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Taking the Alternative Route to Redevelopment: Lyndale Gardens in Richfield, Minnesota | Congress for the New Urbanism

Taking the Alternative Route to Redevelopment: Lyndale Gardens in Richfield, Minnesota

The following post comes courtesy of Global Site Plans' The Grid. CNU and Global Site Plans recently teamed up to syndicate Grid content, as its contingent of writers presents a view on the opportunities and issues of urbanization all across the world. CNU will carry select posts from the Grid direct on the CNU Salons.

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Taking the Alternative Route to Redevelopment: Lyndale Gardens in Richfield, Minnesota

In recent years, the approach to redevelopment has taken on the repetitive approach of high-rise apartment complexes with first floor commercial space consisting of high-end retail and/or office space; further accompanied by vast amounts of parking. This type of development rarely takes into account the connectivity and accessibility to the surrounding area, or sustainability.Contradictory to the previously stated, a new redevelopment project of a currently vacant garden center (photo) aims to take on an alternative approach to redevelopment by creating not just another apartment complex, but a town center where people can Live, Work, and Play.

Lyndale Garden CenterLyndale Gardens, a project by the socially responsible developer the Cornerstone Group, in partnership with the City of Richfield, Metropolitan Council, LISC, and Hennepin County, is located on the border of south Minneapolis, Minnesota in Richfield, Minnesota. The 7.5-acre site, which is slated to open in 2014, will consist of:

“We are not only interested in building a new development, we are interested in building community and creating a safe and engaging atmosphere where area residents can meet their neighbors and have fun in their own community. Lyndale Avenue is undergoing a major transformation that will result in a better, brighter future for Richfield.  We want to draw attention to the positive changes in Richfield and help create an active, healthy place that people are proud to call home,” says Colleen Carey, President of The Cornerstone Group.

Lyndale Gardens Site PlanThe overall vision is “to create a new retail, residential, and community town center that attracts people to live, work, and play in Richfield by integrating:”

  • Arts & Artists – partnering with local artists to create interactive elements for children and structures such as the band shell for musical performances;
  • Nature & Open Space – building a community park and recreational trails providing connectivity and accessibility for nearby residents and businesses;
  • Local Food & Urban Agriculture – via community and edible gardens;
  • Active Living – through urban agriculture practices and the relocation of a satellite Farmer’s Market to the site;
  • Lifelong Learning – through the provision of community education classes;
  • Sustainability.

Currently, a 40 kilowatt solar PV system has been installed on the roof of the former garden center to help offset energy costs of the final development.

Being that this developer is taking a more comprehensive and sustainableapproach to redevelopment by integrating various elements into creating a community place, what would be some challenges in achieving this goal? On that same note, are there any processes or policies your community has developed in order to make the vision such as this one, easier for environmentally conscious developers to achieve?

To read the original post, written by Jasna Hadzic, visit Global Site Plans.

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