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Editorial: Genz Ryan project sounds like a good addition

Efforts to redevelope Rosemount's downtown business district got some good news Tuesday night when the city's port authority announced plans to sell the former Genz Ryan building on Highway 3 to developer Kraus Anderson. Even better news, though, was this: Kraus Anderson has reportedly already lined up an anchor tenant for at least one phase of the office/retail buildings it plans to build on the site.

The project will displace some businesses currently renting space in the building, but they knew when they signed their leases they wouldn't be there for the long run.

For all the questions that have surrounded the city's downtown redevelopment efforts over the years, the biggest one recently seems to be whether these shiny, new spaces will actually attract new business downtown. With the economy slowing and premium new buildings likely to demand premium rent, there is no guarantee businesses will flock to Rosemount just because the space is there.

This isn't Field of Dreams. We can build it, but nobody's coming unless it makes sense for them.

Just ask the developers who put up a new office building on Carrousel Avenue. That space sat empty for months on end before the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District bought it earlier this year -- at a significant discount -- to serve as its new district office.

We still believe redevelopment can be good for Rosemount. If it works out the way developers imagine, it can bring new business, new people and new life to the city. But there is plenty that is uncertain about this project.

That's why Kraus Anderson's proposed project, which at least appears to have a degree of certainty, is a welcome sight.