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Visions for Vacancies: What Should Fill the Old Lake Marion Nursery?

What business would you like to see come to Lakeville and fill this old nursery space?

Lakeville's business landscape is constantly changing—and part of that change includes vacant properties sprinkled throughout the community.

And there’s little doubt residents have their own ideas on how they'd like to see these spaces filled.

So,  asks you to imagine the future of this space. Do you see a new restaurant? A new store? Something no one else has considered? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

In this edition, we look at the old Lake Marion Garden Center and .

Where's the vacancy? 19770 Kenwood Trail

What was it? The Lake Marion Garden Center, owned by , is a part of the gateway to downtown Lakeville, sitting on more than 11 acres along Kenwood Trail.

Vacant: Since the Lake Marion Garden Center closed early in 2006

Current owner: Richard and Nancy Cross

Age of structure: Not listed, but most structures are in ill repair and may need to be razed

Size: 11.37 acres, and an unknown structure size

Estimated value for land and building: The land is valued at $437,400

Total property taxes: Taxes on the land is $6,634

Editor's note: Property information is from the Dakota County GIS.

Kandace April 30, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Not sure, but it would be nice to have something other than the typical strip mall/fast food/chain stores. Maybe some kind of family friendly amusement type park (part water park but something that could be used all year round)?
Derrick Williams (Editor) May 02, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Kandace, those are fantastic ideas. The location is unique. There's enough land to have something interesting, and it's also located along the gateway to downtown.
MJ May 15, 2012 at 02:29 PM
I'm sure something will go there eventually and I don't have a thought on what should go there. But i do know this eyesore and safety risk should be torn down. Green space or weeds would be better than this place. The roofs caving in and boarded up windows is so unappealing. It seems like valuable land but maybe nobody is jumping at it because of the dumpy buildings? If they were just torn down and the space cleared out we may get some company or organization wanting it.
Joleen Thompson Wroten May 16, 2012 at 01:33 PM
I say draw out the downtown feel by turning this land into a permanent "farmers market" type concept including small local shops, coffee house, etc. While the Lakeville downtown has always been quaint it has never been much of a draw for foot traffic. Let's combine the water park of the mn zoo, the St Paul's Farmers market, and the feel of the Stillwater or Anoka downtown shops to make a true desintation area we could really market.
Saundra May 16, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Too bad its on the other side of the road from the bike path otherwise it would be a good location for a bike store that could have a trial trail in the back to test bikes. The road is busy at that location so unless a crosswalk or walking/biking path is added to the otherside it would be kind of dangerous to cross. I like the idea of the Farmers Market. There isn't a lot of room to develope in the area that would atract a big store so I don't see it being occupied by a store like that. Maybe a restaurant but there aren't other stores to draw in the crowd. Hard place to put something. Maybe once they clear the land it might be more obvious. Not sure if a water park would do well with Antler's Park so close that is used for free and a lot of people being members at LifeTime.
Derrick Williams (Editor) May 16, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Those are some fantastic ideas! I like the Farmer's Market idea. Though, that was the point of the new plaza downtown between Mainstreet Coffee Cafe and Ace. I was thinking a small amphitheater ... could be a fun addition to town, but there's too little space for parking, I fear, so getting to it would be a challenge.
Andy Mako June 10, 2012 at 10:47 PM
I know this is an old post, but I've been thinking a lot about it. Off and on when I'm driving in my car I try to brainstorm ideas. My best idea is creating a center where people could open dance studios, karate schools, gymnastic clubs, music lessons, etc. A place that could house several of these types of activities that kids are involved in. That way parents who have several kids involved in these activities could just drive to one location. You could also have a coffee shop or gym in the same locale so parents could chill or workout while the kids are doing their clubs. To really make it perfect there could be a little day care right there too. Then if your 8 year old is in dance, you can leave your 3 year old in the day care so you could work-out.
Andy Mako June 10, 2012 at 10:52 PM
My second best idea would kind of go with the farmers market thing, but it would be an organic egg farm where you could by the eggs right there. I'm not sure how it is zoned though. What I would really like to see in Lakeville is a little farm that people could visit with their families to buy fresh food and they could see and learn about where the food comes from. I don't think this property would be big enough for that.
Derrick Williams (Editor) June 11, 2012 at 04:27 PM
I like all those ideas, Andy. Especially the farm. I agree, it may be tiny ... but what about a hobby farm where families could buy a small plat to have their garden? One of those community garden things? Eagan has one, I think.

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