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.

 

Plans change for former Burger King site on London Road

Remember how we posted a few months ago that Burger King and Caribou Coffee were coming to London Road? Well, plans have changed to the tune of $36 million dollars. We're talking big changes.

The site that has sat basically dormant for the last two years after Burger King closed up shop in order to rebuild their location now has new life coming to it. What originally was suppose to be included in the redevelopment of the site was just two small 2,500+ square foot retail buildings that were to house a free standing Burger King and a free standing Caribou Coffee. Those plans are no more.

News broke yesterday that Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors are planning a 148 unit six story apartment project for the site. Yes Duluth, this could be the first sign of the area beginning to see a smaller apartment housing boom like that of the Twin Cities market in the last five years. If so, prepare yourself.

Above:  Rendering of the proposed developed for the 2100 block of London Road. (Image courtesy of Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors)

Above: Rendering of the proposed developed for the 2100 block of London Road. (Image courtesy of Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors)

The project will be developed on the 2100 block of London Road (that's right across from McDonalds and will include in addition to the 148 apartment units also 13,000 square feet of retail. The retail space could house up to five tenants while the developers are aiming to have all the retail tenants be an amenity for the residents above. It seems logical that Caribou Coffee would be one of the first tenants for the space as they were in negotiations for a space within the former redevelopment plan for the site. Also, who would object to a coffee shop beneath their apartment? We see that as an amenity. As far as Burger King goes... we have some doubts that they will make it back onto this site specifically.

Apartment units in the building will range from 500 square feet for studios up to 1,500 square feet for two bedroom units. While the developers say it's too early to predict rent amounts you can expect a studio to go for the upper $900's, one bedrooms in the low $1,200's to upper $1,800's and the two bedrooms most likely being in the mid $1,500's to early $2,000's per month.

While the Duluth market isn't exactly the same as the Minneapolis/St. Paul market the developers behind this project have had experience in the past with similar projects. They can see a demand in the Twin Ports for quality housing for young professionals and are eager to be one of the first to the playing field.

Above :  Aerial identifying the project site on the 2100 block of London Road

Above: Aerial identifying the project site on the 2100 block of London Road

It's most likely that this development will follow the design of similar projects in the Twin Cities exact details still have yet to be given. Similar projects are typically constructed with a base level of concrete and the upper floors being of wooden materials.

While the building is actually six stories it won't appear that way from the London Road. In fact, you'll only see two levels from the roadway due to the fact that most of the building will be sunken into the hillside. From the freeway however you will see six full stories of apartment units in a horseshoe design surrounding a center courtyard. The exterior design will feature modern design elements with a wide usage of brick and metal accents. 

One thing that will truly make this project one of a kind are the views. No longer will you need to own a condo on the lake or a house on the hillside to have those majestic views of Lake Superior. This project will feature absolutely breathtaking sights from the comforts of your living room couch for the active young professional crowd or the well seasoned adults who are looking to enjoy the shores of the lake during summer and winter.

Occupancy is expected for early summer 2016.

We'll have more details here at CDINDULUTH as they become available.

Our View

This really is HUGE news for the city of Duluth as it marks a new type of development that is hitting the northland. We have yet to see mixed-use luxury apartment projects being developed similar to those found in larger metropolitan markets.

If you haven't been following development in Minneapolis you most likely don't know that the city is one of the most development rich cities in the nation right now. Basically 90% of the projects being constructed right now are residential and are six story projects similar to this one.

While some will object to this we think it is quite a positive for the city as it starts ushering in density to our already urban areas. From the day this site was pegged for redevelopment it had always been a wish to include housing of some sort and for the development that occurred on site to be of a far greater density than what was on it formerly. This development will do just that and from the rendering it appear that it will do it in a very well approached manner.

We're excited to hear more about this project over the coming months. 


Caribou Coffee proposes freestanding London Road location

CaribouCoffee_logo.jpg

It seems like a battle might be brewing (no pun intended) between two of the nation's most popular coffeehouses. This time it's Minnesota's own Caribou Coffee looking to win over the hearts of coffee lovers in East Duluth.

With Starbucks having recently opened their first Duluth location to feature a drive thru at the nearby Shops at Bluestone in May, it wasn't necessarily a surprise when news broke this week that Caribou Coffee was proposing a fifth location within Duluth; a location that also will feature a drive thru ( also a first for Caribou Coffee within the city of Duluth). 

The new 2,558 square foot location, proposed to be built on the corner of London Road and 21st Avenue East, is the final retail component in the greater redevelopment of the Burger King site. Earlier plans for the redevelopment included not only a rebuild of the current Burger King on site, but also some sort of additional retail component. News on what that exactly meant changed quickly from involving a Kwik Trip location to involving a retail center with multiple tenants. At one point it was even hoped that housing would be included with the redevelopment. However, we now see that plans for the site include a freestanding Caribou Coffee location that will surely delight many morning commuters!

Above:  Proposed Caribou Coffee location (On the corner of 21st Avenue E and London Road)

Above: Proposed Caribou Coffee location (On the corner of 21st Avenue E and London Road)

The Burger King that is currently (or was) on site will pretty much stay in the same location when it is rebuilt. The drive thru will move from the back of the site towards the front, while the newly constructed restaurant will feature the newest Burger King prototype design. Yet, there is still that larger than necessary parking lot to deal with. That's where the proposed Caribou Coffee comes into play.

Above:  Overview of the Burger King site redevelopment

Above: Overview of the Burger King site redevelopment

Caribou Coffee's location shows a drive through, along with space for a possible patio in front. The overall plan for the redevelopment makes much better use of the site by thoughtfully planning the placement of each building in order to maximize parking and traffic flow on site.

The plan for the redevelopment is set to go before the Duluth Planning Commission on August 12th. If all goes well, construction could begin before the end of summer with a completion date sometime in late fall or early 2015.