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Old February 8th, 2008, 06:53 AM   #1
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Minneapolis: Target Corp's new campus

Target Corp. is planning a $2 billion mixed-use project in Brooklyn Park that will be one of the biggest developments in Minnesota history.

Target's project, when complete in 10 to 15 years, will add:

* Up to 8 million square feet of office space; half for Target and the rest for other companies;
* Up to 15,000 new office workers;
* Up to 2 million square feet of retail space, including a SuperTarget;
* Two or more hotels; and
* Up to 3,000 living units.

Target plans to be master developer and have a say in all aspects of design, right down to the look of the street signs and the colors in the flower beds.

"Our central goal in doing that is to control virtually everything that happens there," said John Griffith, Target's executive vice president of property development.

Griffith discussed Target's plans to expand its existing Northern Campus at the regular meeting of the Brooklyn Park Economic Development Authority (EDA) Monday evening.

Target already has about 1,000 employees working in 446,000 square feet at its 135-acre Brooklyn Park campus, which opened about five years ago. It's now constructing a 245,000-square-foot, $64 million addition to the campus that will house up to 1,200 additional employees.

In the past six months, Target purchased another 200 acres for the massive expansion. Some of the land was owned by the Minnesota Orchestra, which abandoned plans for an amphitheater there in 2001.

In the next phase of its expansion, Target hopes to build a $130 million, 500,000-square-foot office building for another 2,500 employees. Construction for that building, which could rise 15 stories, would start in 2006 or 2007.
Downtown's overflow

Target has about 10,000 workers in downtown Minneapolis, and it doesn't plan to move its headquarters or reduce the work force there. It doesn't plan to grow much beyond the 2.6 million square feet of office space it uses there.

"Essentially what we're saying is that the amount of space that we have in downtown Minneapolis we don't really see growing substantially. Any incremental growth, addition in head count, we see as moving up to this northern campus," Griffith said.

Target is adding about 1,000 corporate-headquarters employees per year, a pace too fast to accommodate in new buildings downtown. It would take more than three years to plan and build a tower in Minneapolis, but if there are multiple buildings approved and designed for the campus in Brooklyn Park, the company can construct those buildings faster as growth dictates.

Development in the suburbs is about 40 percent cheaper as well. It would cost close to $200 per square foot to develop a new office tower downtown compared to $120 to $130 per square foot on raw land in Brooklyn Park, according to industry sources.

'Best corporate campus ever'

Griffith said he's trying to replicate the flavor and vibrancy of downtown Minneapolis in Brooklyn Park.

Today, Target's outpost in Brooklyn Park is literally at the end of the road. Unfinished Highway 610 stops abruptly at the intersection of Highway 169.

The existing campus overlooks undeveloped farm fields and forces employees to drive if they want to eat lunch off campus or go to a bank.

The new project would try to create a pedestrian-friendly community that would be "convenient, fast, friendly, exciting and energizing" for Target employees, Griffith said.

Target wants the campus to live up to its mantra of being "the best company ever," Griffith continued. "If we want to be the best company ever, we need to build the best corporate campus ever."

Peter Kitchak, president of Minneapolis-based Keewaydin Real Estate Advisors, is representing Target on the project. He said the pace of development for the campus will depend on, among other things, the completion of Highway 610, from 169 to Interstate 94. Brooklyn Park and Maple Grove officials are expected to ask the Legislature next year for money to finish the road.

Kitchak, who worked on Medtronic's world headquarters in Fridley and the Guthrie Theater's riverfront development in Minneapolis, estimated that the regional economic impact of the project will be about $3 billion a year when considering wages of all employees on the site.

"Even if that's off by a factor of three, it's still a very huge number, and an economic-development opportunity that this state probably has never seen in a single project," Kitchak said.
City enthused

The Brooklyn Park EDA unanimously gave city staff authority to start negotiating details of a development agreement and a subsidy package with Target.

The retailer, which has about $50 billion in annual sales, didn't quantify its subsidy request other to say it would be less than $65 million in city tax abatements to help offset construction of roads, sewers, sidewalks and parks.

Target estimated that the total cost of all the infrastructure for the project would be about $130 million. The city may ask the state Legislature for an exemption from a cap on abatement deals.

Target estimated that the total cost of all the infrastructure for the project would be about $130 million. The city may ask the state Legislature for an exemption from a cap on abatement deals.

EDA members are upbeat about the development.

Target is already the largest employer in the city, and the new jobs are likely to average more than $50,000 per year in salary and benefits.

The site Target wants to develop is now zoned for entertainment and office development. The city would need to update its master plan to include the new uses and higher density.

"It's an understatement to say that this kind of takes our master plan by surprise. Its magnitude and scope is something much more immense than ... the city ever imagined," said Scott Simmons, a city commissioner.

Bob Schreier, Brooklyn Park's director of economic development, agreed.

"Nobody ever imagined that this opportunity could ever happen here."

He hopes to bring a development agreement back to the City Council in March.

Schreier, a former official in the St. Paul Department of Planning and Economic Development, said when he arrived in Brooklyn Park a year ago he encouraged Target to think big with its campus.

It's a complex project that will require a lot of different groups to work together, he said. "But this can be done."
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Old February 8th, 2008, 07:23 AM   #2
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location on google earth:

45 08 05 N
93 22 14 W

I know they are putting a third building up right now.. I'll try to get some photos of the campus this weekend. I don't know if they are up to 1Million square feet yet.. 8 million total...
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Old February 8th, 2008, 12:02 PM   #3
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any renders?
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Old February 9th, 2008, 07:14 AM   #4
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sorry, no renders...
here's a link to the master plan:

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Old April 14th, 2008, 07:55 AM   #5
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could be a new phase coming...

Downtown's largest company is in play again.

Minneapolis-based Target Corp.'s headquarters are secure in the Target-owned buildings on the south end of Nicollet Mall, but there is a ticking clock on the 800,000 square feet that Target leases in 33 South Sixth, the skyscraper attached to City Center.

Target's lease in 33 South Sixth expires in November 2012 and according to Target spokeswoman Lissa Reitz, "we're assessing how we're going to accommodate our space needs beyond that date."

Target has plenty of options, from staying put to moving out of downtown. At least one major developer has held talks with the company about building a new tower for the retailer.

Target has about 4,000 employees in 33 South Sixth. It takes up 35 floors in the 50-story tower. It's had a presence in the building since 1983 and most recently expanded there in 2005.

Target hasn't advised 33 South Sixth owner Toronto-based Brookfield Properties Corp. about its plans for the building and there are no active lease negotiations, said David Sternberg, head of Brookfield's local operations.

"Target is a very important entity for the community and the city," Sternberg said. "They contribute so much to the community and the economic vitality of the city and so as they go through this important exercise we certainly hope that they remain downtown. From a Brookfield standpoint we hope we're able to keep them in this building,"

Sternberg declined to say if Target is interested in buying 33 South Sixth. Last month, Brookfield put its leasehold interest in the property up for sale as part of a package that includes the adjacent City Center retail shopping center, a 584-room Marriott hotel and a 690-stall parking ramp.

Target isn't publicly discussing its real estate options, but close observers of the real estate market say its choices are broad. It could:

* Renew all or part of its lease in 33 South Sixth;
* Move employees to its northern Twin Cities campus in Brooklyn Park or somewhere else in the metro area, such as along Interstate 394, where it has its Target Credit operations;
* Move the jobs out of the state or country, to places like California or India;
* Move elsewhere in downtown, to an existing building or a new one.

Minnetonka-based Opus Corp. has had conversations with Target about accommodating the retailer at a new development site at 10th and Nicollet Mall, across the street from Target's headquarters.

Dave Menke, vice president of development for Opus, said last month that Opus, not unlike other developers downtown, would like to land Target in a new development.

Opus and its development partners have been studying a mixed-use high-rise at a site formerly slated for a 45-story condo project called The Nicollet.

Menke couldn't be reached for comment for this story.

Mike Christensen, director of the Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development Department, said he and city staff are in "weekly conversations with members of the Target team about Target's future downtown."

The discussions include ways that the city and Target work together downtown, including public safety and transportation.

"We're taking those as they come and doing a good job of fielding Target's concerns at this point," Christensen said.

Target has expressed concerns about safety on Hennepin Avenue for its employees and the city is addressing that by adding more officers downtown, he said.

Christensen said he doesn't know how soon Target will make a decision on its space needs or in what way the city will be able to help.

"It's early yet, though we are prepared for that conversation and we are talking to our elected officials to begin positioning the city for that conversation."

Move up north?

Target has about 2,000 employees working at its northern campus near the intersection of Highways 169 and 610, according to Amy Baldwin, Brooklyn Park's business developer.

Baldwin said city and Target officials met within the past few months to get an update on the campus.

"They have been impacted by the economy and they've reined in a little bit as far as their anticipated growth numbers in the short term," she said. "But they are very committed to their larger vision."

In 2005, Target approached Brooklyn Park with plans for a $2 billion mixed-use project that would be built over 15 to 20 years. Target's plan, which was approved by the city, allows for it to develop 8 million square feet of office space, about half of which would be for Target.

So far, Target has developed two office buildings that total 690,000 square feet, but both were in the works before the mixed-use project was announced.

To comply with its development agreement with the city, Target only needs to start construction by 2012, Baldwin said.

One downtown developer, who declined to be named to protect client relationships, said it will be difficult for downtown to compete financially with Brooklyn Park, where Target already has land, a development agreement with city subsidies and plans for long-term growth.

"Part of the challenge that any of us has downtown is to get something that's competitive with their other options," the developer said.

Brent Erickson, a downtown office real estate broker for United Properties, said he wouldn't want to put any odds on Target's choices, but he said renewing at 33 South Sixth would probably be Target's least expensive option. The most expensive would be anchoring a new building in downtown.

Expanding in Brooklyn Park would be in the middle and buying a building depends on what improvements are required, he said.
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