The Minnesota Vikings announced Tuesday evening that they sealed a deal for 185 acres in Eagan, where the team plans to transform a former Northwest Airlines headquarters into a sprawling mixed-use complex with a new practice facility, office space and housing.
A fund affiliated with the Eden Prairie-based Excelsior Group sold the property, at Dodd Road and Lone Oak Parkway near Interstate 494, for an undisclosed price. No certificate of real estate value has been filed yet. Representatives for the seller and the team did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the deal.
Excelsior paid $10.4 million for the site in June. That transaction lifted ownership from Delta Airlines seven years after it bought Northwest and shifted operations to Atlanta. The property, including a 597,943-square-foot campus, has sat vacant since then.
In a press release, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf again trumpeted the amenities of the proposed development site, including its proximity to downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul as well as the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. In addition to a practice facility and team office, Vikings officials have touted ambitious plans for corporate space and conference centers.
Still, team President Mark Wilf cautioned there is still plenty of planning left to do before the project officially gets off the ground. Vikings officials have said they expect it will take between 10 and 15 years to realize their full development vision.
“While completing this purchase is the next step in the potential relocation of the team’s headquarters and training facility, several steps remain before a conclusion is reached,” Mark Wilf said in a statement.
The city will continue to review plans when the Vikings submit an application for rezoning, expected next month. On that timetable, the Eagan Planning Commission would likely review those plans in late March, Eagan community development director Jon Hohenstein said Wednesday.
Meanwhile, city staffers are working on an environmental review of the site that’s expected to wrap in May – around the time the Eagan City Council would consider the rezoning request, Hohenstein said.
The City Council in October gave its preliminary approval for zoning flexibility that could set up multifamily rentals and retail at the site. Other proposed uses, including corporate and conference space, are already permitted under existing zoning.
City officials have so far emphasized concerns about the makeup of housing units at the redevelopment site. In the past, they’ve resisted single-family homes nearby, and Mayor Mike Maguire made clear at meetings last year that he doesn’t want the team to backpedal on plans for higher density.
Early-stage plans from the Vikings outline a series of multistory apartment buildings, modeled after developments in other cities that cluster around town squares. In addition to office and retail space, the expansive project could also include a hotel.
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