Arbor Lakes Project

Arbor Lakes

Arbor Lakes is a burgeoning commercial and residential district located in the western Minneapolis suburb of Maple Grove, Minnesota. Construction of Arbor Lakes first began in the late 1990s with a Main Street and several anchors. The second phase included the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes. The third phase brought the Fountains at Arbor Lakes while the fourth phase, Reflections at Arbor Lakes, is in planning stages.


The land now occupied by the Arbor Lakes district was formerly an active gravel mine owned primarily by C.S. McCrossan and Tiller Corporation. The City of Maple Grove first began planning for a civic center in the late 1980s, as identified in former comprehensive land use plans. A special gravel mining area (GMA) report was conducted in the 1990s to analyze the socioeconomic feasibility of such a project. Construction on Arbor Lakes began in 1998.

Main Street

Main Street and its accompanying anchors represent the inceptive phase of Arbor Lakes. Largely unchartered in suburban environments, city planners worked with developers and consultants to pioneer a relatively dense, urban commercial and residential district in the geographic heart of the city. Unlike traditional main streets, it is surrounded by parking lots and is entirely inaccessible by any mode besides private auto.

The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes

The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes is a lifestyle center located at the intersection of Hemlock Lane and Elm Creek Boulevard in Maple Grove, Minnesota. The mall was designed by KKE Architects of Minneapolis and developed by Opus Northwest in collaboration with Red Development. The center opened September 12, 2003. The Shoppes are designed to have the look and feel of a traditional Main Street. Unlike a regional mall, which would have anchor tenants (generally department stores such as Macy's or Marshall Field's), the lifestyle center aims to have smaller, boutique-styled stores.

In keeping with lifestyle center tradition, the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes is made up of mainly upscale national chains such as Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Banana Republic, Coldwater Creek, Talbot's, Abercrombie and Fitch, Express and American Eagle.

The primary target markets for lifestyle centers such as the Shoppes are young, affluent men and women as well as middle-aged to older women. These demographic groups also happen to have the most purchasing power in the United States of America.

In 2005, Opus and Red Development worked to open Woodbury Lakes in Woodbury, Minnesota, a suburb that shares similar demographics to Maple Grove.

The Fountains at Arbor Lakes

The Fountains is a hybrid power center retail concept, approximately in size (nearby Ridgedale, while an enclosed regional mall, contains approximately the same square footage). Junior anchors include national chains such as Circuit City, REI, Dick's Sporting Goods, DSW and Marshall's. Anchors include Lowe's, Costco, a venetian-themed Holiday Inn and Suites with indoor water park, Courtyard by Marriott and a Dave and Buster's entertainment facility and restaurant. The shopping center also features at its main entrance a Main Street simulacrum, which is designed to inspire an urban environment.

Reflections at Arbor Lakes

As part of the most recent phase of the Arbor Lakes regional commercial center, Reflections at Arbor Lakes will feature several multi-story office buildings (modeled after Edina's Centennial Lakes high-rise office district), a Radisson hotel and several retail components. The Maple Grove City Council approved the project in early 2008.

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