Life Time CEO's lifestyle center plan returns to Chanhassen commission

Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

By: Dan DeBaun

Published: May, 15th, 2017

Avienda, a nearly 120-acre mixed-used development in Chanhassen backed by Life Time Fitness CEO Bahram Akradi, will return to the city on Tuesday for public comments.

The center is planned for near Highway 212 and Powers Boulevard. It would be a lifestyle shopping center, similar to concepts like the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove, Central Park Commons in Eagan or Edina Galleria.

The Business Journal first reported on the project last fall. Tweaked plans have since been submitted to the city. Some of the highlights of Avienda (subject to change):

  • Over 350,000 square feet of retail space, includes a large anchor (over 90,000 square feet) set in the southeast of the village. (This is something of a downsizing from the initial plan, which called for as much as 435,000 square feet of retail — though that figure may have included restaurants).
  • 37,000 square feet of restaurant space spread across five pads.
  • Over 60,000 square feet of senior housing to the southwest.
  • Three two-story 25,000-square-foot office buildings in the north. (This is more office space than in the earlier plan, though it calls for one fewer building.)
  • A three-story hotel and a 16,000-square-foot daycare facilty.
  • A mix of single- and twin-unit town homes to the west.

Tom Palmquist and Anna Blake of Colliers International - Minneapolis St. Paul will handle leasing on the project.

Chanhassen’s planning commission will take public comments and provide direction to the development team on Tuesday night. Another public hearing will be held June 6. The project is tentatively scheduled to go before the city council on June 26.

Some residents have sent letters to the city with concerns on the development, mostly due to increased traffic on Bluff Creek Boulevard or destruction of landscape and scenery.

For Avienda, Akradi took control of a partnership called Level 7 Development. That group had already owned the mainly empty land. Level 7 has partnered with RSP Architecture of Minneapolis and engineer Landform Professional Services of Minneapolis.

Akradi founded Life Time Fitness and, along with other investors, took the company private in a $4 billion deal. He still leads the company, but has expanded into other business ventures.

If Akradi’s successful, Avienda will test the southwest metro’s retail power. A pamphlet from Colliers said Chanhassen is an attractive market due to its growth and expendable income. The city’s average household income was $147,000 in 2015 within a three-mile radius, and is projected to increase to $164,000 in 2020.