Minneapolis-Area Race Track Mulls Adding Destination Retail

The owners of Canterbury Park, a race track and card club in Shakopee, Minn., have signed a letter of intent with RED Development L.L.C., a Kansas City–based retail developer, to explore the possibilities of adding destination retail to the property. Canterbury Park Holding Corp. and RED will examine the feasibility of a master-planned retail, entertainment and mixed-use development that would be integrated into the existing 400-acre property. The property is currently centered on a one-mile oval dirt race track and a seven-furlong turf course, as well as 34 tables for poker and other casino-type card games. The facility opened in 1986 as Canterbury Downs and was purchased in the early 1990s by the current owners, who changed the name to Canterbury Park. A Canterbury spokesperson emphasized to CPN that this process is still at an early stage, with no cost or square footage estimates yet. The spokesperson did suggest that possible retail tenants could include upscale restaurants, a movie theater and high-end retail, as well as, farther down the road, residential condos. “We have a lot of underutilized land,” the spokesperson said. A prepared statement noted that before any construction can begin, a number of hurdles have to be passed: development of a master plan; execution of definitive agreements between the two partners; approval by the City of Shakopee, Scott County and the Minnesota Racing Commission; and obtaining financing for the project. Established in 1985, RED Development has already developed projects in the Twin Cities area that might resemble what will eventually be built at Canterbury Park. In 2003, RED opened The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes, a 400,000-square-foot lifestyle center in Maple Grove, Minn., and in 2005 they opened Woodbury Lakes, a 398,000-square-foot center on the east side of St. Paul. Both projects were done in partnership with Opus Development. Overall, RED specializes in lifestyle centers and has developed or has in development more than 30 retail projects.