apple valley menards 1 2018

Community members walk into the former Apple Valley Menards store at 14960 Florence Trail on Nov. 16, 2018. Eagle Brook Church, which has multiple locations in the Twin Cities area, is proposing to take over the space and create its eighth permanent campus.

Church would demolish part of existing building

A church’s plan to occupy the former Apple Valley Menards site has gotten support from the Apple Valley Planning Commission.

The commission recommended approving a request from Menard Inc. and Eagle Brook Church to allow for construction of a 58,139-square-foot building and 585-space parking lot during its Oct. 6 meeting. The proposal will go to the City Council for its consideration at a future meeting.

The church is proposing to move to the Apple Valley Menards space at 14960 Florence Trail, which sits on a 13.86-acre property at the northwest corner of Florence Trail and Flagstaff Avenue. The vacant store is 160,796 square feet with a 453-space surface parking lot and a 3.8-acre outdoor lumberyard. The church’s plans call for removing all but 42 parking spaces, the east 102,657 square feet of the existing building, the lumberyard and the perimeter fencing surrounding it.

The remaining 58,1139 square feet of the existing building would be used for the church. The south parking lot would be reconfigured to include 219 spaces, add 186 spaces east of the proposed building and 180 spaces north of the building, according to the city. If approved, the site would be the church’s eighth permanent campus.

“Vehicular access to the site will be via the existing drive approach along Florence Trail and a new driveway along Flagstaff Avenue. The new driveway shall be placed at a location acceptable to the city,” the city’s Oct. 6 report states. “The applicant shall also be required to pay for modifications to the Flagstaff Avenue that shall include adding a northbound left/through lane from Florence Trail to the existing left turn lane at 147th Street West and adding a southbound right-turn lane at the driveway. Access will continue between the proposed church and adjacent Sam’s Club to the west. Minor modifications will be made to make a smoother transition between the two properties.”

The city says a traffic study prepared by the applicant at the request of the city indicates the proposed traffic mitigation should adequately address any potential traffic changes generated by the new use of the site.

Eagle Brook Church started in a living room in 1948 and grew, first starting in its White Bear Lake campus. Further growth led to building a second location in Lino Lakes. The church has five other permanent campuses in Anoka, Blaine, Ham Lake, Spring Lake Park and Woodbury. There are also mobile sites at Lakeville South High School in Lakeville, Rochester and Wayzata.

Menards constructed a new store at 6055 150th St. W. in Apple Valley and moved to that location in fall 2020. The company built the store at 14960 Florence Trail in 1999.

Patty Dexter can be reached at patty.dexter@apgecm.com.

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