Road Corridor, including 325 Blake Road, and developed principles and goals for the corridor as a whole and for each site. Guidance was also provided by the Urban Land Institute-Minnesota Technical Advisory Panel.
Development Partner Selection
The City of Hopkins and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) selected Alatus as the development partner to lead a transformative redevelopment of approximately 12 acres of the 17-acre site at 325 Blake Road.
MCWD will retain approximately five acres of the site for restoration, including stormwater treatment and public natural space.
On May 26-27, 2021, the Review Committee – a joint committee comprised of three MCWD Board managers and two Hopkins City Council members – conducted interviews of the five development teams. Following the interviews, the Review Committee considered the merits of each proposal and voted unanimously to advance three firms as finalists – Alatus, Sherman Associates and Wellington Management – for joint Board of Managers and City Council consideration.
On June 9, 2021 the Partners participated in a series of site tours hosted by each of the developers.
The Hopkins City Council and MCWD Board of Managers held a joint meeting on June 17, 2021 to conduct interviews of the developer finalists and selected Alatus as the master developer for the 325 Blake Road site.