Public Hearing: Rezoning at 6600- 6800 France Ave. (Commons on France), Southdale Office Center

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This proposal was withdrawn by the applicant.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

This forum is open for questions to City staff related to the project. Once your question has been answered it will be posted on this page. 

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    1/9/2021: Continuing with the Engineer’s 11/10/2020 memo “6600 - 6800 France Ave S – Development Review” regarding the Water Treatment Plant. ___ Quote: “32.K. The preliminary location of the plant is in a current flood shape. Modification to the flood shape and impacts to plant operations will need to be negotiated with the developer.” ___ I am also looking at the City’s Interactive Flood Map, and it looks like the WTP would be in an area that is currently designated as “10% Annual Chance Flood Area (4.3-inch storm event in 24 hrs)” ___ It would be one thing if there were no known risk, but aren’t everyone’s eyes wide open about this nowadays? Why is the City considering such a location? Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense simply to locate our new WTP to a dry zone? ___ Could you discuss the matter of shape modification and operational impact negotiations in greater detail? Given ongoing climate changes, how could you be certain that these actions would eliminate any and all future flood risk? Also, what impact might these actions have on nearby properties?

    Roberta C asked over 1 year ago

    Thanks for the questions about the flooding on the site. The project could be completed in a variety of configurations. Staff reacts to the proposal presented by the applicant. Staff pays close attention to any impacts on existing flood storage and future flood conditions with any land use proposal. Staff will ensure we understand the risk. There is not a scenario that would eliminate all risk of future flooding. -Chad Millner, Director of Engineering

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    We, Connie and George Weinman, have lived at 6566.France Ave S,Point of France, for nearly fourteen years. We owned a home in Edina for nine years prior to moving to POF. Let me list several items for your consideration: 1. Four years ago this property was owned by Mr. Dennis Doyle and his company Windamere. Since his disability the property has changed hands and is now owned, I understand, by Wildamere (note the subtle name change) and Olympus Ventures. Now I can understand why they may request TIF financing which means the owner/residents of Edina will be asked to help finance the project. 2. Mr. McIntosh presented a trefoil of intertwined circles representing three criteria that must be considered: Community’s Desires, Market Realities, and Economic Feasibility. During the presentation it became obvious that economic feasibility was their dominant concern. 3. Parking concerns was a driving factor for the developer. Mr. McIntosh indicated that 2,800 parking stalls would be needed for a major company to entertain an annual employee appreciation day. The requisite parking spaces for the proposed plan would require only 1,300 parking spaces. Adding the additional 1,500 parking spaces would raise the cost of the project by $27,000,000.00 to $33,000,000.00 using the low end/high end cost of 18-22K for a four or five level parking ramp(s) using the numbers Mr. McIntosh provided in his presentation. There are three ramps in the proposal. 4. A creative way to help manage this cost is to wrap the northern ramp with a five story wall of apartments which would face 66th Street. This would make it possible to provide the requisite affordable housing units. 5. Mr. McIntosh’s rational for proposing a thirteen story rental housing building was/is that there is a thirteen story residential building across the street. No mention was made of the iconic Point of France building which has 140 homes of condominium owners who have pride of ownership in their homes and have preserved and enhanced their POF homes and its exterior for forty five years. Contrast that with the need and desire to maintain and enhance a thirteen story rental property. What will it look like in forty five years? 6. Need we say anything about visual privacy for residents of apartment buildings and residents of POF? 7. And I still struggle with Mr. McIntosh’s response when responding to a question of why move the medical building from the northern end of the development near the M-Health Fairview Southdale Hospital and Medical Center to the southern end of the proposed development. He stated that it would make it more attractive for another medical system/provider to enter this market. Fairview Southdale has been a good neighbor for decades. 8. Mr. McIntosh, McGough Development, and HGA Architects have worked long and hard on this proposal. They are talented, skillful, and creative. Maybe the development of this project and parcel of sixteen acres of prime real estate in the City of Edina would best be served by demolishing all the buildings, rather than having to work around one building. The site could then be developed by stages that would maximize the developers’ creativity. 9. The North Face of Edina on France Avenue could become a showcase of pride for the City of Edina rather than settling for this proposal at this time. Thank you for your kind attention to this lengthy missive.

    Geoege Weinman asked over 1 year ago

    Hello Connie and George Weinman, Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Please use the link below on Better Together Edina to post your comments about the proposed project. 

    Better Together Edina Comments

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    1/8/2021: Question re Water Treatment Plant storage tanks___ Item in the 11/10/2020 Engineering memo, Subject: “6600 - 6800 France Ave S – Development Review”, which is Attachment Number 4 on the Coversheet for the CC Jan 5, 2021 Public Hearing at this link: https://edina.novusagenda.com/AgendaPublic/CoverSheet.aspx?ItemID=10169&MeetingID=1600___ The link name is “Staff Memo: Engineering Nov. 11”. ___ Quote Item 32.I. “Due to footing concerns, plant could utilize above grade storage tanks to avoid buried infrastructure.”___ I have read that above grade storage tanks are considered a security risk. Could you speak to this?

    Roberta C asked over 1 year ago

    Thanks for the question. All tanks and equipment would be enclosed in a secured building. The tanks may be above ground inside the building. We won’t know that until the design of the water plant is started if the project is approved and if we can work out all the details as noted on the engineering memo. Thanks, Chad Millner, City Engineer.

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    A water treatment plant was originally proposed to be located on the Southdale Mall site near Restoration Hardware. Then, engineering concluded that it would not be efficient there because it was needed in a different quadrant of the city. Residents in that location convinced the city not to move forward with those plans so now the water treatment plant is back to Southdale, but this time on the site of this proposal for 6600 - 6800 France. Why was the Southdale Mall site inefficient, but now is being re-proposed across the street? Where exactly does the city need water treatment services? If location doesn't matter then why not place it on city-owned property at Grandview or at Fred Richards?

    Constance asked almost 2 years ago

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts. Both the Grandview and Fred Richards properties already have operational water treatment facilities.  The best place for treatment from an technical perspective is SE / S Edina. The Southdale mall site is still a viable option but so is the 6600 block of France. There were concerns with the cost of the Southdale site due to architectural concerns. The development site may save the city money but we have shared some concerns with this site in our Engineering memo addressed to the Planning Commission and City Council. Staff will continue to look at both of these options. - Chad Millner, Director of Engineering