The city of Edina is considering more green space and development opportunities by building a so-called "land lid" over Highway 100 between the 50th Street exit and Eden Avenue.
The Edina City Council held a workshop meeting with people from Minnesota Department of Transportation Tuesday night to start discussing the land lid concept, because MnDOT owns the land and would have to approve the plan before it could ever become reality.
Edina Mayor, James Hovland, said he thinks the whole plan has "beautiful potential," but is a long way from getting off the drawing board.
"It has the potential upside of density to cause a $300 million return on a $100 million investment," Hovland said. "And the idea would be to probably partner with some developers to have them share the risk on an investment like this."
Hovland said the current plan would have green space for parks, restaurants, apartments, shopping and even a performing arts center.
"It would also have a non-motorized street running through the middle of it for bicycles and pedestrians," Hovland said. "It would connect Edina from east to west, across Highway 100, and we think really enhance the quality of the city."
Hovland said MnDOT told him they are considering selling the Edina land, or leasing it, to developers and then using the profits to help fund another land lid project that is being proposed in St. Paul. That land lid would connect the old Rondo Neighborhood over I-94.
Hovland said first the city and MnDOTmust agree to keep studying the issue. They would then have to enter into a binding agreement on the whole concept before work could begin which, he said, would probably not be until 2020 at the earliest.
The city council’s workshop meeting on the issue was informational only Tuesday night and no formal action was taken on the plan.