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Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)
Imagine running into a Vikings lineman at the local coffee shop or living next door to a player. It could happen at Viking Lakes, the 200-acre development being created by the Vikings in Eagan.
The Vikings on Thursday officially announced their marketing launch for the development that they expect will evolve over the next 15 years into 3.25 million square feet of offices, retail, residential and hospitality complexes around the team's new headquarters and practice facility.
"Now is the perfect time to bring your team and build your dream," reads one of the marketing brochures.
Newmark Knight Frank, a commercial real estate adviser, was hired by MV Eagan Ventures, a real estate arm of Vikings owners Zygi, Mark and Leonard Wilf, to direct the marketing.
The Wilfs envision more
than 950 units of multifamily housing, 1 million square feet of upscale office and medical office space, a conference center and hotel with more than 500 rooms. There are also discussions to create an incubator for small businesses in science, technology and arts.
The development is on the site of the former Northwest Airlines headquarters near the intersection of Dodd Road and Interstate 494.
It will give visitors and tenants unique public access to the Vikings football team while at the same time providing amenities such as trails and wetland preserves at a convenient location between Minneapolis and St. Paul, said John McCarthy, lead for the Viking Lakes team at Newmark Knight Frank.
"They want to make this accessible to people who may not [be able to] go to a game on Sundays," McCarthy said.
Vikings players and staff could end up taking advantage of extended-stay hotel and housing options, said Vikings vice president Lester Bagley.
"This facility is going to be where our players basically study, practice and workout, where they eat, sleep and breathe football," Bagley said.
MV Eagan Ventures will build facilities for companies who would be able to lease the land or designated space in the buildings. As of now, there aren't any signed tenant agreements, though McCarthy said there has been interest.
The Vikings have started building their headquarters and facilities on 40 acres of the site and the team aims to move from its current home in Eden Prairie next spring.
The Vikings are building a 6,500-seat stadium, outdoor and indoor practice fields, and administrative offices. Twin Cities Orthopedics is currently constructing a medical office building next to a sports medicine center for athletic training and rehabilitation and Vikings museum and store. The fields will not only be used by the Vikings but will also host area high school football teams.
The Wilfs and Vikings do not have a specific schedule for building other portions of the property and are "letting the market time what needs to be built," McCarthy said.
"We believe it's going to be a tremendous development and a great addition to our fan base and our market," Bagley said.
The Vikings aren't the first team to combine its headquarters with a commercial development. The Dallas Cowboys opened the Star last year with an entertainment district, hotel and medical center next to its headquarters in suburban Frisco, Texas. The Cowboys site is only half the size of what the Vikings are building in Eagan. This spring, the Jacksonville Jaguars won permission to redevelop 70 acres near their stadium and complex.
Nicole Norfleet · 612-673-4495
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