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Heart of the City History
Burnsville Heart of the City Evolution
In the early 1960s, when Burnsville was starting to grow and incorporate, it was envisioned that the “downtown of Burnsville” would be located around the intersection of Nicollet Boulevard and Burnsville Parkway (which was named the Crosstown at the time). A few of strip malls, some office buildings, gas stations, restaurants and a K-Mart store developed on the surrounding area.

In the mid 1970s, the Burnsville Center opened. Within the next five to ten years, a number of retail centers were built near the Burnsville Center. Eventually Rainbow Foods (later to become Cub Foods) and Holiday both built large stores near the Center. With all the development around the Center, County Road 42 became a major retail area of Burnsville. This development put Burnsville on the map as a retail center of Minnesota, but it also shifted the focus from what would have been “downtown” to the County Road 42 area.

In the early 90s, Burnsville conducted a city-wide planning process called “Partnership for Tomorrow.” More than 700 residents and business people met over months in different groups to help chart the future of Burnsville. One of the concepts that arose was the feeling that Burnsville needed an area that could be more of a “downtown.” Toward the end of the decade, a “Vision for Tomorrow” group was formed to revisit and revise the future plans for Burnsville. One of the outcomes of this process was to enhance the Nicollet Boulevard and Burnsville Parkway area with a streetscape project.

Once the streetscape project had begun, the idea of recreating the area as the “downtown of Burnsville” reemerged. The various groups that worked on ideas for the streetscape project morphed into planning groups to redevelop the area with an urban downtown feel; thus the Heart of the City was created.

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