Southdale Library Site

What else should be built with the new Southdale Library? That's the question Hennepin County is looking to answer.

The Hennepin County Regional Service Facility located at 7001 York Avenue will see many changes in the years ahead. The Service Center moved a few blocks away to Southdale Center Mall in mid-2016 and the District Court Facility will move to the Bloomington Civic Plaza on Old Shakopee Road in 2018. The Southdale Regional Library is tentatively scheduled to be reconstructed in 2020. There is plenty of room on the large site to accommodate a new library and other complementary uses.

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The Edina Housing and Redevelopment Authority is working with HGA Architects and Planners to prepare preliminary concept plans for the site based on community input (PDF), market demand and best practices in library and mixed-use design.

These concepts will be used as a starting point when proposals from real estate developers are solicited and reviewed in 2017.

Current Project Status

The vision for the future of this site is beginning to take shape. After two well-attended Public Open Houses, several informative focus group conversations and two interactive Public Workshops, several themes, preferences and priorities seem to be apparent. In brief:

  • The primary focus should continue to be the regional library.
  • The site should include much more usable green and open space than is available today.
  • The scale of new buildings along Xerxes Avenue should be smaller than along York Avenue.
  • Any new housing should include options at a variety of price points.
  • Small-scale retail and restaurants are preferred over big box stores.
  • The site should be easy to access for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders.

Concept Review

Over the next few months, staff will continue to review the hundreds of comments, ideas and concerns that have been collected. These preferences will be combined with priorities of Hennepin County, best-practices and market trends. In late Spring 2017, a Request for Qualifications/Request for Proposal will be issued to the real estate development community. Developers will be asked to submit proposals that are responsive to the needs of Hennepin County and respectful of local preferences.

At the same time, staff at Hennepin County Libraries are beginning a series of related conversations regarding the services to be offered at the New Southdale Library. More information can be found at the Hennepin County Library website.


Project Updates