Centennial Lakes Plaza
- Land Planning and Design
- Civil Engineering, Traffic Analysis
- Landscape Architecture
- Construction Management, Inspections
The Centennial Lakes Plaza project was a Minnesota Shopping Center Association (MSCA) STARR award winner. This project involved a partial tear-down of an aging 2-level shopping center; repurposing the footprint with a different retailer, Whole Foods; adding a new Starbucks to the site; re-landscaping the remaining shopping center property and providing ADA compliance assistance for other re-tenanting. Having worked on the original shopping center and on other projects nearby, Westwood provided valuable insight and knowledge to the clients and the project.
Fixed Elements and Challenging Grades
With existing adjacent 2-level shops and parking ramp fixed, fitting the grocery store on a sloped site and side grade presented a challenge. Store doors and loading docks needed to be relocated from the original store layout plans to meet grade challenges.
Access, Circulation, and Screening Solutions
Westwood performed a traffic analysis to determine access points, loading dock circulation, and screening. To meet the client’s needs, a traffic study verified the data so the split-level approach tied into the parking structure would make for a successful outcome. The Starbucks addition required a traffic redesign for the drive-through feature to accommodate stacking distance and avoid cars backing up into the property. Landscape was strategically removed and planted to provide retail sign visibility, while providing the property screening and buffering.
Designing to Provide a Sense of Place
Revitalizing the shopping center meant that connectivity and aesthetics were scrutinized, especially with the busy France Avenue corridor on one side and Centennial Lakes Park on the other. Additional sidewalks were placed along France Avenue, connecting the sidewalk system to the park and other shopping. Blending of landscaping was used to buffer between sidewalk and parking lots and to tie the old in with the new. Westwood’s team enhanced the center’s appearance and functionality to reflect today’s standards for design, with ornamental grasses and perennials that won’t outgrow their spaces, and with trees – keeping plantings open enough to not block visibility of retail building signage yet dense enough to give patrons a sense of place.