Kraus-Anderson, Elion Partners to bring new life to 700,000-square-foot corporate campus in Minnesota

by Dan Rafter

The State Farm regional campus in Woodbury, Minn.

The State Farm regional campus in Woodbury, Minn.

A key corner in the Minneapolis market will soon be home to a mixed-use development including offices, shops, restaurants and a future hotel, thanks to a partnership between Minneapolis’ Kraus-Anderson and Aventura, Fla.-based Elion Partners.

The two companies will work together to redevelop a 100-acre corporate campus at Interstate-94 and Radio Drive in Woodbury, Minn. The plan is to turn the campus into a 700,000-square-foot commercial development with shops, restaurants, new office space, a hotel, bank, two medical office buildings and a day-care center.

Once completed, the new development will include 300,000 square feet of new construction to supplement an existing 400,000-square-foot office building.

According to the partnership, Kraus-Anderson will develop the grounds into pad-ready sites for the development of the project’s new retail, grocery, restaurants and shops. Site work is expected to begin in the summer of 2014.

“This is an opportunity for us to create a workplace environment where people can park their car once, go to work, go to lunch and go to the grocery store without ever having to get back into their car,” said Matt Alexander, Kraus-Anderson’s director of real estate development. “This is typically pretty impossible, which is what makes this exciting. We are taking an existing Class-A office building and revitalizing it.”

Woodbury residents know the site as the State Farm Insurance campus. The insurance company built the regional headquarters in 1996 but moved out in 2006. Since then, the property has sat vacant.

The development, then, is a big one for Woodbury.

For Juan DeAngulo, managing partner at Elion, the project was a chance to make a mark in a high-profile location.

“It all starts with the quality of the location and the quality of the real estate,” DeAngulo said. “We are constantly looking for opportunities to unlock value. We felt that there was a great opportunity to unlock value here. We know that this site has faced challenges in the past. But we can overcome that. That is what made us purchase this site.”

Woodbury city officials, too, are excited about the prospect of seeing an unused site turned into an active mixed-use development.

“The partnership between Elion and Kraus-Anderson is wonderful news for the city,” said Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens, in a written statement.  “While Elion has yet to submit a formal development application for this proposal, they clearly have a plan for moving forward.  We are excited for this development to evolve into another cornerstone of economic growth for the City of Woodbury.”

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