BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. -- Brookdale Center was built in 1962 as the shopping magnet for the Twin Cities North Metro area. However, in recent years, it has fallen on hard times.
"Certainly, the property has struggled. As you can see, most of the stores are empty," observed Curt Boganey, Brooklyn Center City Manager.
In 2011, the indoor shopping complex is getting a long-overdue renovation. Brookdale will be converted to a "town center" concept, with most of the retail venues surrounding a new parking area.
Boganey explained that Brookdale will be "replaced with 19 independent buildings with retail, restaurants and the anchor is going to be a 181,000 square foot WalMart SuperCenter."
The presence of the namesake of Shingle Creek Parkway is to be restored. The creek has been submerged in a culvert under the concrete and asphalt of the indoor mall. Now, the plan is to partly uncover the old stream as a "water amenity" running through the new development.
"And abutting the open Shingle Creek will, hopefully, be a couple of restaurant sites. So, that is going to be a very significant amenity," said Boganey.
Only the Sears store and a free-standing Applebee's restaurant are to remain from the old Brookdale. What had been the Food Court north of and adjacent to Sears will be converted to an area of shops. That is about 124,000 square feet of shops space retaining a bit of the indoor setting. There will be "architectural" changes to the exterior of the remaining Sears and shops area for identity and access.
The rest of the old mall will be demolished, beginning later in June. Approximately 750,000 square feet of the old mall will go including the former JC Penney's, Mervyn's, Macy's and Midas stores.
Gatlin Development told the city leaders that it will spend about $100 million over the 3-5 years of construction. It is to be done in two phases. The WalMart SuperCenter is in the first phase with construction to begin in October. The store is to open in 2012.
(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)