Oakdale theater to undergo film-to-furniture transformation – Twin Cities

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A theater with 20 screens (killed by COVID-19) is being reborn as a large furniture store.

HOM Furniture plans to rebuild and move into Oakdale20, the former New Horizons Theatre. If approved by the Oakdale City Council, HOM will close its smaller Woodbury store and occupy the buildings on Interstate 694 and 10th Avenue.

For a single retailer, the property is quite large-a 98,000 square foot building covering 12 acres.

HOM hopes to make the building bigger-adding 50,000 square feet to the existing courtyard of the theater. The size of the store that turned from a theater into a furniture is twice the size of a typical Cub Foods supermarket.

The Urban Planning Committee will discuss the proposal at its meeting on January 7. If the committee approves, the city council will review it at a later meeting.

The theater closed permanently in March, after the deadly coronavirus hit the state at the time, Governor Tim Walz issued the first shutdown order.

The empty theater in Oakdale attracts people's attention. City officials worry that the building will be difficult to renovate-it consists of 20 windowless rooms with 36-foot ceilings and steep floors for stadium seating.

But Wayne Johnson said he can complete the task.

Johansen, one of the owners of HOM, said the company will fill a new two-story structure in the middle of the U-shaped building. In each theater, he will level the stadium seats and divide the high-ceiling room into two floors.

The completed HOM store is almost twice the size of the 80,000 square foot store in Woodbury.

Johnson said HOM may lease two of the theaters to tenants.

HOM asked Oakdale to change its minimum parking regulations.

Johnson said: "It requires 750 spaces, but we can only use up to 100 spaces." "We will have to have the same number of parking spaces as Wal-Mart."

He said the number of parking spaces required at HOM stores has been reduced because many shoppers browse online and then pick up furniture in the store.

HOM will occupy most of the 12 acres of land. In another proposal, the animal clinic will occupy the remaining parking lot in the southeast corner. The Animal Emergency and Referral Center in Oakdale wanted to build a three-story headquarters in the parking lot opposite the former theater.

The proposal is scheduled to be discussed in the city council on January 12.

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