Barnesville planners this week adopted a proposal to split the Barnesville Center property into new lots that will be marketed for reconstruction.
This step could mark the first step towards rehabilitating the converted property.
The mall changed hands after Cole Retail Investment Group took control of an acre of property last year after buying property debt at auction.
Mall anchor shops were not included in the transaction.
Earlier this week, the Barnesville Planning Commission unanimously recommended the approval of a proposal by Barnesville Center Capital Holdings LLC to subdivide mall property and sell parcels for reconstruction.
In a letter to city officials, a representative of the mall owner said that selling some of the property would help investors pay their dues and help the mall achieve financial stability.
A creative approach
At Monday’s meeting, Felix Reznik, with fourth-level features, said the team working to revitalize the mall supports the city’s long-term vision for high-density, mixed-use reconstruction.
According to Regnick, Sears property, not controlled by the mall owner, is probably the best place for apartments.
“You need to be proactive and creative with these kinds of features,” he said. “In the end, I mean, over the three years we’ve been able to bring a lot of interesting uses to these features, including multi-family, mixed use, which I think will work very well here.”
In 2018, the city enlisted Minneapolis-based Damon Farber Landscape Architects and several other consultants to renovate the old mall property and set the stage for the renovation.
The mall, once the crown jewel of the South Metro after its grand opening in 1977 – lost its reputation due to empty parking lots, liquidation sales and the closure of Sears.
Holding the view of the city
The Center Village Redevelopment Vision, adopted by city officials in 201 Village, creates a long-term vision for the city to rebuild and revitalize the commercial corridor along County Road along2.
Extended green space, walkability and small size retailers are some of the key elements of the design.
In a letter to city officials, Reznik said the proposed subdivisions are the first step in achieving the Centers for Village Center plan.
“I am really excited to see this progress and I work with the city and really appreciate what we are doing to make it a highly viable asset,” Planning Commission Chair Chris John said at Monday’s meeting. “I think it’s really important for the city.”
The proposal to Barnsville City Council on Tuesday created new parcels to be sold separately.
Details of a few plans
Under the plan, Shogun Restaurant and Wells Fargo Bank will be divided into separate lots. The mall building and its existing parking spaces, Dix Sporting Goods and Jared Jewelry properties will also each have their own seating.
In addition, a portion of the parking lot currently used by the Season Two Park Center will be rebuilt into a drive-through restaurant. An agreement is currently being negotiated with a franchise, according to plan documents.
Reznik said the converted reconstruction takes time, but the Burnsville property offers a lot of potential and a great location.
“It’s thrilling to see this progress,” said Ali Awad, Burnsville’s planning commissioner. “It’s really the first step to gaining vision.”