Minneapolis suburb tries to figure out what to do with old Prince property

Prince thegrio.com
Recording artist Prince performs with singer Mary J. Blige onstage during the 2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 22, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Clear Channel)

A Minneapolis suburb is trying to figure out to do with a large plot of land once owned by Prince.

According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Lennar Corp. wants to develop a neighborhood of market-rate and luxury houses on the sprawling 188-acre site, which lies between Galpin Boulevard and the shore of Lake Ann, in Chanhassen, Minn. – which is southwest of Minneapolis.

The company presented a proposal that would require the city’s approval of a planned unit development involving a “transfer of density” — a zoning shift that would cluster 181 homes on one side of the property and leave about 50 acres as undeveloped woods and wetlands along the lake for a park. If the city does not approve it, Lennar could develop the land under existing zoning laws.

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“This is a gem of a property, and it’s not just because of the legacy of Prince but because it’s a spectacular piece of property,” Mayor Elise Ryan said, adding that it “should not just be, save the [wooded lakeshore] park” but “save the entire piece of property.”

The City Council is expected to vote on the issue Monday, which state law has set as the deadline for responding to Lennar’s request. Council Member Jerry McDonald said in an interview Wednesday that it’s not practical for the city to buy the property because it would cost $10 million or more and require a referendum.

The city also cannot prevent Lennar from developing the property in accordance with existing zoning laws. Ryan said that she hasn’t decided whether to support the development, but added that there was “more work to be done” to improve Lennar’s concept.

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Prince once lived in a yellow three-story house on the property at 7141 Galpin Blvd. The house has since been demolished. His more well-known residence, Paisley Park, is across nearby Highway 5. Prince’s estate put the land on the market after his death in April 2016.

His family has asked that the developers not capitalize on the connection with the iconic entertainer.