Plans to construct a brand new Bylery's grocery store and apartment complex on the site of the existing Byerly's on France Avenue are on hold for the time being, following a lengthy debate by the Edina Planning Commission regarding preliminary rezoning and a redevelopment plan for the project.
After more than three hours of deliberation, Planning Commission members voted to table the project until their Mar. 13 meeting to allow the developer some additional time to address several issues.
The Commission seemed comfortable with portions of the project, but had lingering concerns related to pedestrian access, measuring sustainability with regard to the project, a planned water feature, the grocery store's loading dock and potential use restrictions.
The group toyed with the idea of signing off on the preliminary plan with conditions—knowing the final plan would eventually come back for approval—but Community Development Director Cary Teague said the developer needed to know where the group stood sooner rather than later.
"If you're looking for substantive changes to the site plan, I think now's the time to say that," Teague said.
The new 47,000-square-foot Byerly's would be constructed in the parking lot of the existing store, at the northwest corner of the site at 7171 France Avenue. Lund Food Holdings would keep the existing store open during construction, but would tear it down once the new one is operating.
The plans also include the addition of one 109-unit apartment building, one 77-unit building and one 60-unit building on the same 9.67-acre lot as Byerly's. The 109-unit building would be constructed in tandem with the new grocery store, but the two smaller ones would not be built until after the existing Byerly's is demolished.
The smaller buildings would each house approximately 10,500 square feet of commercial space on their ground floors.
Commissioner Floyd Grabiel was one of the few members who seemed comfortable with the development as it was proposed, saying the group needed to "be careful with how perfect we want a project to be."
"This is a pretty good project as far as I'm concerned," Grabiel said. "I think tweak it a little bit when you come back, but I think we should go forward with it."
Grabiel moved to approve the proposal, but that motion died for lack of a second.
The project previously went through a sketch plan review with both the Planning Commission and City Council last year, but those initial plans have been revised to address a number of issues raised by the two bodies.
Among the changes:
- The Byerly's store is now much closer to France Avenue.
- The loading dock was relocated away from the Edina Promenade.
- The project is both employing better pedestrian connections and embracing the Promenade area.
- The project now makes use of several "sustainable concepts."
The development would also bring a significant amount of money to City of Edina coffers, due to the City's park dedication fee of $5,000 per dwelling unit. As a result, the developer would have to pay the City of Edina $1.23 million, a portion of which might be used to develop a water feature along the Promenade.
Should it be approved, the new grocery store is planned to be complete by mid-August 2014, with the largest apartment building complete in November 2014. The two smaller apartment buildings would then follow in mid- to late-2015.