What Should Go Here? Old State Farm Building

A community center? A casino? What should be done with the former State Farm building in Woodbury.

While sitting outside at last week, I overheard a couple of guys talking about the in Woodbury.

One said, mostly tongue-in-cheek, that it might be a good spot for a casino.

After posting this nugget on our Patch Facebook page, it got a number of responses—and it seemed to make sense for the old State Farm building to be the next installment of our new feature: “What Should Go Here?”


The most positive response was to a suggestion that the building, just off Interstate 94 along Radio Drive, be made into a community center.

Does that sound like a good idea? (Or are you on board with a casino?)

Let us know what you think should go in that space in the comments section below.

(Check out some background on the site.)


Like us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter | Sign up for our newsletter

Michelle Scheuermann May 22, 2012 at 02:06 PM
I like the idea of a community center - altho the space just seems massive and I bet it would cost so much to get it to what a "community center" is in everyone's minds. Perhaps half community center - half some other business that would then continue to pay taxes on the property?
Edward May 22, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Another good use would be a small community college (a place where high school students could also take PSEO classes and continue to the first two years of college affordably, without taking on debt). We need affordable secondary education for our young people.
Edward May 22, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Isn't the existing indoor park/library/YMCA complex a community center in Woodbury? There are community meeting rooms there already . . . do we need more of that? In these tough economic times, doesn't it make more sense to focus on education and healthcare vs. building more recreational facilities? The city grapples with ice sheets and subsidizing a golf course and indoor park as it is . . . seems like it would be hard to sell more "indoor park/community center" to the taxpayers.
Kris Janisch May 22, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Good ideas guys! And you keep hearing about people wanting a water park in Woodbury...
DM May 22, 2012 at 03:36 PM
As a Woodbury taxpayer, I would be very much against turning it into another Community Center. We already have Central Park, and an upgraded Bielenberg sports complex is on the way. This is prime real estate that needs to stay on the tax rolls generating income for the city instead of taking money away from it. Either find a new business to move in, or sub-divide it into an office park.
David Blommer May 22, 2012 at 04:43 PM
I agree with DM keep it on the tax rolls. I wish 3m could find a use for it, either to buy it or lease it.
Trina Murray May 22, 2012 at 05:37 PM
A city the size of Woodbury needs a swimming facility. Yes, we have central park and meeting rooms but we need a public pool.
Theresa Hollembeak May 22, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Couple of idea's... Water park, Community college, a place for daycare providers to have classes, training, or just have a day in the park for the kiddos. A safe, fun place for the daycare providers to go with thier kids.. like a childs museum..? Learning, reading, ect.... with bus service.
Christine May 22, 2012 at 06:46 PM
I couldn't agree more! We need a community water park / pool in our community. I can't tell you how many times our family has traveled to other communities and paid to use their facility when I would much rather spend the money in my own community.
Margaret Wachholz May 22, 2012 at 11:56 PM
To be called… The Gathering. I suggest a privately owned Museum/Art Center, among other establishments where we could be treated to a finely tuned mix of quality concerts, ceilis, sessions, workshops and master classes. A time during the day or eve where we can take adult classes similar to the Cottage Grove Community Center, for all residents. A reasonably priced day-care for children while parents take classes. We need a cultural ambassador to Woodbury. When you’ve eaten your fill at the new San Fransciso digs ,(Rice-a Ronie, the SanFransciso treat), Chinatown, Little Italy or the Latin American Cuisine there; dip your toe into the culture on offer. A combustible blend of contemporary arts and culture combining local, national and international events/art. Have unusual things in unusual places. Something for everyone in Woodbury, for every mood and every budget to increase the amazing energy and vitality & revenue to the city. “Too much of anything is just enough”…cannot remember the singer.
Linda May 23, 2012 at 01:12 AM
this site it too big to be a public pool. It's an immense property. I am disappointed that the hotel, Costco, etc didn't work out.
Kristin May 23, 2012 at 01:43 AM
As a software engineer, I'd like to see a tech company move in here. Woodbury has a glut of retail and healthcare industry - it's time to expand!
Rob May 23, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Another Walgreens or Target. Both Walgreens are outdated.
SomeGuy May 23, 2012 at 03:06 PM
How long has the complex been empty? It is an immense space, but with great location and access. Perhaps the time has come to divide it up in to more marketable chunks (which could facilitate a number of uses: business, educational and recreational).
Kris Janisch May 23, 2012 at 03:47 PM
It's been vacant since 2004. And dividing it up was part of Wellington Management's plans before the deal fell through. http://patch.com/A-dtYc
SomeGuy May 24, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Could this be on Surly's short list for their proposed $20 million brewery? According to an MPR story this morning, they are behind schedule on their decision on where to build but have seven or eight potential spots on their list. The only reason this site comes to mind is their need for a large chunk of land (certainly not as much as is here) and proximity to I-94, with I-494/694 so close.
Kris Janisch May 24, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Whoa, now there's an idea I can get behind.
Jeanne Brino May 30, 2012 at 04:04 PM
A question that I have is do the taxes for this site go to Woodbury? Tamarack Village taxes go to the Stillwater or Lake Elmo district.
Kris Janisch May 30, 2012 at 04:15 PM
I'm checking in on that Jeanne. I hear those kinds of things all the time, about Woodbury Lakes too.
Jeanne Brino May 30, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Thank you. I'd really like to know if it is true.
SomeGuy May 30, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Definitely interested in if that is true ... and if it is, why?
Kris Janisch May 30, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Got the word back from the city's communications guy on this. Here's what he said: They are referring to the school district portion of their taxes. These properties are in School District 622 (North St. Paul/ Maplewood/Oakdale School District). The city portion of their taxes does go to Woodbury. People tend to associate School District 833 as the “Woodbury” school district; however, many of our residents live in these other two districts (622 and 834), and send their kids to those schools. Hope this helps.
SomeGuy May 30, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Thanks, Kris, for clarifying this for us.
Jeanne Brino May 30, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Thank you Kris.
Kris Janisch May 30, 2012 at 07:32 PM
No problem gang. Thanks for furthering the conversation. Got a new one of these cooking tomorrow.
Y2K September 04, 2012 at 09:06 PM
The new Arctic Cat (Arctic Cat Inc.) World Headquarters. They're going to have to move closer to a major city to stay competitive on a global scale. And they're already an awesome representation of what a MN company can grow to be.
Kris Janisch September 04, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Not a bad idea arin.
James Moore September 24, 2012 at 12:18 AM
It is on the tax rolls, just because State Farm isn't using the building, they still own it and are paying taxes
diane clark September 30, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Check with Merrill Corporation in St. Paul. They have quite a few employees who live nearby.
Kris Janisch May 14, 2013 at 02:44 PM
Somebody just emailed me asking if there has ever been any consideration to making this a college. Not a bad idea either.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »