BlueStone Commons embarks on next residential phase

More residential units (and when we say more we mean A LOT more) are planned for the BlueStone Commons development on Woodland Avenue in Duluth. In fact, 142 units are under construction as we type and you read. 

The Duluth News Tribune revealed more information today about developer Mark Lambert's plans for the continuously growing BlueStone Commons development that began a little over two years ago with the construction of BlueStone Lofts. 

BlueStone Flats will be the name for the second residential building that will be located to the northeast of the current residential building. At 4 stories tall the new building is slightly shorter but will include 42 more units that the first building for a grand total of 142 units in an F shaped building plan. Designed by Minneapolis based ESG Architects the new building features modern design elements that compliment the first housing phase of the development.

BlueStone Flats (Summit Management)

New amenities for the second phase will include an indoor swimming pool, club room and a fitness center. Other special amenities will include a sauna and massage room along with, drum roll please, a pet bathing area. Yes folks, you will be able to officially bring your beloved cat child and canine friend to BlueStone. All amenities will be available for any BlueStone resident.

Units within BlueStone Flats will be smaller than those at BlueStone Lofts with most units sized for one to two residents. While the units will feature largely the same finishes as the first phase, including custom cabinetry and granite countertops, one major difference between the first and second phase is that the lofts will include units with balconies. 

Demand has been so high for units at BlueStone Commons that developers are already planning a third residential phase even as the shovels just sink into the freshly thawed ground for the second phase. That third phase will be called BlueStone Vue and will include roughly 100 more units planned occupancy in 2017.

Construction on BlueStone Flats is projected to be finished by May 2016 with an early summer occupancy. 


New restaurant announced for the Shops at BlueStone


(Rendering of Tavern on the Hill from Chequamegon Bay Group Inc.)

If you love the Blackwoods family of restaurants, you'll love what's in store as the newest component for the Shops at BlueStone. Last month the tenants for Phase II of the BlueStone development, the retail component named the "Shops at BlueStone," were officially announced. Tenants for that portion of the project include Duluth's third Starbuck's location (with drive thru!), Waxing the City, Chilly Billy's Frozen Yogurt, Northern Communities Credit Union, Sport Clips, and the Twin Ports very first Qdoba location (which has yet to be officially announced). Along with these details on the first phase of the retail component of the Shops at BlueStone development, it was announced that there would be additional phases of retail components to follow, the first being a free standing restaurant on the upper side of the site that would hopefully open this summer. Well, work on the foundation officially began last week, so it's about time we report the news of what exactly is going in!

Get ready to welcome Tavern on the Hill to the Shops at BlueStone. The new restaurant is technically part of Phase III of the BlueStone development and is being developed by New London Corporation. Yeah, we figure you probably aren't quite sure who they are. But, we probably can guarantee you've been to one of their restaurants before as they own the area's Black Woods Grill & Bar restaurants. They're also responsible for the renovation of the Greysolon Ballroom downtown (and currently own it) and also for the creation of Black Water Lounge (below the Greysolon Ballroom on Superior Street). So if anything, we can all rest assured that Duluth is about to welcome another quite classy dining establishment. 

So what exactly will be served? Just about everything. The restaurant will have a casual setting so it will appeal to both the residents in the area and also the students that UMD and other area universities/colleges. Get those stomaches ready to grumble as an extensive menu of burgers (including bison burgers), pizza, soups and salads will be offered. The restaurant will also serve sushi, panini sandwiches, and even vegetarian dishes as well. What might be the greatest gift of all to the next door BlueStone Lofts residents is the fact that Tavern on the Hill will have a "Grab and Go" menu also. That'll make it so customers have the ability to purchase desserts, pizza, and other "a-la carte" options while on the go, most likely running to that class you woke up late for but magically have just enough time to grab some grub. You can also order from the take-out menu for larger dishes to bring home for those days when you are especially tired from work or class and would just like someone else to do the cooking for once. The prices for lunch will be between the $6 to $10 range, while dinner will can cost up to $15 per person. 

Now on to the physical structure of the restaurant. It's quite a large restaurant... 10,000 square feet to be precise! Keep in mind that's roughly the size of a full blown Black Woods restaurant. That means they will be room for up to 100 jobs and that Tavern on the Hill will be able to seat over 350 people. Now that's a restaurant! The entire project is meant to be as energy efficient as possible too (go sustainability!). That means that thje restaurant will recycle as much as possible, use eco friendly packaging and locally sourced foods, among other things, even including dimmable parking lot lights. Tavern on the Hill will be split up into different dining rooms which can be reserved for gatherings and parties, similar to what you'd find at a Black Woods restaurant. There of course will also be a full bar with at least 25 local beers on tap (great for finals)... and for the outdoor enthusiast in many Minnesotans there will be an outdoor dining area that can seat 100 people, complete with fire pits and heaters. 

Tavern on the Hill will scheduled be open for business by June/July 2014.

More news on additional retail components will come in the coming months. The former Woodland School, which Mark Lambert (the developer of the project) was hoping that one of the area colleges would take over and use for additional space, will actually be razed in the coming months. More retail is planned to be built on that portion of the site. Rumors are already swirling that a grocery store or pharmacy is trying to be lured as one of the new retail components. We've even heard a Trader Joe's could possibly be en route! As always, we'll dig and see what we can find out and be sure to let you know right here at cdinduluth!