The Cornerstone Group is now one step closer to creating its vision of a great town center for Richfield at the former Lyndale Garden Center site. With assistance from the City of Richfield, Hennepin County, the Metropolitan Council, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and the Family Housing Fund, TCG has purchased the site at 6400 Lyndale Avenue South from Rancho Richfield, LLC. The former garden center building has been vacant since 2006.
“Our vision is to create great places to live, work, and play,” states Colleen Carey, President of the Cornerstone Group.
The Cornerstone Group believes that healthy, vibrant communities include five critical components that must be integrated into the development. These include:
Art & Artists: The three building components will be designed in collaboration with local artists who will help to create a unique design that utilizes local art as a focal point. A new band shell for live performances is planned for the west side of the site along Richfield Lake. The Cornerstone Group is also seeking grants to incorporate interactive artistic elements into the site.
Nature and Open Space: New walking and biking trails will provide improved access to Richfield Lake and connect with existing Wood Lake Nature Center trails.
Sustainability: New buildings will be designed to minimize their impact on the environment by utilizing the latest building technologies.
Local Food & Urban Agriculture: The Cornerstone Group will continue its urban farming initiatives at the new site, with small plots dedicated to the demonstration of productive edible urban agriculture. Onsite food retailers and vendors will increase local residents’ access to natural food choices.
Active Living: The buildings and grounds will be designed for healthy living, including safe, convenient access to transit and trails as well as providing a variety of opportunities for safe, convenient, and affordable physical activity.
Carey envisions a transformation for the site that will happen in three phases. Phase I is already in process – TCG is in talks with several retail tenants including a natural foods grocer and a hardware store. The former greenhouse building will be refurbished to accommodate new retail tenants, a restaurant, office and performance or event space.
Phase II, a new mixed-use building north of the existing garden center building along Lyndale Avenue will establish a new home for the Minnesota Life College, a Richfield not-for-profit, vocational, and life skills training program for young adults with learning differences and autism spectrum disorders.
New market rate apartment homes overlooking Richfield Lake will be constructed in Phase III.
For future updates on the Lyndale Garden Center project please visit our blog or follow @TCGMN on Twitter or The Lyndale Garden Center on Facebook.