Rosemount wants to partner with Life Time – Twin Cities to address the city’s lack of indoor recreation space


For more than a decade, Rosemount city leaders have wanted to bring more indoor recreation to the growing south-metro town. Gym space is at a premium and a public indoor pool is a missing amenity.

Market studies were conducted, plans were drawn up and residents were voiced. Rosemount was considering building a recreation center of its own. They looked at partnering with the YMCA, which other cities have done.

Hope Fieldhouse, a non-profit recreation center, opened in late 2020 and helped address Rosemount’s lack of indoor sports space. However, the 45,000-square-foot center serves youth, collegiate and high school basketball teams. And it doesn’t have a pool.

PARTNERSHIP

City officials now believe they have an answer: a partnership with Life Time for a roughly 107,000-square-foot recreation center that the city will own and the Chanhassen-based fitness chain will lease and operate.

Councilors took two big steps this month to make that happen. They signed a letter of intent with Life Time that included paying more than half of the roughly $48 million construction cost and the city picking up the rest. The council also signed off on the city’s purchase agreement for the purchase of a 29-acre park where the center will be built over 12 acres.

The rest of the land will be sold to Nordland Partners, a local commercial developer that plans to develop a grocery store, retail, restaurants, medical office space and multifamily housing, City Administrator Logan Martin said.

The partnership with Life Time, forged through discussions over the past three years, is nearly complete, Martin said. Next up will be for Life Time’s board to sign the lease with the city, a step Martin expects to take next month.

A public-private partnership makes the most sense for the city, Martin said. This will result in a larger recreation center with more amenities than the city could build on its own. And the city wouldn’t be on the hook for ongoing building repairs that would be covered by Life Time.

Mayor Bill Droste said Life Time also has know-how in running athletic clubs.

“This partnership would be a visionary and flexible way to achieve multiple goals for our residents while allowing the private sector to do what it does best,” he said.

If all goes according to plan, construction of the recreation center will begin next year and will be operational in 2024.

PLAN

Rosemount plans to buy a 29-acre parcel and merge with Life Time to build an approximately 107,000-square-foot athletic club. (Courtesy of the City of Rosemount)

Martin said under the plan, the city would buy the land at the northeast corner of County Road 42 and Akron Avenue for $135,000 an acre, which is fair market value. To fund the project, the city will use revenue it receives when it pays commercial and industrial waste haulers to drop off at the SKB Environmental landfill.

Landfill money, along with fees from developers, helped Rosemount build many of its parks over the years, Martin said.

“This has been a very important source of income for us for many years,” he said. “And we’re now at a point in the city’s growth trajectory where the city council has decided that we can take some of those fees and put them toward a much-needed amenity in the form of a recreation center.”



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