Woodbury is Looking Toward the Future

Plans have been proceeding on the Red Rock Territory in Woodbury: A 580-acre stretch of land along I-94 that will hopefully soon be transformed into a complex of office buildings, manufacturing plants, warehouses, stores, parkland, and around 550 housing units.

The site's developer and city planners say its completion will help Woodbury emergence as a major business and manufacturing hub in the Twin Cities. The first businesses could move in and begin adding jobs to the economy as soon as this fall or early 2011.

Red Rock Territory, a named derived from Woodbury's original territorial days, entails nearly 2.5 million square feet of potential building space, plus parking for thousands of vehicles.

It includes a spot for at least one corporate headquarters, an east and west business park, an industrial park, retail sites and two parks on both ends comprising 72 acres. As many as 555 housing units are envisioned. Two new city roads will be built, and a Metro Transit park-and-ride ramp for more than 500 vehicles is in the works.

Woodbury MN has commercial and office developments but offers no central business park like some other Twin Cities communities. Woodbury's largest employers now include the Hartford Insurance Co., Assurant, Target.com and the Woodwinds Health Campus that is part of HealthEast. Those businesses are located throughout the city - Red Rock Territory would cluster businesses together.

While there is no detailed blueprint for how each piece of the Red Rock Territory development will unfold, the infrastructure is already in place, so any company with a building project can move on it - like now.

All the planning and infrastructure design will pay off, said Janelle Schmitz, the city's planning and economic development manager. "We're well positioned, or poised for when the economy changes -- we're ready to go."

It could take some time for the economy to recover and for all of the spaces to fill up, but Woodbury city planners are expecting this to be a long-term project. Real long term. Originally conceived as a 10-year development, it now could take 20 years.

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