Bloomington Automotive Center project looks like Tesla

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A rendering of an electric vehicle dealership in Bloomington. Image: Tushie Montgomery Architects via City of Bloomington

A plan to build a massive vending facility for a “major electric vehicle maker” in Bloomington has received full approval from the city and the Met Council.

The plot: City staff said they don’t know which auto company was behind the project. But based on the installation description, renders, and Axios sources, all signs point to Tesla.

Details: The four-level, 180,000-square-foot retail center would be built at the northeast corner of Interstate 494 and Highway 100, which is the site of a former Days Inn hotel.

  • The first level would be a sales floor and the top three levels could hold up to 344 vehicles, according to a city report.
  • The developer, Minneapolis-based United Properties, did not respond to a message seeking comment, nor did Tesla.

The big picture: Minnesota has been one of the slowest states to adopt electric vehicles, but a high profile presence for Tesla here could change that.

  • Tesla currently has small showrooms in Eden Prairie, Maplewood and Rogers.
  • Tesla has made 9,400 of the nearly 24,000 electric vehicles registered in Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

What awaits us: Bloomington planning director Glen Markegard said the project has full permission and could begin construction as soon as a permit is withdrawn.

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