Rosemount looks to partner with Life Time to solve the city’s shortage of indoor recreation: Twin Cities

For more than a decade, City of Rosemount leaders have sought to bring more indoor recreation space to the growing metropolitan city to the South. Gym space is at a premium, and an indoor public swimming pool is a missing amenity.

Market studies were conducted, plans were drawn up, and residents took action. Rosemount considered building a recreation center of its own. They looked into partnering with the YMCA, which other cities did.

Hope Fieldhouse, a non-profit recreation center, opened in late 2020, helping address the lack of indoor athletic space in Rosemount. However, the 45,000-square-foot center caters to youth, adaptive, and high school basketball teams. And it doesn’t have a pool.

COOPERATION

City officials now believe they’ve found the answer: A partnership with Life Time for an approximately 107,000-square-foot recreation center that the city would own and the Chanhassen-based fitness chain would lease and operate.

Council members took two big steps this month to make it happen. They signed a letter of intent with Life Time that calls for them to pay just over half of the estimated $48 million construction cost and the city to take the rest. The council also approved a purchase agreement for the city to purchase a 29-acre parcel where the center would be built on 12 acres.

The remainder of the land would be sold to Nordland Partners, a local commercial developer that plans to pursue a grocery store, retail, restaurants, doctor’s office space and a multifamily housing project, City Manager Logan said. Martin.

The partnership with Life Time, which has taken shape through discussions over the past three years, is nearly complete, Martin said. Next will be the Life Time board of directors signing a lease with the city, a step Martin expects to happen next month.

Public-private partnerships make more sense for the city, Martin said. The result would be a larger recreation center with more amenities than the city could build on its own. And the city wouldn’t be struggling with ongoing building maintenance, which would be covered by Life Time.

Life Time also has the know-how in running sports clubs, Mayor Bill Droste said.

“This partnership would be an agile and forward-thinking way to achieve multiple goals for our residents, while letting the private sector do what it does best,” he said.

If all goes to plan, construction on the recreation center will begin next year and open in 2024.

THE PROGRAM

Rosemount plans to purchase a 29-acre lot and partner with Life Time to build an approximately 107,000-square-foot sports club. (Courtesy of the City of Rosemount)

Under the plan, the city will purchase the land, located at the northeast corner of County Road 42 and Akron Avenue, at a cost of $135,000 per acre, which is a fair market value, Martin said. To fund the project, the city will use the revenue it earns when commercial and industrial waste carriers pay to dump into SKB’s environmental landfill.

Landfill discharge fees, as they’re called, along with fees charged to developers, have helped Rosemount build many of its parks over the years, Martin said.

“This has been a very important source of revenue for us for many years,” he said. “And now we’re at a point in the city’s growth trajectory where the city council has made the decision that we can take a sliver of these taxes and allocate them to a much-needed amenity in the form of a recreation center.”

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