Eagan shopping center debuts as home to newest Twin Cities retailers
By Nick Halter

EAGAN (Oct 6, 2016) – The largest Twin Cities retail center to open in the past two years may confuse local shoppers. After all, there’s no Target Corp., Cub Foods, Wal-Mart or Lunds and Byerlys. There’s no Costco, Home Depot or Whole Foods, either.

Eagan’s Central Park Commons, which held its grand opening Thursday, is instead built largely on a new wave of retailers that have entered the Twin Cities over the past two years — the new grocer, the new sporting goods store, the new liquor store, the new crafts store and a whole slew of new quick-service restaurants.

It’s anchored by Hy-Vee Inc., the West Des Moines, Iowa-based grocery chain that opened its first metro location a year ago.

Other large retailers include Hobby Lobby, Total Wine & More and Sierra Trading Post, a discount sporting goods retailer that is expanding from e-commerce to bricks and mortar under the ownership of TJX Cos. This is the company’s first store in the Midwest, though it is also planning one in Woodbury’s City Place development.

There’s no McDonald’s, Taco Bell or Arby’s. Instead, developer CSM Corp.’s leasing agent, Justin Wing, landed deals with hot new concepts in Naf Naf Grill, Cafe Zupas, Piada Italian Street Food and R Taco. One Minnesota favorite will, however, be part of the restaurant lineup: Punch Pizza, the St. Paul-based local Neapolitan pizza chain.

Instead of U.S. Bank or Wells Fargo, Central Park Commons will have a Bank of America, which opened its first Twin Cities branch in February.

Minneapolis-based CSM developed the 434,000-square-foot shopping center at the former Lockheed Martin site at Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road.

“One of the initial goals of the city was, if they approved this project, they didn’t want it to be a dilution of the retail activity in Eagan. In other words, ‘Don’t open here and have a bunch of tenants move from existing centers,’ ” said John Johannson, who spearheaded the development for CSM. “As of today, we have only two tenants (of 37) that are not new to either Eagan or the Twin Cities.”

That’s not to say no familiar retailers are part of the project. Marshalls, HomeGoods, Ulta, DSW, Men’s Warehouse and The Tile Shop also are part of the Central Park Commons lineup.

Even though most of the leasing is complete — save for a few sit-down restaurant pads — plenty of construction work remains. So far, only Hy-Vee, Hobby Lobby, Marshalls and HomeGoods have opened.

View full article from Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal here