RESTAURANT AND BAR PLANNED FOR FORMER LINCOLN PARK CHURCH

A Church in Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood will soon be transformed into a… restaurant and bar. 

Bethany Lutheran Church is located at 2308 W. 3rd Street. The church was built in 1903 and originally was a Swedish-speaking church. Bob Bagley has purchased the church (which is no longer be used) and has plans to transform its unique spaces into a restaurant and bar called Church Restaurant Duluth.

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The main floor of the building will house the restaurant and bar which will have seating for 128 people. Bagley intends to reuse some of the existing architectural elements within the new restaurant such as the pews which will be used for table booths and a bar top. 

One unique aspect of the transformation of the Bethany Lutheran Church building is that the building will also house a large indoor garden on the basement level of the building. Bagley intends to use the harvest from the garden to create dishes for the restaurant along with the possibility of selling some of the excess goods to neighbors.

While some may look at the transformation of a religious space into a restaurant and bar as odd Bagley is excited about the transformation. He feels that with the transformation the space will return to its roots and become a gathering space for the community, like it was for the previous 120 years when it functioned as a church. 

Church Restaurant will located just blocks from the thriving Lincoln Park Craft District. A straight shot down the road will bring you to Duluth Cider, make a right and you’ll arrive at Ursa Minor Brewing and Wild State Cider, make a left and you’ll be brought to OMC Smokehouse, Corktown Deli, Love Creamery, Taco Arcada, Bent Paddle Brewing and more. With the addition of Church Restaurant to the Lincoln Park scene the neighborhood continues to establish itself as a place for unique eats, drinks and shopping.

There isn’t an exact opening date set for Church Restaurant, however the hope is that work can be completed within a year which would put an opening somewhere in mid to late 2020.

 

TRU BY HILTON SETS OPENING DATE

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Duluth’s newest hotel has an opening date.

Tru by Hilton will open the doors to their brand-new Duluth hotel located at 503 Clearwood Avenue on September 14th. The Duluth location will be the company’s first Tru location not only in Northern Minnesota but also the entire state.

Tru by Hilton is a new hotel brand from Hilton that is “vibrant, affordable and young-at-heart.”

What does that mean? Think small hotel rooms (around 230 square feet), more built in technology and larger community spaces that encourage gathering and mingling. The hotel was developed in 2016 with the Millennial customer along with business and leisure travelers in mind. Currently Hilton has plans for over 200 Tru locations across the United States.

The new four-story Duluth hotel features 106 hotel rooms that are a mixture of king and double queen rooms. The nightly rate at Tru will be much less than many other Duluth hotels with rates between $99 and $169.

Amenities found within the hotel include a fitness center, indoor pool, business center and convenience store. Guests will have access to free Wi-Fi throughout the entire property along with a free and delicious breakfast where you even have the option to customize donuts with your choice of over 30 different toppings.

There’s another amenity within the hotel in the form of an expansive 2,880 square foot lobby. The large lobby replaces what would have been conference rooms and meeting space in a traditional hotel. Inside the lobby you’ll find space to work, relax, eat and more. It’s also where the convenience store that is open 24/7 is located where guests can purchase gourmet snacks and drinks along with single-serve beer and wine.

Another exciting feature of the lobby is the game area which features a number of different games like a pool table and bubble hockey and there’s also a giant media wall. Each Tru lobby also has a custom mural that is inspired by the local community in which the hotel is in.

Now for those who do need a place to work the lobby does feature semi-private alcoves and other lounge spaces to work from. You’ll also have access to free high-speed wireless internet along with free wireless printing.

Tru by Hilton currently has plans for two more locations in Minnesota. One location is currently under construction in Bloomington, MN adjacent to the Mall of America and another location is planned for Downtown Minneapolis.

Tru by Hilton may be the latest hotel to open in Duluth, but it won’t be the last. Construction recently began on a new Fairfield Inn and Suites location directly behind Days Inn near the Miller Hill Mall. The hotel is expected to open in Summer 2020.

Tru by Hilton is located at the corner of S Blackman Avenue and E Central Entrance at 503 Clearwood Avenue.

 

LUXURY APARTMENT BUILDING PLANNED NEAR THE SHORES OF LAKE SUPERIOR

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A new apartment building has been proposed for a site near the shores of Lake Superior.

Launch Properties is planning a six-story residential building for a site located at 2215 South Street. The site currently is home to four single-family homes and is situated directly behind Wendy’s and a commercial building located along London Road.

Plans show that the new building would include 98 market-rate apartments that would range in size and include micro, alcove, one bedroom, one-bedroom + den and two-bedroom units.

A number of different amenities would be included throughout the building. On the ground floor residents would have access to a large lobby and a business center, space for the leasing center and administrative offices along with the mailroom would also be included. The third floor of the building would be home to a large clubroom, a fitness room and a guest suite that would be available to book by residents. In addition, there would be a large amenity deck likely filled with outdoor seating, grilling areas and green space also located on that level.

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The new building wouldn’t be the only luxury housing within the area as the site is located directly next to Endi Apartments, a six-story mixed-use building that features luxury apartments and retail space that was completed a few years ago.

Launch Properties is the developer proposing the new project. The company entered the market last year when they developed Miller Hill Crossroads, a new retail building at the corner of Anderson Road and W Central Entrance that is home to Aspen Dental, Starbucks and one vacant retail space. They are also developing a 21,700 square foot multi-building retail development across the street called “The Jigsaw”. Seven spaces are available within the project with one space already having been leased by Chuck & Don’s (you can read more about that project here).

Plans for 2215 South Street will be presented to the Duluth Planning Commission at their next meeting next Wednesday, July 9th at 5:00pm.

 

AT HOME, THE HOME DECOR SUPERSTORE, LOOKS TO HAVE ITS SIGHTS SET ON DULUTH

A large space that was recently vacated by Shopko may already have a new tenant lined up to fill it.

At Home bills itself as “The Home Décor Superstore.” The company appears to be planning a new store within a 119,842 square foot space located at 801 W Central Entrance. The space was being marketed up until recently when the listing was taken down.

What exactly is At Home? It’s you dream store when it comes to home goods.

Stores carry over 50,000 unique items including furniture, home décor, wall décor, rugs and just about anything else you would need for your home. And when it comes to the stores, they’re massive. Think six times the size of a TJMaxx or a HomeGoods store (if you missed our post, HomeGoods is also opening in Duluth soon).

After we were notified last week that individuals working on the project were in the city recently, we reached out to At Home to see if they could confirm the Duluth opening. “It is too soon to provide any additional information about this store” a company representative responded with. Key words there are “too soon” and “this store.” To us that looks like a confirmed location.

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At Home currently has 185 locations across the United States and is expanding with the goal of reaching 600 locations in total. Currently there are two At Home locations in Minnesota within the Twin Cities area with one location being located in Burnsville and another in Blaine. The Blaine store is the most recent store to open and when it opened in 2016 it filled 138,000 square feet of space that previously was home to a Wal-Mart. That’s quite the superstore when you consider that At Home’s typical store is around 120,000 square feet (meaning Duluth’s former Shopko space is perfect).

If… more so when… At Home opens in Duluth it will add some competition to the already somewhat heated home décor market. The new store would be located directly next to a Pier 1 Imports and just down the road from HOM Furniture, Schneiderman’s, Slumberland and the planned HomeGoods.

Recently, Pier 1 Imports posted a dramatic loss in sales and announced that they are planning to close 57 or more locations around the US. No word yet on the fate on the Duluth location or the impacts that At Home could have on it.  

Depending on when construction begins, At Home could open as soon as the end of this year. We’ve asked to be notified when more information is available and will be sure to post it here on our website once it is.

 

HERE WE GO AGAIN. COSTCO APPARENTLY SCOUTING FOR DULUTH LOCATION

Could Costco be coming to Duluth… this time for real?

Multiple sources are stating that Costco is working with a local real estate company to find a suitable site for building a new store within the area. At the moment it is rumored that three sites are in the running with one site in particular, at the corner of Haines Road and Arrowhead Road, having been named.

The site located at 4699 W Arrowhead Road has been listed for sale for a number of years by Holappa Commercial Real Estate. In total the site covers 54.2 acres which is much more space than what Costco typically would need. Costco stores on average are around 150,000 square feet which requires anywhere between 20-30 acres of land. However, the company does have some locations that around 250,000 square feet which require extra acreage. Now, just because there are 54 acres of land that doesn’t mean Costco would need to take all it and therefore could easily carve out a perfect acreage amount for their store.

4699 W Arrowhead Road  (Holappa Commercial Real Estate)

4699 W Arrowhead Road (Holappa Commercial Real Estate)

Costco is still expanding in Minnesota. The company just yesterday opened a brand-new 162,000 square foot store, the second largest in the state, in St. Cloud. Another, even bigger store, has been announced for the Twin Cities suburb of Eagan and is expected to open in late 2019/early 2020. Currently there are 10 other Costco locations within the state of Minnesota with the closet to Duluth being located in Baxter.

Costco plans to open 20+ new stores this year and is currently planning another 20 or more locations that would open by 2022. Duluth is currently not listed as a planned location.

Rumors of Costco coming to Duluth have been swirling for a number of years. We actually originally posted about the rumors back in 2016 when the company was said to be opening a store within the market that year or the following.

We have yet to hear of the other two sites within the area that Costco could potentially be looking at. As always, we want to remind our readers that at the moment this only a rumor. But hey, rumors become reality sometimes. Just take the recent confirmation of HomeGoods opening with Duluth as an example. 

We will be sure to post more information on our website about Costco coming to Duluth once more information is available. Until then, take a moment to check out our Development Map to see all of the other exciting projects under construction and planned for the Twin Ports.

 

HOMEGOODS OPENING DULUTH LOCATION

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Rumors confirmed. HomeGoods is opening in Duluth. 

HomeGoods will open a new 23,458 square foot store at 5115 Burning Tree Road in a retail space that was formerly home to Dunham Sports (and just one space away crom TJMaxx. The new store is expected to begin construction this fall with an opening anticipated before the end of the year. 

Duluthians have had a HomeGoods store on their wish list for quite some time and a few months ago rumors began swirling that the retailer was coming to Duluth.

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The company is owned by TJMaxx and operates on the same business model of selling amazing finds at incredible savings.” The difference between the two retailers is that instead of selling clothing like TJMaxx HomeGoods focuses on household furniture, décor and other household items. 

HomeGoods currently has 14 Minnesota locations with 12 located in the Twin Cities along with one location in St. Cloud and Rochester.

 

CHUCK & DON'S OPENING FIRST NORTHLAND LOCATION

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Duluth, you’re about to get a new pet store and we think you’re going to LOVE it.

Chuck & Don’s will open their first Northland location in Duluth this fall. The new store will be located in The Jigsaw retail development that will be constructed at the corner of Miller Trunk Highway and Anderson Road.

A BRIEF HISTORY LESSON

Founded in 1990, Chuck & Don’s began as a small retail shop by Chuck Anderson and Don Tauer. The two were destined to open a pet business together as at the time Chuck owned a dog kennel and Don owned a dog training school next door. The two joined forces and opened their first Chuck & Don’s location in Eagan, MN.

In 1993, Bob Hartzell became a business partner with Chuck and Don. Over time the three expanded their business from it’s single Minnesota location to over 45 locations within the Twin Cities, Southern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas and Colorado.

WHAT MAKES CHUCK AND DON’S DIFFERENT?

Chuck & Don’s is committed to doing “what’s best for the customer and community” according to their website. They offer a large selection of quality food and treats, toys, pet accessories and more that have all been hand selected by Chuck & Don’s pet experts.

Team members at Chuck & Don’s are beyond knowledgable. They’re friendly, there to help and will go out of their way to ensure that you and your pet have everything you need.

When it comes to pets the place doesn’t just cater to dogs and cats. They also stock plenty of items for birds, reptiles and other small household animals truly making the place a one stop shop for pet owners.

When it comes to comparing Chuck and Don’s to other retailers the biggest thing you’ll notice right away is the size of the store. Chuck and Don’s locations range anywhere from 2,000 to 6,000 square feet. To put that in perspective, their store locations are about a fifth of the size of your local Duluth PetSmart.

Now, don’t let that fool you. Just because they’re small doesn’t mean they won’t have anything and everything you need for your pet. In fact, they’re one of the best pet retailers to check out for specialized products that are hard to find anywhere else.

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THE LOCATION

Launch Properties is developing the retail project that Chuck and Don’s will call home. The project will have 21,700 square feet of retail space split into three different buildings. Chuck & Don’s will occupy 4,000 square feet of space within one of the multi-tenant buildings.

The project is the second in the area for Launch Properties. The company constructed the retail center kiddy corner to the site that today is home to Aspen Dental and Starbuck’s. One additional 2,500 square foot retail space within that development remains to be leased.

Mid-America Group is responsible for the leasing of The Jigsaw project. If your business would like to be Chuck and Don’s neighbor you can find more information on the retail development here.

Chuck & Don’s will open later this year at the corner of W Central Entrance and Anderson Road.

 

FAIRFIELD INN AND SUITES PROPOSED FOR MAPLE GROVE ROAD

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A familiar hotel chain may be coming back to the Duluth Heights area.

A new Fairfield Inn and Suites has been proposed for a site on the corner of Maple Grove Road and Cottonwood Avenue. Located at 1506 Maple Grove Road the four story building would house 82 guest suites, an indoor pool, lounge areas, meeting space and more. 82 parking spaces would be provided on a surface lot surrounding the building.

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This would be the second Fairfield Inn and Suites location in Duluth with the other being located on Park Point. However, Fairfield Inn and Suites isn’t a stranger to the Duluth Heights area. They actually had a location behind Walgreen’s off of Joshua Avenue up until a few years ago when the hotel was sold and rebranded as an AmericInn.

Brutger Equity INC is the developer behind the newly proposed Fairfield Inn and Suites. The company also owns the adjacent Days Inn which they are plan to renovate and rebrand as a Days Inn and Suites this spring.

Plans for the project will go before the Duluth Planning Commission at their meeting this Tuesday.

Construction on Fairfield Inn and Suites could begin as soon as June with an anticipated opening in May 2020.

 

LUXURY APARTMENTS COMING TO DOWNTOWN DULUTH

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A new luxury apartment building is on the rise in Downtown Duluth.

CityView Flats is currently under construction at 333 N 1st Avenue W in the Central Hillside neighborhood. The site is located just a short walk from Canal Park and Downtown Duluth and offers picturesque views of Lake Superior and the Downtown Skyline.

The new $18 million, five-story residential building will be home to 105 luxury apartments that will range in size and include studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. While most units within the building will rent at market-rate ten have been set aside as affordable housing units and will be rent restricted.

The new building will be filled with amenities including a state-of-the-art fitness center, a sauna, a rooftop party room and also a large outdoor terrace complete with fire pits, grilling stations and an outdoor hot tub. Indoor heated parking will be provided on one level of underground space within the building.

MBJ Development is the developer constructing the project. The company is based out of Minneapolis and has completed a number of development projects within the Twin Cities and Northland.

Leasing is already underway with construction expected to be complete this September.

 

RENDERINGS REVEALED FOR ESSENTIA HEALTH'S $800 MILLION "VISION NORTHLAND" PROJECT

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Feast your eyes on the renderings for Essentia Health’s “Vision Northland.” 

The massive $800 million, 930,000 square foot project will see the creation of state-of-the-art medical facilities that will allow Essentia Health to be able to provide the highest level of health care to the Northland.

Plans for the “Vision Northland” project include $675 million for the creation of a new hospital tower, clinic and outpatient surgery center along with the renovation of 115,000 square feet of existing space. An additional $125 million will be used for infrastructure upgrades and financing costs.

The decision to build up versus out was intentional. Essentia Health wants to reduce their overall footprint within the Central Hillside neighborhood in order to open space for other development to occur. This plan will will ultimately create a stronger neighborhood that not only serves Essentia Health and the surrounding medical district but the community of Duluth as well.

Construction on the project is expected to begin this year with a completion set for 2022.

LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD

Something that is unique in the planning process for this project is that you have a chance to voice your opinion. The means you also have the chance to affect the overall design for the massive project.

Public comments will be accepted by the City of Duluth through March 13 and you’ve got a number of ways to submit yours.

You can access an electronic copy of the environmental assessment worksheet prepared by Essentia Health by clicking here. There are also hard copies provided at the main branch of the Duluth Public Library downtown and also at the Mount Royal and West Duluth branches. Lastly, the Duluth Planning and Economic Development Office (411 W. First St., Room 110) also has hard copies available. 

On March 12th at 5pm, the Duluth Planning Commission will hold a public hearing within the Council Chambers at City Hall for comments on the environmental worksheet. If you can’t make it to that meeting you can also submit questions or share ideas on the project by visiting Essentia Health’s Vision Northland website here.

With all this being said we have one last thing to say. Don’t waste this chance to make sure your voice is heard on the city of Duluth’s largest development project ever.

VACANT YOUNKER'S SPACE HAS FOUND A BUYER

Younker’s during it’s closing sale in 2018 (MPR News)

Younker’s during it’s closing sale in 2018 (MPR News)

What once was retail is now becoming space for healthcare.

It was a tough year last year at the Miller Hill Mall when not only Younker’s closed but also Sears, both due to bankruptcies. Many malls across are losing one anchor tenant, but to lose two within months of each other is very uncommon. The two closures left almost 300,000 square feet of vacant retail space at the Miller Hill Mall resulting in a major leasing challenge.

But good news, the vacant Younker’s space at the Miller Hill Mall officially has a buyer. 

Essentia Health has purchased the vacant space for $3.2 million. The building covers 145,000 square feet of space on two levels and has two different access points to the interior of the mall along with two different access points on the exterior leading to a large parking lot.

A RETAIL EPIDEMIC

While many were hoping for more retail to take over the space (rumors of Dillard’s even surfaced earlier in the year) the purchase by Essentia Heath and the change in use of the space is actually very common in the mall world these days.

Vacant Younker’s space (TDTDULUTH)

Vacant Younker’s space (TDTDULUTH)

With large vacancies occurring at malls throughout the country property owners have needed to get creative in finding ways to fill them and trust us, they have. Spaces have become large fitness centers, universities, creative office space, housing and more. 

In the Twin Cities multiple malls are dealing with the closing of anchor tenants just like the Miller Hill Mall. Southdale Center in Edina lost anchor tenant JCPenney and in response sold the vacant space to LifeTime Fitness who has since then torn down the building and is now constructing a massive fitness center, co-working space and retail space. Just North of Minneapolis Rosedale Center is dealing with the same problem of losing an anchor tenant when Herberger’s closed last year. Sources have stated that the JLL, the company that owns Rosedale Center, has plans to tear down the Herberger’s space and in its place build a large mixed-use development with housing, a hotel, retail/restaurant space and more.

So, with all this being said Essentia Health moving into the former Younker’s space isn’t out of the norm, it actually IS the new norm.

WHAT’S INSTORE (LITERALLY)?

That’s a good question. Not many details on what Essentia Health plans to do with the space have been made public. 

Rumors are swirling that the Essentia Health Fitness and Therapy Center located at 402 E. Second St. will be relocating from Downtown Duluth to the Younker’s space. The reason for the move is due to Essentia Health’s $800+ million “Vision Northland” plan which will replace the center with a large new medical building/campus.  

The relocation makes sense overall but the question that we are pondering is whether or not Essentia Health will truly take up the entire space.

WHAT WE THINK THE FUTURE COULD HOLD

To begin with, it’s a lot of space. Because it’s a lot of space it would make sense for Essentia Health to take over the upper floor and a portion of the lower level while designating some of the space that is directly next to the mall corridors for retail use. Whether or not Essentia Health would own that space and lease it themselves or potentially even sell it to the mall’s owner, Simon Properties, is a question that still remains.

Here’s another thing that could happen. Essentia Health could demolish the existing building altogether. 

Sounds pretty crazy… but it’s actually not when you think about it. Essentia Health is currently investing millions in a new Health and Wellness Center just down the road in Hermantown. What that might mean is that not all of the services currently offered at the downtown fitness center would transfer (i.e. the swimming pools) to the Younker’s space as they may be offered at the Hermantown Wellness Center. And, if they do plan on offering the exact same services there is going to need to be some SIGNIFICANT construction occurring in the existing space in order transform it. There’s a potential chance that the overall cost for rehabbing the current space might actually be more than just building an entirely new building itself.

At the moment we don’t have many details to share on the exact plans that Essentia Health has instore but when we do we’ll be sure to post more information about them right here.

 

15 STORY BUILDING PLANNED FOR DOWNTOWN DULUTH

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Downtown Duluth's skyline may receive a new addition.

Plans have be revealed for a 15 story mixed-use tower that would be constructed at 331 E Superior Street. The site is currently home to the Voyager Lakewalk Inn and two historic structures. All three structures would be demolished to make way for the new project.

The new $75 million building would be home to a mixture of apartments and retail space. The ground floor would house 18,000 square feet of retail space that developers would like to see become home to a grocery store. Above that space there would be 204 apartments located on 14 floors of space with many of those units having unobstructed and pristine views of Lake Superior.

The developers behind the project are Duluth-based Titanium Partners, Madison-based Landmark and Chicago Developer Gerald Fogelson. The three groups see this new and exciting project as a landmark for Superior Street and the downtown area overall. It also is expected to help ease the demand for over 2,000 new residential units within the city.

The project will go before the Duluth Planning Commission at their December meeting. The developers hope to time the construction of the building with the Superior Street reconstruction project.

If approved construction could begin as soon as next year which would potentially have units ready for move in as soon as 2021.

 

CONFIRMED: JERSEY MIKE'S TO OPEN DULUTH LOCATION

Vacant storefront where Jersey Mike's will be located /// Google Earth

Vacant storefront where Jersey Mike's will be located /// Google Earth

A national sub chain is coming to Duluth. Cue the drooling. 

Jersey Mike's will open what will be their FIRST Northland shop at 905 W Central Entrance in the Stone Ridge Shopping Center the company's website recently confirmed. The new sub shop will be located in the former home of "The Smoke Shop" which moved to a new location.

Now you might be saying to yourself, "Oh great, another sub shop."  You also might be thinking, "What makes Jersey Mike's any different from let's say... Jimmy John's?" 

THE DIFFERENCES

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One: Jersey Mike's doesn't make "freaky fast" deliveries like Jimmy John's. They actually don't deliver at all. 

Two: They serve breakfast subs.

Three: They keep it simple and fresh.

The restaurant specializes in submarine sandwiches that are made to order and offer them both hot and cold (there are wraps too). Jersey Mike's various meats and cheeses are sliced when ordered instead of being pre-sliced like many of their competitors. You can also get the subs topped "Mike's Way" which includes sliced onions, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, oregano, salt (spices) and something called "The Juice" (red wine vinegar and olive oil). Last but not least, Jersey Mike's has become well known for their cherry pepper relish.

SOME HISTORY

Jersey Mike's began as a "Mike's Submarines" in 1956 in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. In 1956 Peter Cancro got a job there and in 1975 he and a friend bought the company. In 1987 they began franchising the restaurant that was now named "Jersey Mike's". Today there are over 1,200 locations (21 of those being in Minnesota) and hundreds of new locations are also in development. Fun fact: In just the last five years the company has almost doubled their store count.

Jersey Mike's in Duluth will open this Fall. The company and local franchisee have yet to release a set date.

 

RETAIL AND RESTAURANTS PROPOSED FOR W CENTRAL ENTRANCE SITE

Duluth's retail core may become even more... retail... That is if one developer's plans are approved by the city.

Launch Properties is proposing a new commercial development at the corner of W Central Entrance and Anderson Road. The development company is currently building a commercial development across the street that will include an Aspen Dental, a new Starbucks location, and additional retail space ideally situated for a restaurant.

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Plans for their next commercial development include 17,200 square feet of commercial space. That space will be broken down into three different buildings that will in the end include both retail and restaurants depending on how leasing pans out.

Currently plans show a 6,800 square foot building that would house one retail space and two restaurant spaces. The next building include a freestanding 2,700 sqf restaurant building that would have a drive through (Raising Cane's, please). Lastly, there would be a 7,700 sqf building that would ideally be split between one retail space and two restaurant spaces.

Entry to the retail development would be provided by a one way access from W Central Entrance heading towards Downtown. Both entry and exit lanes would also be available off of Anderson Road. 128 surface parking spaces would be provided within the commercial project.

Launch Properties' proposed commercial development is heading through the City Planning Commission at their September 11th meeting. If you'd like to provide input on the project before then a meeting with the developers will occur today at 5:30pm at the Duluth Heights Community Recreation Center (33 West Mulberry Street).

No tenants or renderings for the project have been released yet. The expected timeline for construction is Spring 2019 through Summer 2020. As more information is provided we will be sure to post it here at The Development Tracker | Duluth. 

 

CARIBOU COFFEE PLANNED FOR CENTRAL ENTRANCE

Former BP station during partial demoliton ///  Mix108

Former BP station during partial demoliton /// Mix108

There has been a question circulating around town for the last few months. What is happening to the former BP gas station at 2 E Central Entrance? Two words. Caribou Coffee.

Local developer Kleiman Realty is currently renovating the building in preparation for Caribou Coffee to set up shop. This will be Caribou's seventh Duluth location and it will be just one mile from the Stone Ridge Shopping Center location and less than two miles from the Miller Hill Mall location. We've reached out to Caribou Coffee to see if this by chance might be a relocation but chances are that it is most likely not.

Why not? Competition is getting hot.

Recent additions to the area such as Dunkin' Donuts and the ever so present chance that Tim Horton's might enter the market are really changing the market.

To make things worse for Caribou Coffee, Starbuck's has recently been investing significantly in new locations within the area. Just a few years ago they opened a new location along Woodland Avenue, remodeled their Downtown location and later this year will open a new location along Central Entrance (no word either on if that will be a relocation of the current location along Central Entrance or not). Recent news we've heard is that three other locations might be introduced within the Twin Ports within the next two years.

Inspiration for new Caribou Coffee interior design /// PR Newsire

Inspiration for new Caribou Coffee interior design /// PR Newsire

Currently the details on the new Caribou Coffee location are scarce. Multiple permits have been pulled out for the renovation and work has been happening for the last few weeks. A Fall opening is expected.

Whether or not this location will be a dual branded store like ones that have previously opened in Duluth is unclear. Caribou Coffee recently made some revisions to their expansion of the Coffee & Bagels chain where they partner with other chains such as Bruegger's or Einstein Bagels (among others). The partnership is still happening but going forward there is much more of an emphasis on the Caribou Coffee part of the partnership.

We will keep you all updated with any additional details that we become aware of. Until then, dream of those Northern Lite Coolers that might just be a step closer to you depending on where you live.

 

TACO BELL PLANS GRAND AVENUE LOCATION... AGAIN.

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Once upon a time on December 21st, 2015 we reported that Taco Bell was coming to Grand Avenue in West Duluth. Then nothing happened. #wahwah

Sometimes plans fall through and we are truly sorry for that.

Good news though, plans have been revived for a Taco Bell on Grand Avenue but this time around it's planned for a new site at 4426 Grand Avenue. While the address states that it is on Grand Avenue the site is actually tucked behind a Subway location and will be accessible off of N 44th Avenue W. Currently the site is a gravel parking lot.

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The Grand Avenue location will be a 2,723 square foot building that will have a drive-thru and a parking lot with space for 23 vehicles. 

Believe it or not, it may actually be a good thing that the first location wasn't constructed when it was originally proposed in 2015. Why? Taco Bell has come out with a whole new design for their stores since then that has re-energized the brand and created a great space to dine and hangout in.

Taco Bell has a great article on their website about the four new store designs that they introduced for their restaurants. The designs are mean't to play off the neighborhood and vibe of the city. What this allows for is a unique experience for customers that will differ from each Taco Bell they visit.

Taco Bell currently has one Duluth location on Central Entrance while another location is also currently being constructed on London Road in Duluth at the corner of London Road and 21st Avenue E. A location also recently opened in Cloquet.

Both of the new Duluth locations are being developed by Marvin Development IV, LLC.

 

SEARS AND K-MART ARE CLOSING. IS THERE A SILVER LINING?

Sears at the Miller Mall Mall |  MPR News

Sears at the Miller Mall Mall | MPR News

A closing is never good news, let alone two announced in a single day.

That's what happened yesterday when Sears Holdings announced that not only would the Sears location at the Miller Hill Mall be closing, but also the K-Mart in West Duluth on Central Avenue.

The two closings will result in a loss of a number of jobs in the city and will also introduce nearly 200,000 square feet of available retail space into the Twin Ports market.

Sounds terrible, right? Here's why you might want to begin looking at these closings a little more lightly. There's a silver lining, even if it doesn't seem that way at the moment.

Sears

Sears originally opened their Miller Hill Mall location in 1986. The store is a single level space that covers around 110,000 square feet and has entrances from both the mall and parking lot. That's quite a bit of space when you consider the mall itself is only about 830,000 square feet in size.

An interesting fact about the Sears space is that Sears Holdings actually OWNS the store and the land underneath, meaning they control the exterior, interior, and the surrounding parking area. Today the site is estimated to be worth around $3.6 million. 

Now, let's talk about why Sears owning the land is a good thing. It means they have to sell. Selling could mean to another retailer, which is probably unlikely as most retailers these days are not tending to make investments in real estate, or it could mean selling the space to Simon Property Group, the owner of the Miller Hill Mall.

$3.6 million is a small investment for a company like Simon. In addition, buying the former Sears space would allow the mall to take over more retail space and expand the mall which is currently near full occupancy (minus a few small retail spaces).

So, what would Simon do with the space if they did happen to buy it?

The options are endless.

What would most likely happen is that Simon would redevelop the space into more retail space, similar to what they did about a decade ago when they redeveloped the former Walgreen's space at the front of the mall into a number of different retail spaces. This would result in an updated exterior, new parking lot, and a number of new retail spaces (H&M there'd be room for you too).

Another option is that the mall could try to reposition the space as something entertainment related, a huge trend with redeveloping malls lately. That could mean a entertainment center of some sort, like Dave and Busters, or a movie/dining experience such as Alamo Drafthouse.

Lastly, the mall could try to subdivide the space or lease the space out to another large retailer. Believe it or not there are still some big box retailers that are still expanding and waiting for space like this.

In addition, if the mall is touching the Sears end maybe this will be the time for a full mall renovation. Simon is known for completing full renovations of malls while repositioning vacant anchor spaces.

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What about Kmart?

The closing of Kmart is without a doubt a major hit to the West Duluth neighborhood. It introduces a major void to the surrounding community which will lack a general merchandise retailer (i.e. clothes, food, household products, in one place) that is easily accessible. Another problem is that it introduces around 80,000-90,000 sqf of new retail space to the area.

But wait, is that a problem?

It might not be as the space being introduced is perfect in size to house a single or multiple retailers and is in a great area.

Some retailers that could set up shop in the space that come to our mind are Aldi, which has been actively scouting for another location in Duluth, or something along the lines of a small format Target. Target has been opening a number of small format locations across the country recently with a number of them being in former Kmart locations that have recently been vacated. 

While the closure will certainly cause disruption to the neighborhood, a silver lining is surely in store (literally). Now we're just playing a waiting game. DTA, can we get some more transit options to over the hill for the time being?

TOPPER'S PIZZA PLANNING TWIN PORT'S LOCATIONS

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Topperstix. If you haven't had them, you've GOT to try them. And good news Duluthians, soon you'll have the chance to.

Topper's is a pizza chain known for their delicious ToppersStixs. They're basically breadsticks... but so much better. They come in SEVEN different types, including garlicstix, pepperonistix, tacostix, cinnamonstix, baconstix, chocolate baconstix... along with the regular Toppstix which is simply a cheese topping.

Hold up though, that isn't all that they have though.

The joint also serves bone-in and boneless chicken wings and of course, PIZZA. The pizza options are endless ranging from build-your-own all the way down to Mac N' Cheese pizza. What sets Topper's pizza apart from others are their wild choices, their fresh ingredients, their late hours, and the fact that they typically deliver within 25 minutes. Talk about fast.

Based out of Whitewater, WI, Topper's currently has 15 Minnesota locations making Duluth their 16th. The first Minnesota Topper's location opened in 2012 in Rochester, not far from the Mayo Clinic.

SO WHO'S BRINGING TOPPERS TO THE TWIN PORTS?

A local real estate developer, Jordan Decaro, along with John Matko, who previously was a chef at Essentia Health's Heartstone Cafe and the Northland Country Club, will be the ones behind the new Topper's locations.

The first of which will be in East Duluth.

Located at 1231. E 9th Street, the space previously was home to David Kortier Harpmaker, a business that had been located at the site for nearly 20 years. The harpmaker won't be going far, space at the back of the building currently is housing their business and will be for the foreseeable future.

Topper's will open in the front half of the ground floor of the building. The space will house the kitchen, ordering area, and a few seats areas for guests. In addition, there will be a bit of outdoor seating too that can be used during the early Spring and Summer months.

EXPANSION WITHIN THE TWIN PORTS

The East Duluth location won't be the only one for long as Jordan and John plan to open two additional locations within the Twin Ports later this year. The first of which, or second depending on how you look at it, will open in Superior later this Summer while a third will open in West Duluth or Lincoln Park later this fall.

The East Duluth location is expected to open later this Spring when they can gaurentee that most of the college students will be within the area. Topper's feeds off of college campus', especially during their openings. The first 50 individuals in line will receive free pizza for an ENTIRE year.

We'll be sure to keep you updated on when Topper's plans to exactly open because let's be honest, who doesn't want free pizza for a year?

 

106 ROOM TRU BY HILTON PLANNED FOR CENTRAL ENTRANCE

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Once upon a time there was a hotel planned for a baren site on Central Entrance. That hotel was soon cancelled. End of story.

Today, plans are now being revealed for another hotel at the exact same site. The site is located at 525 E Central Entrance and currently is home to nothing more than a digital billboard. A few years back a Midwest developer had proposed building a four story Staybridge Suites extended stay hotel. However, those plans soon fizzled.

This time around, plans are being proposed for a four story, 106 room, Tru by Hilton hotel. You may not yet be familiar with the hotel brand as it is one of Hilton's newest.

Right now there are just 30 Tru hotels in the world, all of which are in the United States. Furthermore, there are currently NO Tru by Hilton locations in Minnesota. Plans were floated last month for a dual branded Tru by Hilton and Home 2 Suites hotel in Downtown Minneapolis, the company is also planning an additional 20 hotel locations throughout the country. So Duluth, consider yourself special.

The Tru by Hilton brand is aimed at millennials. The hotels are vibrant, affordable, and young-at-heart. In addition, the hotels are billed as energetic, yet relaxing and comfortable. Sounds like a Tru millennial experience, right?

The standard design for a hotel features a 2,200 square foot lobby that has space for working, playing games, eating, or just simply lounging. There's a free breakfast that was ranked in the "Top 30 Breakfasts" for hotels within the United States. While the rooms maybe smaller, each room features a comfortable bed and 55" TV with premium channels. The rest of the building features a fitness center, lobby with 24/7 market, and some hotels feature a pool and hot tub.

 
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At the moment there really aren't a great amount of details available about the hotel planned for Duluth, however when those become available in early February we will be sure to let you know.

The Tru by Hilton planned for Central Entrance will go before the Duluth Planning Commission at their February 13th meeting.

 

New Year. New Name. New Mindset.

You've might of noticed, we've changed our name. 

It was a hard decision to make, however it is one that we think will really help the website and blog in the years to come. Here's why we did it.

Over the years there have been questions of what CDINDULUTH actually stands for. When originally created it was to stand for Commercial Development IN DULUTH, over time though as we began reporting on more and more projects that weren't necessarily commercial, the C seemed to change in meaning. For the past five years CDINDULUTH seemingly stood for Current Development IN DULUTH

Confusing right? That was just the start of it.

With the public not really knowing what our name stood for (and ourselves even questioning it), we often we received questions from people as to what our website was about. The name didn't really give any indication except for the fact that it was about something pertaining to Duluth.

Flash forward a few years to 2013 to when we introduced a sister website about development in Minneapolis. This time around when it came to the name we took a simple approach and just called it The Development Tracker | Minneapolis. With the new name, you couldn't miss the meaning of the website. That simple change made a world of a difference.

Now it's time for us to do the same for Duluth. We're proud to be introducing The Development Tracker | Duluth.

We're the same website as CDINDULUTH previously was, just better and easier to understand. There's no longer a question in regard to what our website is about as the name gives it away.

We track developments within the city of Duluth. Our goal is to report what is planned, under construction, or completed within the city. We're here to get a conversation going between developers, citizens, residents, business people, and the city itself. We're a website that is about all things development related, whether that be schools, housing, commercial spaces, etc. 

We truly hope this change helps make a difference and while we may have been silent for quite sometime, expect that no more. We hope you'll love The Development Tracker | Duluth.

You can now visit our website by visiting www.tdtduluth.com or www.cdinduluth.com