Neighbors Sound Off on Brooklyn Park’s “Project Hotdish”
Brooklyn Park officials call the building project “Project Hotdish.” And while Brooklyn Park leaders won’t officially name the Fortune 500 company planning to move into the building, it isn’t stopping residents from sounding off on the proposal.
The developer, Scannell Properties, plans to build a 2.6 million-square-foot fulfillment center along Highway 169 and 109th Avenue. It would be the largest industrial building in the Twin Cities. The proposal is expected to bring at least 2,500 jobs and operate around the clock, according to city documents.
“Amazon is Posting its Jobs”
The area is zoned for a business park, which includes manufacturing, warehousing and office uses. But residents from Brooklyn Park and neighboring Champlin raised concerns about how the large building will impact their neighborhood. They packed Wednesday night’s Brooklyn Park’s Planning Commission meeting that lasted nearly five hours.
“I giggled like a lot of people did when the presentation was being made and they were saying ‘well we’re not going to talk about who it is,'” said Brooklyn Park resident Jeff Shuman. “Well, Amazon is posting its jobs right now for Brooklyn Park.”
“Whoever the tenant is going to be, I hope they pay a pile of my taxes,” said another Brooklyn Park resident.
Champlin Mayor Ryan Karasek and other city of Champlin officials also raised red flags. Karasek approached the podium and dumped a large stack of papers on the stand. He brought up several issues, including what he calls a lack of transparency
“For a project that’s on our border and will certainly impact your neighboring community we expected more, with little transparency we are left to assume all of the worst-case scenarios,” said Karasek.
Meeting Turns Emotional
At times the lengthy meeting turned emotional.
“I feel very deceived, I’m at this point, kind of regretting moving here,” said one Brooklyn Park resident who spoke at the meeting.
Residents raised concerns about traffic and safety, as well as the business operating 24/7.
“Twenty-four hours a day, having something at 50 decibels throughout the night doesn’t sound that appealing,” said resident Jacob Shorez.
Others wondered how a tall four-level building would impact their privacy.
“My home is two stories, this building is four, who’s looking into my windows when me and my wife are doing married people things,” asked one man.
City Council Has Final Say
The Brooklyn Park Planning Commission recommended denial of the project by a 4-3 vote. Like some residents, members expressed concerns about building height and the influx of traffic that would flow through neighborhoods.
CCX News reached out to a representative for Scannell Properties. When asked whether the tenant was Amazon, the company had “no comment.”
The Brooklyn Park city council has the final say on the project. A vote could happen at its Oct. 8 meeting.