The Minnesota Vikings offered a deeper look at their plans for a new practice facility and headquarters in Eagan, part of a broader redevelopment effort that could bring office space, multifamily housing and a hotel to a stagnant pocket of the city.
Team executives submitted their 257-page development outline to Eagan planners this week, essentially formalizing the overhaul of nearly 200 acres at Dodd Road and Lone Oak Parkway near Interstate 494. After unveiling ambitious plans for the site last year, the Vikings paid $18.7 million for the former Northwest Airlines property in January.
Documents filed this week divide the sprawling redevelopment into multiple phases, starting with a new 240,000-square-foot office building for the team and a 10,000-seat stadium, plus up to four practice fields and indoor training space.
The facilities would cover a combined 31 acres in the north-central portion of the site, made up of seven parcels total. Work is slated to begin this summer, pending required city approvals. The new Vikings complex would replace the Winter Park facility in Eden Prairie, which the team says it has outgrown.
Proposed development would perk up a swath largely untouched after Northwest Airlines shuttered its headquarters at the site and moved operations to Atlanta after its acquisition by Delta Airlines. The Vikings’ proposal aims to replace the airline’s shuttered offices and a vacant flight simulator building, and fill out the surrounding area.
Depending on market demand, the team expects to pepper in additional projects over 15 years. Early-stage plans include between 790 and 945 multifamily rentals spread through four- to six-story buildings, plus a hotel and conference center with 320 to 500 rooms.
The team also forecasts around 1 million square feet of office space – including for medical office uses, a mainstay in Eagan – and up to 160,000 square feet for retail.
Mayor Mike Maguire in his State of the City address on Thursday trumpeted sprawling redevelopment as a boon for a listless corner of the Eagan. The mayor has been a strong advocate for the plan while also asserting the city’s development priorities in meetings with team officials.
“This vast expanse of land on our northern edge represents a great opportunity not just for the Vikings and their owners, but for our community as well,” Maguire said in his speech. “We look forward to working with [the team] to envision the opportunities and the possibilities for northeast Eagan.”
The Vikings are owned by the Wilf family, led by real estate developer Zygi Wilf. The family real estate business owns and manages residential and commercial properties in nearly 40 states.
Housing issues were an early sticking point for the mayor and other Eagan policymakers in the Vikings’ venture.
At city meetings in the fall, Maguire emphasized a focus on multifamily development and members of the city’s Advisory Planning Commission urged the team to make sure residential buildings are well-integrated in the broader project.
It remains unclear which pieces of the overall project would follow work on the team facilities. A team spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment, but Vikings CFO Steve Poppen has said several parties have already approached the team about setting up offices in the complex.
Primarily office and light industrial properties neighbor the Vikings’ property. Just a few houses sit near the Eagan site, though there are residential neighborhoods close by – one north of Interstate 494 in Mendota Heights, and one about three-quarters of a mile southeast in Inver Grove Heights.
The Vikings plan now nestles the stadium immediately south of the team offices and indoor training building – large enough facilities, the team says, to keep noise and light from spilling into the neighborhoods. A conceptual framework floated last year placed the stadium west of the headquarters.
High-profile events could come to the stadium outside of game days, the documents show. The Vikings could feature concerts similar in scale to performances at the Minnesota Zoo, but noise monitoring would line up with city standards.
Under Eagan’s comprehensive plan, the development would need sidewalks and trails that easily link residents to commercial and community amenities nearby. The Vikings said the revitalization will “create a new destination of regional and local importance,” feeding demand for new pedestrian and bike infrastructure.
City planners will review the proposed plans before the Advisory Planning Commission gives its feedback next month. The Eagan City Council is expected to vote on the plans in May, and would play a continued role as development takes shape.
The team would need to get city approval as needed for land-use and zoning changes at the site.
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