Two new restaurants, a day care facility, a retail building and an office building are being proposed for development at Stone Mountain Plaza, at the northeast corner of Zane Avenue and Oak Grove Parkway.
The Brooklyn Park Planning Commission recommended approval of the development plan and conditional use permits for the project at its Aug. 9 meeting, but commissioner support was divided, with six commissioners casting votes for approval of the development plan and three dissenting. The vote to recommend approval of conditional use permits for the project was unanimous.
Commissioners James Jackson, Jon Fletcher and Michael Kisch cast dissenting votes on the development plan.
Chick-fil-A, Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, Today’s Life Schools and Childcare, as well as an office building called Stone Mountain Professional Building and retail building called Stone Mountain Center have been proposed for construction on the site.
Currently, Stone Mountain Pet Lodge is the only building on the site.
Parking for the new developments would be shared.
Dave Larson, of Stone Mountain, said that they want the site to be walkable, bikeable, and family friendly. An internal walkway would connect all buildings on the site.
“I want to just go on record to say that I think it’s a great opportunity for the residents of Brooklyn Park,” Jackson said. “We have a lot of employment opportunities — I know we’re talking about the conditional use permits, but for those that are listening and the council members that are here, I would ask that we just keep the vision … of our residents asking for more home-grown restaurants and places they can come sit down as opposed to the fast food.”
Chick-fil-A, a restaurant that specializes in chicken sandwiches, is proposing to construct a 5,000-square-foot restaurant with a covered drive-thru on the southern portion of the site, at the intersection of Zane Avenue and Oak Grove Parkway.
If approved, it would be the company’s ninth standalone location in the Twin Cities.
In this location, rather than a traditional drive-thru where customers place an order through a microphone or intercom, employees would take orders and payments in person under the building’s heated canopy.
Some space around the building may be saved to create additional parking.
Kisch asked that this building be moved farther northeast, away from the edge of the development and the monument sign in the far southwest corner of the lot.
“It gets really tight and convoluted around there, you’re looking at the back side of the monument [from the patio],” he said.
The extra space around the building that could potentially be used for parking should be turned into green space, said Commissioner Steve Schmidt.
Such a change would reduce the number of parking spots for the restaurant and site.
A representative from Chick-fil-A said the restaurant already does not have as many parking spots on the site as the business would prefer, and they would not be amenable to moving the building.
Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers
Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers is a restaurant that focuses on hamburgers, hot dogs and ice cream. A 3,600-square-foot restaurant with a drive-thru is being proposed on the site. This would be the restaurant’s third Twin Cities location, if approved.
The building would be constructed between the Chick-fil-A and the existing Stone Mountain Pet Lodge building, close to Zane Avenue.
A covered patio would be constructed on the side of the building that faces Zane Avenue.
Previously, Freddy’s intended to operate out of a former Kentucky Fried Chicken building in the city, but they found that the facility was too small to accommodate their operation.
The drive-thru would be constructed on the south side of the building.
Kisch and Schmidt said that 10 parking stalls located just south of the drive-thru lane were poorly placed and conflict with traffic flow.
Today’s Life, Stone Mountain Professional Building and Center
Today’s Life currently has a location in Eden Prairie. A new 11,000-square-foot facility is proposed on the northeast corner of the site, near Xenia Avenue and 100th Avenue.
The site would include two fenced playgrounds.
Stone Mountain Professional Building would be a 3,000-square-foot building intended for one or two professional office users. A retailer could also occupy this building.
Stone Mountain Center is proposed as a 6,000-square-foot multi-tenant retail or restaurant building.
Users for either building have not yet been found, but the owners are looking for interested parties.
Access for the site will remain at Xenia and 100th avenues.
Kisch broadly said that if the development is intended to be walkable, the relationship between drive-thru traffic and foot traffic needed to be more closely examined.
Commissioner Amy Hanson said that the drive-thrus proposed for the development were well designed.
A Burger King location that is unaffiliated with Stone Mountain’s development is being constructed in the southeast corner of the lot.