Concern over parking and pedestrian connections at a recent Apple Valley City Council meeting didn't derail a development project that could bring a Chick-fil-A restaurant to the city's Cedar Avenue business district.
The council unanimously approved a subdivision request and authorized a building permit for the development proposal during a council meeting on Oct. 25.
Developers want to divide an 11.63-acre property—currently the site of a Cub Foods store—into three separate parcels, build a Chick-fil-A restaurant and construct another 7,000-square-foot, multi-tenant retail building on the site. The property is located at the corner of 153rd Street and Cedar Avenue.
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While Apple Valley City Council members were largely positive on the project, Apple Valley City Planner Tom Lovelace broached concerns that the development may not meet the city's minimum parking requirements.
The current site proposal calls for a total of 477 parking spots for Cub Foods following the redevelopment of the site. Under city regulations, Cub would ordinarily be required to have 495 spaces—an amount calculated by estimating the usable square footage of the building.
Developers argue that the parking spots will be adequate for the building because the usable square footage of the building is lower than the city estimate. The grocery store has also seen reduced traffic in recent years as Cub and other grocers have expanded their presence in the area, further reducing parking needs, according to Paul Tucci, a representative of Oppidan Investment Company. Oppidan is involved in the development of the project.
"This store was built at a time when there was no competition here, and I'm guessing that the store probably did double the volume then that it does today," Tucci said.
Council members Ruth Grendahl and John Bergman waved off the parking concerns.
"I don't see it as a major issue," Grendahl said. "It's not every day that there's not a parking spot. Realistically, large stores with large parking lots, how often do they hit their maximum? Easter, Christmas and Thanskgiving?"
Mayor Mary Hamann-Roland also posed questions regarding the developers plans to incorporate pedestrian connections on the property—especially in relation to the nearby Minnesota Valley Transit Authority transit hub.
"There's an opportunity that could be had here for sales and great connections," Hamann-Roland said.
Supervalu hasn't provided a timeline for the remodeling of its Cub Foods, but hopes to begin renovations sometime next year. Development of the multi-tenant building and Chik-fil-A restaurant may start as early as March 1.
The multi-tenant building, which will likely be located on the northwestern portion of the site, could house as many as four tenants. One of the tenants is expected to be a Smashburger restaurant, Lovelace said during the meeting.
"I think again, here's a great corporation coming in and reinvesting back in the city," Bergman said during the Oct. 25 meeting.