The Eden Prairie City Council usually reviews plans for buildings that are going up. On Tuesday, Dec. 7, it looked at a proposal to take one down.
The council OK’d plans by Shutterfly to demolish the western-most building of its two-building campus north of I-494, along Viking Drive, and leave the area open and green for its employees to enjoy.
The campus was built in 1997 by Lifetouch, which Shutterfly purchased in 2018. Lifetouch was a leader in school photography, and much of the building proposed to be demolished contains empty studio space that is no longer used.
The targeted building – which is linked to Shutterfly’s eastern building with a small, connecting structure that serves as the campus entrance – cannot easily be leased to another company because it has only a small amount of parking built to reflect its unique, low-scale use.
Architect Terry Helland, speaking on behalf of Shutterfly, told the planning commission last month that the building changes solidify Shutterfly’s presence in Eden Prairie for at least the next 12 years, preserving 500 to 700 local jobs.
The demolition would reduce Shutterfly’s campus from 258,850 square feet to 142,165 square feet. The piece that now connects the two buildings will remain. It will be remodeled to better suit the remaining building and new green space.
The straightforward – but unique – request was unanimously approved by the city council on Tuesday.
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