Brooklyn Center Gives Alatus Approval to Develop Long Vacant Site
Brooklyn Center is giving the green light to real estate developer, Alatus, to move forward in the redevelopment of a former strip mall site once known as Brookdale Square.
Brookdale Square is long gone, which is why the city has been trying to redevelop the prime site located near Minnesota State Highway 100. Now they have chosen Alatus as the developer.
“The underutilized properties that we’ve had in Brooklyn Center for many, many years – the strip malls – are starting to be looked at and redeveloped,” said Brooklyn Center Mayor Tim Willson.
Brooklyn Center officials believe the rundown, empty lot is a potential gold mine.
The developer, too, sees enormous opportunity on 32 acres of land long known as the “Opportunity Site” in Brooklyn Center.
“I’m actually quite pleased to see some of this moving,” Willson said. “It’s been so many years.”
The Alatus Vision
The Alatus vision includes building market rate apartments, town homes, houses, a grocery store and a theater on the site.
Alatus says their hallmark is engaging neighborhoods before they build.
“Normally neighbors know better than developers do, know better than planners do,” said Bob Lux of Alatus. “We have the ideas, but a lot of the times the neighborhoods know how communities live and what they need to kind of advance.”
The location of the land is one thing that makes it attractive. It’s close to major freeways and other key spots.
“We are real close to the downtowns,” Willson said. “We’ve got good traffic. We’ve got good roads.”
Alatus will be building close to the Wal-Mart site, and while praising the Shingle Creek Crossing development, they promise to put their own unique stamp on what they build.
“We have to do something different,” Lux said. “It’s not more of the same. We’ve got to create that heart of what your city wants to be.”
The redevelopment will be done in phases and will be time consuming and costly.
“It takes years to get redevelopment going at some of these underutilized properties and it takes millions of dollars to do so,” Willson said.
Alatus officials say the next step is to take a close look at the site for pollution and conduct a market study which usually takes 30 to 90 days.
Alatus is also currently building a luxury apartment complex in New Hope near the golf course.