3:31 p.m.Tuesday, February 1, 2022
When some Maple Grove city planning officials first heard of a home improvement store taking over the AMC Theater site, they “weren’t too thrilled.” But according to a concept plan presented Monday to the Maple Grove Planning Commission, that’s not all a redevelopment proposal has to offer.
“We’re really excited about the possibilities of this,” said Dan Regan of Minneapolis-based Launch Properties.
AMC Arbor Lakes 16 abruptly closed last month. City officials say the COVID-19 pandemic and property maintenance issues have impacted the Maple Grove site. After the closure, there was disappointment and concern about the future of the 9.9-acre cinema site.
“When I first heard about this entry, Floor & Decor, I wasn’t too thrilled, just hearing that was what was happening in the theater. I think the loss of a major entertainment venue for the city is a big deal,” said Craig Lamothe, who chairs the Maple Grove Planning Commission.
Atlanta-based Floor & Decor will gut the interior of the theater and redo the exterior facade of the building. According to city filings, Floor & Decor is one of Fortune’s “100 fastest growing companies.” The national retailer specializes in tile, wood and stone products. It also sells vanities, sinks and countertops. This will be the company’s first store in Minnesota. He plans to employ 40 to 50 people in the store, 60% full-time.
“It’s a good reuse of this building. As everyone knows, the big anchor box universe of potential tenants and occupants for buildings of this size is getting smaller and smaller with each passing day,” Regan said.
Three additional buildings proposed
But it’s not just Floor & Decor that will enter the site. Launch Properties proposes to construct three additional buildings on different sections of the parking lot. One building would be just east of Malone’s Bar & Grill, another south of the Red Lobster, and a third west of the Old Theater. The developer hopes to attract up to five new tenants for these buildings, including two restaurants.
“I predict that at least a few of these concepts are new and exciting that people haven’t seen in Maple Grove before, and maybe they haven’t seen in Minnesota before,” Regan said.
Potential tenants were not disclosed. But the developer is working with neighbors in hopes of creating a project that fits into the nearby commercial landscape.
Regan says he contacted the owners of The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes, as well as Malone’s Bar & Grill and Red Lobster. He says he has received positive feedback, although he has yet to hear from the owner of Red Lobster. Regan says the additional buildings can work from a parking standpoint because Floor & Decor will have much less vehicle traffic compared to a movie theater.
There are still concerns regarding access to the site. AJ Stevens, owner of Malone’s Bar & Grill, is among those who provided comments to the Maple Grove Planning Commission.
“Personally, I’m really worried about this. [Main Street] intersection,” Stevens said. “With the arrival of Total Wine, this intersection has become very busy.”
Maple Grove plans to require a full traffic study at the Main Street four-way intersection.
“It’s no secret that this intersection has had its challenges,” said Joe Hogeboom, director of community and economic development for Maple Grove.
The Maple Grove Planning Commission has recommended approval of the concept plan. Maple Grove City Council plans to review the concept plan at its meeting on Monday, February 7.