Developers are one step closer to transforming the corner of Marystown Road and 17th Avenue after the Shakopee Planning Commission recommended approval last week of a preliminary plat for a 15,000-square-foot VA Clinic.
The Planning Commission heard from city Planning and Development Director Michael Kerski and Scott O’Brien, the owner of site developer Trident Development, at a meeting Dec. 5 outlining the plans for the clinic and eventually a 16,000-square-foot medical building and 120-unit market rate apartment building.
The proposed development site is just west of Jackson Elementary School, between Highway 169 and 17th Avenue and east of Marystown Road.
If all goes as planned, construction could begin on the VA Clinic portion of the site as soon as April 2020. This clinic would replace the Shakopee VA Clinic that has operated out of Shakopee Town Square Mall since 2014.
Before construction can begin, though, some traffic logistics need to be ironed out. The city of Shakopee has done a traffic study for the intersection, but a wider-ranging study on the overall traffic impact from Hy-Vee to the 17th Avenue intersection is still underway. That study will be the deciding factor on whether constructing four roundabouts on Marystown Road between Hy-Vee and 17th Avenue is a logistically sound plan.
Theoretically, the roundabouts would be at 17th Avenue, the two highway ramps, and Vierling Drive.
The completed traffic study done on the Marystown and 17th Avenue intersection supports the idea of allowing a right turn lane from Marystown Road into the VA Clinic site, according to Kerski. Allowing the turn from Marystown Road would alleviate further traffic issues off Lusitano Street near the school, according to the study, which Kerski referenced to the Planning Commission.
Since the road upgrades will be necessary primarily due to recent development in the area, Hy-Vee, the Windermere development west of Marystown, and the VA Clinic site developers would all be expected to fund a portion of the roundabout construction project, Kerski said.
As part of the street projects, a median would be built in the center of Marystown Road near the new proposed turn into the VA Clinic to discourage drivers from turning left to go toward 17th Avenue. The idea is that drivers could turn right and drive toward Hy-Vee on Marystown and do a U-turn at one of the roundabouts if they need to drive south.
The Planning Commission is reviewing portions of this project individually and did not vote last week on whether to approve plans for the medical office building or 120-unit apartment building, but O’Brien indicated he hopes to have everything in place to start construction on the apartments around the same time the VA Clinic is being built next year.
O’Brien said he anticipates the apartments would be complete by summer 2021, but the VA Clinic will hopefully be operational by December 2020.
A parent whose kids attend Jackson Elementary School was at the meeting and told the planning commissioners she has concerns about overcrowding at Jackson when people move into the apartments. Jackson is already one of the top three most heavily populated schools in town and has over-crowding issues.
Surprisingly, Kerski said, there’s only an average increase of six students for every 120 apartment units, as apartments tend to be inhabited by families or couples who do not have school-aged kids.
The Planning Commission voted 5-0 in favor of recommending approval of the preliminary plat to the Shakopee City Council. The council has yet to approve the preliminary plat itself.
To view the information shared with the Planning Commission, click here.