Chanhassen City Council approves downtown redevelopment plan for movie theater, hotel

Chanhassen prides itself on having a small town feel in the Twin Cities metro. But a new development could bring some big changes to the suburb's downtown.

"I think it will be good for the community to have some new development," said Chanhassen resident Diane Kern.

A developer wants to turn the four acre site that holds the now closed Chanhassen Cinema and Country Inn and Suites into two new apartment buildings with restaurant and retail space on the first floor.

Some community members have requested preserving a mural of Prince painted on the side of the theater after he died in 2016. The developer says it can't be saved because it's painted directly on the brick, but it is proposing a similar mural on one of the new buildings.

"Because Prince was here. This is his community and there's stories of him going to the theater, and it just means a lot," said Kern.

After tabling the topic last month, the city council voted to approve the proposal on Monday night, after hearing an update from city staff, informing them the developer has added a couple of bike racks and a few parking spaces.

The developer also made some other architectural changes, like swapping glass balcony railings for black iron.

Some residents believe the project could be a boost to their community.

"Because it will add to the economy and bring more people here," said Kern.