Client Elion Partners
Location Woodbury, Minnesota
Scope Repurposing and repositioning a 100-acre master plan development
Contractor Kraus-Anderson Construction Company

City Place

Project Details

Westwood’s Role

  • ALTA Survey, Topographic Survey
  • Master Planning and Entitlements (Preliminary and Final)
  • Civil Engineering; Traffic Engineering
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Construction Staking
  • Environmental – Braun; Existing Wetlands, Tree Survey, Tree Mitigation Plan

Overview

The dormant State Farm campus in Woodbury, Minnesota, has been in the news over the years as attempts at redeveloping it have failed. With a repurposed vision of work-play-live driving the 100-acre site to become a premiere destination in feel and density, the City of Woodbury was on-board and excited at the transformation of this prominent location into a cornerstone for economic growth. Kraus-Anderson approached Westwood because of our familiarity with the property and multi-disciplinary development approach which would make for smooth transitions from planning through engineering through construction, save the client money, and give the city an accountable designer over the long run.

A Multi-Disciplined Approach

Along with master planning to incorporate and complement the existing structure for a cohesive and well-planned design, Westwood's team of traffic engineers designed roundabouts for a mix of traffic from office to retail with turn lanes, through lanes, and special intersections for pedestrian-safe crossing. Westwood’s civil engineering team designed the infrastructure and worked closely with landscape architects to create pedestrian environments such as plaza spaces and gathering places.

Need for Maximum Flexibility Everywhere

Master planning a large-scale development is unusual these days and designing a mixed-use development surrounding an existing unique corporate office building adds complexity to the process. The developers needed maximum flexibility with a constantly evolving plan. Westwood’s team provided more than engineering; we acted as an overall partner in the process of planning by creatively and fluidly adapting to the ever-changing needs to fit potential tenants.

Coordination meant working closely with the architect and two distinct clients, the developer and the contractor.  Westwood’s team integrated all aspects of the development such as walkways, parking, circulation, service access, environmental, trails, parks, and architectural elements, tying it all together and producing a cohesive overall design to achieve successful integration of the existing structure with the rest of the development.

Green Engineering

In order to satisfy the stringent requirements of the city and the watershed district, Westwood's team worked closely together on green engineering which involved tree trenches and underground storage designs for drainage and infiltration. All the while, balancing the design solution with the need to be cost conscious became an evolving process of design and redesign.

Creating a Destination “Retail Memory”

The overall desire was to create a destination that would produce a "retail memory" and in turn produce more frequent trips to the property for retail, groceries, casual and fine dining, hospitality, park, and trails. A cohesive ambience was achieved by tying together the development’s amenities with an urban streetscape design and plaza spaces, canopied pedestrian areas, decorative lighting, planters, water features, ponds, a natural park, and an informal amphitheater. Adding to the destination idea are the city-wide trails extending to and through the development which provides connectivity within the development and city trail system.

Experience governs when working with the city, developer, and ownership groups. Westwood’s collaborative efforts kept the team abreast of issues and helped them think through options and alternatives to ultimately ask the right questions.