Deal for State Farm Site in Woodbury on Hold

Media reports indicate that Wellington Management terminated its agreement to purchase the site, due in part to the developer's plan to add a Costco store-which isn't allowed under current zoning laws for the property.

Plans to develop the vacant 128-acre site in Woodbury that was formerly home to State Farm may have hit a road block.

St. Paul-based Wellington Management, Inc., in September told Twin Cities Business that it had entered a purchase agreement for the property at the corner of Radio Drive and Highway 94.

The company did not disclose the terms of the deal, but the property was listed online for $32 million at the time-and the sale was expected to close in December.

According to several media reports, Wellington has terminated its agreement to buy the site, which features a 459,000-square-foot office building. Wellington previously said that it intended to divide the building into office space.

Wednesday calls to several people at Wellington were not immediately returned.

The Pioneer Press, citing Wellington President Stephen Wellington, reported that the key sticking point in the deal involved plans for a Costco store. Wellington told the newspaper that the city of Woodbury did not support his plans to build a Costco store at the site.

Finance and Commerce reported that Wellington also had plans to add senior housing to the site-and the retail and residential parts of the plan were necessary for Wellington to secure financing for the development. Neither of those portions of the plan are allowed under the current city zoning for the site.

Online listings on Wednesday indicated that the property is currently on the market for sale.

Wellington owns and manages a $375 million portfolio of 88 commercial properties-totaling 3.9 million square feet-in the Twin Cities, according to the company's Web site.


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