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Anderson Center Property on Its Way to Becoming Home to Senior Living Community and Fire Station

Two portions of Bethel’s newest property are in the process of being sold to New Perspective and Lake Johanna Fire Department, bringing both income and academic partnerships to the university.

By Monique Kleinhuizen '08, GS'16, new media strategist

May 29, 2020 | 2 p.m.

A map of the proposed sale at Bethel's Anderson Center property at 2 Pine Tree Drive

A map of Bethel's Anderson Center property at 2 Pine Tree Drive

When Bethel University purchased the property at 2 Pine Tree Drive in Arden Hills, the vision for its long-term use was fourfold. It would become a hub for adult learning, where Bethel could grow its post-traditional programs in an easily accessible space. It would create a source of ongoing income for the university because its size and layout lends itself to housing corporate and ministry tenants. It would provide outdoor recreational space for the Bethel community and neighbors. And it could potentially bring about creative partnerships that would support hands-on learning and more fluid relationships between Bethel and its surrounding community. Three of those goals have become reality, and the fourth is now well on its way. 

Bethel is in the process of selling the northwest six acres of the 42-acre Anderson Center property to New Perspective for a senior complex, and the northeast 3.7 acres to Lake Johanna Fire Department for a new fire station. The southern end of the property, which features miles of walking trails adjacent to Crepeau Nature Preserve, will remain a natural amenity for both Bethel and the surrounding community. 

The university and both buyers have been in negotiations for some time, but are still performing due diligence to work out the details of the site plans and design, walking path easements, wetland and woodland preservation, and potential educational partnerships that could come from the sales. 

The Executive Chairman of New Perspective, Todd Novaczyk, serves on the advisory committee for Bethel’s Center for Healthcare Excellence, which connects students with local internships and expands their understanding of the many career pathways within the healthcare industry. When Novaczyk heard that Bethel was considering a sale of a portion of its land, it became apparent that there was obvious room for a strategic partnership between the university and the firm, which operates senior communities across the Midwest. The hope is that a senior community located in close proximity to Bethel’s would create a mutually beneficial learning partnership resulting in cross-generational relationships.

“This community will offer aging adults an opportunity to pour into the lives of young people and share their faith, knowledge, life experiences, and passion with a population eager to learn,” says Kristi Moline, executive director of the Center for Healthcare Excellence. She’s been involved in launching Bethel’s Senior Care Leadership and Administration Certificate, which currently has 22 students enrolled across a variety of schools and disciplines. “It will also allow opportunities for students to gain valuable insights and practical experience working with an aging population through mentorship, internship, employment, Bible studies, and other meaningful interactions.”

"This unique and innovative opportunity provides an environment where faith, life, and learning come together in tangible, God-honoring ways. Students will get to experience first-hand how careers in aging services can ultimately expand Christian culture."

— -Kristi Moline, executive director of Bethel's Center for Healthcare Excellence
Bethel began working with Lake Johanna Fire Department in late 2019, afte the department did a study on the populations of the three communities it serves and typical call response times. The Anderson Center property offered a perfect location for a new station; negotiations began between the university, the department, and the city; and a purchase agreement is nearing completion.

“The goals have been both financial and community-centric. We want to be good neighbors and an active part of our community. We are not only signing a purchase agreement, but we are deepening our relationships with strategic partners, creating educational enhancements, internships, and future jobs.”

— Mark Posner, chief facilities and technology officer

The 42-acre property and 200,000-square-foot building at 2 Pine Tree Drive in Arden Hills were purchased by Bethel University at the end of 2013. In 2015, the building was renamed Anderson Center (ANC) after Trustee Rollie Anderson and his wife, Barbara, in honor of their role in making the purchase possible without Bethel incurring debt or using operating funds. ANC is home to Bethel Seminary, the College of Adult & Professional Studies, and Graduate School—as well as the Business Office, Human Resources, Information Technology Services, Marketing, and University Advancement. Portions of the building are also leased to six external tenants.

About Bethel’s Campus

Bethel University is situated minutes from Minneapolis and St. Paul, but with a secluded, lakeside campus on two distinct sites featuring miles of wooded trails. Check out this interactive map to see floor plans of each of Bethel’s buildings, find specific academic departments and offices, or plan your next walk or run on campus.

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