An overhead view of the former Noble Park and Ride site. Brooklyn Park is moving forward with planning efforts at the site with the support of an outside vendor.

Brooklyn Park is moving forward with planning efforts for the former Noble Avenue park-and-ride with the support of an outside vendor.

The Brooklyn Park City Council, acting as the Economic Development Authority, approved the proposal at its Nov. 18 meeting. Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a national nonprofit and financing organization, will help to facilitate the city’s planning efforts for the former park-and-ride, located at 4201 95th Ave. N., using its Corridor Development Initiate process.

The city purchased the 6.95-acre site in June 2018. Metro Transit vacated the property in 2014 when it moved the park-and-ride west of the site.

Currently, the site is zoned and guided for institutional use, severely limiting the types of development that could be proposed at the site. The Corridor Development Initiative process is intended to help determine what could be a final use for the site and as such, help to guide zoning for the site. Eventually, the city would like to sell the land to a private holder and return it to the tax rolls.

The cost of the Corridor Development process is $26,570.

Previously, the city has used the process to help with development scenarios for an EDA-owned site at Regent Avenue and Brooklyn Boulevard, as well as for the housing site identified by North Hennepin Community College at 85th Avenue and College Parkway. Brooklyn Center recently completed a similar process for its so-called Opportunity Site.

The process uses a series of community meetings and outreach to drive a plan that the community supports and is also feasible in the existing market conditions.

The initiative features four workshops – one to gather information, one where participants engage in a block exercise creating development scenarios on the site, one featuring a developer panel, and a workshop where participants draft final recommendations for the site.

Workshops would be hosted between late January and early March 2020. A final report from Local Initiatives Support Corporation would be expected to be completed in March or April 2020.

The largest costs for the development initiative are for the four community workshops, which include child care and translation services. They are anticipated to cost $12,770. Project coordination is also a significant cost driver, with costs expected at $8,940.

Mayor Jeff Lunde said he supported the plan and that it was good that the process keeps residents’ expectations anchored by the reality of the development market.

Councilmember Lisa Jacobson said she hopes both neighbors and nearby businesses get involved in the workshops.

The site could ultimately become a popular one for developers, Councilmember Tonja West-Hafner said.

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