Eagan neighbors push back on Blue Cross Blue Shield redevelopment plan

Eagan neighbors push back on Blue Cross Blue Shield redevelopment plan

Eagan neighbors push back on Blue Cross Blue Shield redevelopment plan

The Eagan City Council approved a land-use amendment proposal to redevelop the old Blue Cross Blue Shield campus — and there’s pushback from residents.

Neighbors who live right across the street from where the facility would be built explained they moved to the area for a reason… and a manufacturing facility isn’t one of them.

A view overlooking the Twin Cities sealed the deal for The Crarys to move to Eagan.

“We got our dream home,” Amy Crarys said.

But their dream home might have met a nightmare.

“We’re really concerned about the neighborhood. There’s going to be a lot of trucks coming in and out,” she said.

Plans are in the works to wipe out the former Blue Cross Blue Shield building in Eagan and build a Johnson Brothers Liquor Company distribution facility to take its place.

Neighbors shared concerns about the area turning into an eyesore with too much traffic, noise and air pollution.

With the plan, the popular athletic field off Yankee Doodle Road would also be relocated nearby.

“Our kids played soccer on that when they were little and then when they got older they reffed there,” Crary said. “That always gives me joy coming home and seeing it.”

On Tuesday night, the Eagan City Council voted yes to a land-use amendment proposal to get the ball rolling.

“It’s just the first step in what could be up to a 9-month process and what that action last night did initiated the process for environmental review,” Jill Hutmacher, City of Eagan director of community development, said.

That environmental review will evaluate things like noise and traffic to see if the site is a good fit.

“There are still more many more approvals upcoming and many more public meetings and opportunities for public engagement,” Hutmacher said.

Some nearby residents already feel like it’s a done deal. 

“I’m pretty fired up right now. I’m pretty upset,” Rafael Bonfil, Eagan resident, said. “This company that is moving in here. It’s a $2.9 billion company and they’re going to do what they want with that beautiful property.”

Others are holding on to hope that they can keep the view that they paid for.

“I’m hoping that they realized that it’s not a good fit for our neighborhood to put a trucking business in there,” Crary said.

The city said the best thing residents can do is stay involved and informed throughout the process.

The next step is to take a look at the environmental review and decide how to move forward. City officials said the process can take up to nine months.