Cottage Grove Home Depot redevelopment could start this summerWhere there was once lumber, lawnmowers and power tools, there soon could be treadmills, secondhand wares and dog toys. That’s the plan put forward recently by a real estate development group that plans to redevelop a long-vacant Cottage Grove Home Depot building on East Point Douglas Road into a multi-tenant retail space housing an LA Fitness, Goodwill and Petco.
Where there was once lumber, lawnmowers and power tools, there soon could be treadmills, secondhand wares and dog toys.
That’s the plan put forward recently by Stonehenge USA, the Minnetonka-based real estate development group that presented its proposal to the Cottage Grove Planning Commission to redevelop a long-vacant Home Depot building on East Point Douglas Road into a multi-tenant retail space housing an LA Fitness, Goodwill and Petco in the city’s Gateway North commercial area.
A fourth retail space in the redeveloped 68,000-square-foot building has not yet been filled, according to the plan detailed last week.
Planning commissioners unanimously recommended approval of conditional use permits required for the project, one for the proposed fitness center, LA Fitness, another for a planned drive-thru drop-off lane for Goodwill.
“We’ve been working on this for nine months now,” Dave Carland, executive vice president of Stonehenge USA, told planning commissioners. The challenge, he said, was finding the right mix of tenants for the space. “We’re excited to get the project going.” Cottage Grove City Council members are expected to approve the plans at their June 6 meeting.
The $10.8 million project would be completed with some assistance from the city. Under an agreement approved by the council May 16, the city will pledge $1.9 million in special property tax revenue toward the cost of purchasing and improving the building and surrounding infrastructure.
Without that assistance, the cost of remaking the cavernous former home improvement building that has sat empty since 2008 into an attractive retail space would be too great for a developer, City Administrator Ryan Schroeder has said.
“If it’s a priority of the council to redevelop the [Home Depot] site this is a necessity to make that happen at this time,” he told council members at the May 16 meeting.
If approved, Carland, the developer, said construction would begin this summer.
Nearby residents expressed concerns to city planners about exterior lighting, truck noise and construction noise. Most of the issues are addressed in the development’s site plan, said John McCool, a senior planner in the city’s Community Development Department.
Exterior lighting on the back of the building — which sits a short distance from a row of homes on Heath Avenue — won’t be as bright as the fixtures installed by Home Depot when that store opened in early 2003, McCool told planning commissioners.
As for truck traffic, McCool and Carland both said the incoming retailers would draw substantially less truck traffic than did the Home Depot that closed its doors in 2008.
The redevelopment would completely alter the outside of the building.
“I hope it’s not going to look like a recycled Home Depot,” Carland said.