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The Eagan City Council approved initial plans for two new mystery grocery stores in Eagan. 

Brands remain a mystery

The brands behind a pair grocery stores looking to build in Eagan remain a mystery, but they both got approval from the Eagan City Council on Tuesday.

Ryan Companies plans to construct a mystery grocery store at the southeast corner of Yankee Doodle Road and Denmark Avenue replacing the Centre Professional Building. TOLD Development also got the OK for another store near Emagine Theater off Cliff Road.

Patrick Daley with Ryan Companies said he’s still under an non-disclosure agreement for the store in Eagan’s Town Centre, but hopes to make an announcement as to what it will be sometime soon.

He said it would create hundreds of new jobs and while it’s an essential service, it’s “different from any other essential service in the community today.”

According to the project narrative, to grocery store operator is a “first-of-its-kind national grocery group.”

The store would offer products and services typical to a traditional store “with a specific focus on elevating the customer experience through the seamless integration of online and in-store shopping. Tools they will utilize to achieve this integration will be digital connection points, voice shopping technology, and a checkout-free experience.”

It will “offer a seamless grocery shopping experience, whether customers are shopping in-store or online.”

The grocery store would offer many delivery and pick-up options.

Associated Bank is also planning to construct a new 2,800-square-foot building next door as part of the project.

An issue for the city to decide is whether there’s a need for an additional 10-feet right of way dedication, which would lead to a zero setback for the grocery store.

The development would likely increase traffic to the area. The 10-feet would allow for a future right turn lane along Denmark Avenue to get on to Yankee Doodle Road.

There will still be a trail between the road and the store, Public Works Director Russ Matthys said.

There were some questions about the smaller parking stalls, but Daley said that’s what they need to do to make it work.

The other grocery store near Emagine Theater would be a new building in the parking lot off Cliff Road.

Described as a “highly-sought-after national specialty boutique grocer,” a new 14,368-square-foot grocery store’s brand also remains a mystery.

Trent Mayberry with TOLD Development is under “strict confidentiality,” but noted it’s a specialty boutique grocer with a liquor component.

He said they’ve been looking at Eagan for a long time before choosing the Emagine Theater site.

“The most important thing is parking,” Mayberry said. “The parking ratio has to be accurate to fulfill demand.”

He said this grocer typically serves a high volume of customers.

Mayor Mike Maguire recognized some residents may argue the last thing Eagan needs is more grocery stores.

With ALDI, Hy-Vee, Cub Foods, Kowalski’s, Lunds & Byerlys, Target and Walmart already in town, why does Eagan need two more?

But Maguire said the Eagan City Council “doesn’t try to manage the market. They are free to succeed or fail.”

“We don’t choose particular grocers or stores or other businesses coming into the community,” Maguire said. “They choose themselves. It’s a reflection of the good market we’ve become. The market will tell us what will succeed.”

Daley said the data and demographic information “suggest that the grocers in this community today do well. ... Retailers not in this market recognize that” and they want a part of that share.

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