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Developer has new student housing/retail plan for Woodland Middle School site

The DNT ran a story today detailing a new mixed-use residential/commercial plan for the site of the former Woodland Middle School.  The developer bought the site from the school district in September. You may be familiar with the developer’s other projects like Boulder Ridge and Campus Park.

Currently the plan is to reuse the school building itself, and add one-to-three additional buildings. The student-focused housing would have 300 beds in mainly four bedroom units. If demand is high enough this could be increased to 1,000 beds. The retail aspect of the new development would include restaurants. The DNT story named  Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods as some potential additions.  A hotel is also being considered.

Sounds like the new development would open in Fall 2013 or 2014.

The full story can be found here.

What do you think about this plan? Is it a good idea? If not what would you propose? Personally, I think no matter where students go in high concentrations that residences in the same area will take a “not in my backyard” attitude. This development may not solve all the student housing issues, but it will alleviate it to some degree, and create jobs.

On the retail side what would you like to see at the site? A friend of mine would really like to see a Chipotle, Panera, or faster food pasta place. I would love to see more locally owned restaurants go in. Duluth Grill part 2?