Plan for AMC Movie Theater Site Includes New Restaurant Concepts
When some Maple Grove city planning officials first heard about a home remodeling store taking over the AMC movie theater site, they “weren’t overly thrilled.” But according to a concept plan presented at Monday’s Maple Grove Planning Commission, that’s not all a redevelopment proposal has to offer.
“We’re really excited about the possibilities with this,” said Dan Regan with Minneapolis-based Launch Properties.
AMC Arbor Lakes 16 abruptly closed last month. City officials say the COVID-19 pandemic and property maintenance issues impacted the Maple Grove venue. After the closure, there was disappointment and concern over the future of the 9.9-acre movie theater site.
“When I first heard about this coming in, Floor & Decor, I wasn’t overly thrilled, just hearing that was what was going into the theater. I think the loss of a major entertainment venue for the city is a big deal,” said Craig Lamothe, who chairs the Maple Grove Planning Commission.
Atlanta-based Floor & Decor will gut the interior of the theater and redo the exterior facade of the building. According to city documents, Floor & Decor is one of Fortune’s “100 Fastest-Growing Companies.” The national retailer specializes in tile, wood and stone flooring products. It also sells vanities, sinks and countertops. This will be the company’s first store in Minnesota. It expects to employ 40 to 50 people at the store with 60 percent of them full-time workers.
“This is a good reuse of this building. As everyone knows, the large anchor box universe of prospective tenants and occupants for buildings of this size are becoming fewer and fewer and fewer with every passing day,” said Regan.
Three additional buildings proposed
But it’s not just Floor & Decor that will go into the site. Launch Properties is proposing to construct three additional buildings on various sections of the parking lot. One building would be just to the east of Malone’s Bar & Grill, another to the south of Red Lobster and a third to the west of the former theater. The developer hopes to attract as many as five new tenants for those buildings, including two restaurants.
“I would forecast that at least a couple of those are new, exciting concepts that people haven’t seen in Maple Grove before, and maybe haven’t seen in Minnesota before,” said Regan.
Potential tenants haven’t been disclosed. But the developer is working with the neighbors with the hope of creating a project that fits into the neighboring shopping landscape.
Regan says he has reached out to the owners of The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes, as well as Malone’s Bar & Grill and Red Lobster. He says he has received positive feedback, though he hasn’t heard back yet from the Red Lobster property owner. Regan says the additional buildings can work from a parking standpoint because Floor & Decor will have a lot less vehicle traffic compared to a movie theater.
Still there’s concerns about access to the site. A.J. Stevens, owner of Malone’s Bar & Grill, is among those who provided feedback to the Maple Grove Planning Commission.
“Personally, I’m just really concerned about that [Main Street] intersection,” said Stevens. “With Total Wine coming in, that intersection has gotten really busy.”
Maple Grove plans to require a full traffic study of the Main Street four-way-stop intersection.
“It’s no secret that that intersection has had its challenges,” said Joe Hogeboom, Maple Grove’s director of community and economic development.
The Maple Grove Planning Commission recommended approval of the concept plan. The Maple Grove City Council expects to review the concept plan at its Monday, Feb. 7, meeting.