Plymouth Approves Four Seasons Mall Redevelopment
The Plymouth City Council has taken a huge step in the redevelopment of the long-vacant Four Seasons Mall. The city approved preliminary plans that call for three apartment buildings totaling more than 400 units.
Two of the buildings, with 74 and 89 units, would be affordable housing serving families with lower incomes. The third would be a six-story, 255-unit independent senior living building. The plan also includes four retail buildings and a three-level public parking ramp.
The former Four Seasons Mall has been vacant for more than a decade. It’s also a difficult piece of property to redevelop because of the soil conditions. The property used to wetlands until it was developed in the 1970s. Now, finally, the city has some clarity.
“I think it’s a victory for everybody,” said Plymouth Mayor Jeff Wosje. “I think it’s a victory for our seniors that are looking. We have a two-year wait list in our senior housing that the city owns. There’s such a huge need for that. So that’s a win for our seniors. It’s a win for bringing in that workforce housing that our community needs for supporting our business community.”
Four Seasons Mall Redevelopment Comes with Concerns
While there’s strong support for the project, there’s also some concerns. Dominium is the property management company behind the project. It’s the same company that manages the Huntington Place Apartments in Brooklyn Park and to which Brooklyn Park Mayor Jeff Lunde referred to as “slumlords.”
Plymouth City Council member Jim Davis says he’s received email complaints about how Dominium runs its properties.
“I’m going to let you know that I’m going to stay on top of you guys to make sure you guys run this thing as you are promising us,” Davis told representatives of Dominium at Tuesday’s council meeting.
Council Member Jim Prom, whose ward includes the vacant mall, did not support the project due to the subsidized aspect of it. He wanted market-rate housing instead.
“I don’t support the subsidized end of it,” said Prom. “The naturally occurring affordable housing is right next door. So I have a problem with that.”
Dominium will receive special tax incentives to help the project proceed. Many city officials believed it would take some sort of public assistance to see redevelopment on that site. In this case, the Plymouth City Council approved $5 million in tax-increment financing (TIF) assistance. TIF is a tool cities uses to redevelop blighted properties. It essentially freezes city taxes on a property for a period of time while the property is redeveloped.
“It’s Going to be a Nice New Development”
A previous plan to build a Wal-Mart on the property never garnered enough support. Another plan to build two large hotels on the site fell through due to financing issues. Wosje says this new project will address the city’s affordable housing needs and is a “victory for the neighborhood.”
“They will have certainty as what’s going to be there now,” Wosje said. “It won’t be a blighted, retail-shuttered shopping mall. It’s going to be a nice new development with housing and retail and some fast fast, casual restaurants that will be in there.”
City officials say the construction on the new Four Season Mall project will begin sometime next spring.