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Business park projections show new industrial possibilities in Cottage Grove

Stantec Consulting estimates either a distribution or technology center to be added to the business park by 2040. Illustration by Stantec Consulting

A new distribution or technology center will likely be operating in Cottage Grove by 2040, according to a business park planning study.

Stantec Consulting Services completed the alternative urban areawide review, or AUAR, ordered by the city in July for about $100,000.

"It's an opportunity for Cottage Grove to plan more mindfully for its growth," Beth Elliott of Stantec said at the Oct. 4 city council meeting. "The purpose is to study the cumulative impact of development scenarios within a given geographic area ... it takes the anticipated projects or potential growth in an area and looks at all of the impacts."

The plan analyzed nearly 1,800 acres of land south of Highway 61, where Stantec expects there to be a 420-acre distribution or technology center by 2040.

Growth estimates are based on permits filed through the city from 1998 to 2017 as well as cities with similar markets.

Industrial distribution and technology centers are "two that are very typically coming to business parks like yours," Elliott said.

The study goes alongside the 2040 comprehensive planning process currently underway.

South of the distribution center, Stantec estimates a small residential development, as well as several acres of vacant or agricultural land. A small strip of land, 58 acres, will remain an agricultural preserve as part of environmental mitigation.

The AUAR also shows a proposed water treatment facility just east of Jamaica Avenue and south of Highway 61.

The study also accounted for traffic changes based on industrial growth in the business park.

Elliott said there would need to be a south leg added to Jamaica Avenue south of 100th Street, a signal at Jamaica and 95th Street and 100th Street to Keats Avenue would likely need a new road segment.

Traffic analysis also indicated that Highway 61 would need to add a lane on both north and southbound to and from Interstate 494. The Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Council are expected to review and comment on the transportation analysis.

After a final plan is approved, at the first council meeting in January, the plan will be reviewed and adjusted if needed every five years.

The city council authorized beginning the comment period for the draft 4-0, with council member Dave Thiede absent.