The international developer behind one of the largest Asian shopping centers in America plans to transform a portion of Burnsville Center into an Asian supermarket and food hall.
The Windfall Group acquired the mall’s northern extension earlier this year and hopes to soon begin construction on the plaza-style Asian shopping and dining hub planned for the 50,000-square-foot former Gordmans space.
Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth Kautz said the plans embrace the city’s identity as an international community and herald the beginnings of long-sought revitalization of the aging mall property.
“It’s a spark,” Kautz said Wednesday, adding the city began to focus on efforts to revitalize the mall around seven years ago.
Regina Dean, the city's assistant community development director, said most Burnsville residents might still feel like nothing has happened at the mall.
"But we've been doing everything we can from a local government standpoint to help spark reinvestment and redevelopment in the area," she said. "It's such a great location and has so much opportunity, that it really is exciting to see that vision come to life."
A special financing authority granted to the city by the Minnesota Legislature and a handful of property subdivisions aimed at spurring redevelopment all happened the year before the Windfall Group came to the table.
Their development — to be called Pacifica Square — will be anchored by Enson Market, an Asian supermarket chain, and Bullvinos Brazilian Steakhouse, which has a location in St. Paul’s lowertown. The planned food hall fare includes Mango Mango, Pho2, Chattime, Tour Les Jour, Bonchon, Lu’s Sandwiches and Teriyaki King.
Another Pacifica Square undergoing expansion in Aurora, Illinois is one of the largest Asian lifestyle centers in the country, according to the Windfall Group. While the developments share a mission to be a "one-stop" destination, the Aurora project is more than eight times larger than what’s being planned for Burnsville.
Yet, expanded retail and business opportunities also appear to be in the works for the Burnsville location, with an upper-level pedestrian bridge being designed to connect the ground-level Enson Market and food hall to other “retail and dining destinations."
The Windfall Group is targeting an opening date of January 22, 2023, in celebration of Lunar New Year.