Near the intersection of I-694 and Highway 252 in Brooklyn Center sits the 20-screen Regal Cinema. According to Mayor Tim Willson, the owners have been looking for someone to buy the theater.
"They've been on the market for 12 to 18 months or longer trying to sell the property because they were struggling a bit," Willson said.
Brooklyn Center had concerns over the prospect of another underutilized property in the city. That is until they were contacted by Dallas-based Topgolf.
"One day Topgolf came to us and said, 'well, if we located in Brooklyn Center, what would it take?'" Willson said.
Topgolf is an entertainment venue for the whole family, with three levels of hitting bays stacked atop one another.
"Amateurs who are just starting off golf get experience of teeing off from a green, and experienced golfers as well can improve their game through this facility as well," Willson said.
A Topgolf complex also includes a restaurant and event space. Brooklyn Center officials have been in contact with the company for more than a year.
"They had hoped to start construction last year to be ready for the Super Bowl, but all the details didn't work out," Willson said.
Now, Mayor Willson says everything has fallen into place. The company's board voted to officially approve the expansion to Minnesota Wednesday morning, in large part because they liked the site.
"It's everything we've always said about Brooklyn Center," Willson said. "We've got great road systems. We're conveniently located to downtown Minneapolis, downtown St. Paul."
Mayor Willson says de-construction of the theater could begin as early as July. When Topgolf opens, it's expected to bring thousands of people to Brooklyn Center.
"So in my mind it's like, yes we lose an entertainment site with the movies and stuff, but we gain now, a great attraction for Brooklyn Center," Willson said.
A great attraction that is likely to open in the fall of 2018.
"It's just a great, great turn of events for Brooklyn Center," Willson said.
No word yet on when the Regal Cinema will close. Topgolf is expected to make a presentation to the Brooklyn Center City Council on Monday.
May 18, 2017