City Facilities & Downtown Study

Golden Valley’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan identified the downtown as an area that required further exploration. The Downtown West planning district includes the properties between Hwy 169 to the west, the Golden Valley Country Club to the east, the Luce Line Regional Trail to the north, and Hwy 55 to the south. The downtown core is identified as the four quadrants surrounding the Winnetka Ave N and Golden Valley Rd intersection. The City's central government center campus is located in the northeast quadrant of Winnetka Ave and Golden Valley Rd.

Community Engagement: Concept Plans And Survey

April 30 - May 23

The City is seeking input to help evaluate proposed concepts for both the Facilities Study and the Downtown Study. Community members are invited share thoughts and feedback using the interactive survey tools linked below.

Facilities Study Survey

The priorities and goals in the Facilities Study Survey were developed with input from earlier community engagement efforts, insights from the Facilities Study Task Force, and guidance of the Facilities Study Steering Committee.

This four-step survey asks respondents to:

  • review the project priorities listed, then leave feedback in the open comment survey box
  • review the existing conditions and site preparations diagrams to understand what will need to occur on the current civic campus site before the proposed concepts can take place
  • review the concept previews, then navigate to the interactive mapping tool to leave feedback on each concept and participate in a brief survey
  • read through the priorities and critical factors for both Fire Station #2 and the Public Works sites, then participate in a brief survey for each section

Downtown Study Phase III Survey

The three-step Downtown Study Survey asks respondents to:

  • review the current vision and guiding principles for the Phase III Downtown Study, then leave feedback
  • navigate to the interactive mapping tool, use the sidebar tabs to view the downtown proposed circulation diagrams, drag and drop pins to leave comments, then return to the project home page to review the proposed street section options and leave feedback
  • read through the Phase II study recap, view the illustrative concept for the Southwest Quadrant, then leave feedback in the survey box

City Facilities Study

The City is studying its facilities in the downtown area to better understand and plan for long-term building needs. The goal is to determine how the facilities can best serve the community while maximizing opportunities for a future downtown Golden Valley.

The study process and outcomes include:

  • identifying and analyzing the City’s existing facilities, operations, and space needs, resulting in detailed recommendations for required facility sizes and space requirements for City Hall, the Fire Department, the Police Department, and Public Works
  • facilitation of a community task force
  • a long-term phased implementation plan that prioritizes the departments and facilities most in need
  • a proposed budget for each facility that allows the City to plan project financing that will maintain the city’s debt rating, execute projects in a fiscally-responsible manner, and ensure the efficiency and quality of city services for years to come

Recommendations from the Downtown Study for long-term redevelopment of this parcel include opportunities for private development by relocating Public Works away from downtown.

+ Long-Term Reinvestment Plan

By establishing a detailed strategy for future improvements, the City will be able to plan for reinvesting in its facilities, work with stakeholders, and take advantage of opportunities that emerge.

Investment in City facilities is a significant decision that has financial implications in terms of capital outlay and operational expenses. Additionally, such buildings have significant influence on the social and civic fabric of a community, necessitating careful thought and thorough stakeholder and community engagement. Changes, challenges, and conflicts have emerged over the years that affect the building's intended use and the efficiency of services provided.

Public Safety Operational Changes

Golden Valley's Public Safety buildings all have limited space for training, storage, and operations and lack the appropriate facilities to accommodate different genders equitably. The Public Safety building on the City campus houses both the Police and Fire Departments. Fire Station 2 (Laurel Ave and Turners Crossroad) and Fire Station 3 (Golden Valley Rd and Bonnie Lane) are remote locations to serve other parts of Golden Valley.

Golden Valley's fire stations were established to support a paid on-call staffing structure, which is becoming unsustainable in today's society. To provide the community with adequate response times, a recent study concluded that Golden Valley Fire Department operations should transition from paid on-call staffing to a duty crew structure, which allows scheduled staffing and 24-hour support of a two-station model. Full-time staffing could be considered in the future. The department currently operates duty crews when call volumes are higher.

Public Works Operational Conflicts

The Public Works facilities are housed in three different buildings on campus and lack equitable facilities for different genders. Building sizes and configurations create inefficiencies and do not accommodate modern vehicles and equipment well. The movement of large equipment often conflicts with other activities and services on campus and in the downtown area. An unheated storage facility and storage yard are located off site.

City Hall Service Challenges

Instead of being a prominent community destination, City Hall is set back from Winnetka Ave and Golden Valley Road, largely out of view. Although recent interior improvements have been made, the building is dated, with a main corridor that separates operations and does not accommodate the public well. Besides general municipal business functions, the City's busy DMV service center also operates out of City Hall.

+ Future Downtown Development Opportunities

The City campus area sits at the northeast quadrant of Winnetka Ave and Golden Valley Rd, which is a desirable location that could be better configured to incorporate private investment and support businesses and activities in the downtown area. The City wishes to create a long-term plan for a phased approach to develop new facilities on a portion of its current campus, relocate Public Works operations, and make portions of the site available for private investment. An important principle guiding location decisions is keeping City Hall in the downtown area to attract and support civic, social, and business activity.

The City is in the middle of the third and final phase of a Downtown Study, which includes several concepts for how this might be accomplished. Collaboration with the Hennepin County Library to construct a shared facility is a potential opportunity. Other opportunities may also exist with the County or the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

+ Community Engagement

  • Community Input Report
  • March 4: The Future Of City Facilities
    A discussion of the City’s long-term building needs (including operational and space challenges to be addressed in coming years for Fire, Police, Public Works, and City Hall) and how its facilities can best serve the community while maximizing future opportunities for downtown Golden Valley. Watch the recorded event here.
  • Dec 11–Jan 25: Facilities Study Virtual Open House And Survey (see survey results in Community Input Report)

Downtown Study

In 2018, the City kicked off the three-phase Downtown Study by working with the Urban Land Institute to investigate a number of questions around redevelopment. This included assembing a panel of real estate, development, and finance experts to help evaluate the market potential of this district and how to best position the area for future improvements and redevelopment. Phase II focused on establishing an overall vision and guiding principles for redevelopment in the downtown core, and Phase III focuses on further refining those concepts.

Downtown Study Phase III

Downtown Study Phase II

Downtown Study Phase I