Mixed-use project planned for Downtown Duluth

A new mixed-use project could be under construction by Spring 2016 if all goes well for the developer when his preliminary plans are presented to the City of Duluth's Planning Commission next month.

Located at 624 East First Street near Essentia Health's Cancer Center, the development would include both housing and commercial space. It looks as if the current building (or at least the foundation) would be used and expanded with one additional floor on top in order to make way for the residential units.

Five indoor parking spaces would be included on the first floor with access off of East First Street. The first floor also would include some commercial space with residential units located on the second floor, back of the first, and what appears to be the lower floor. Access to the units would be provided off at East First St.

624 East First St Development | Duluth Planning Commission

If approved the project would be a significant improvement for the corner and would mark somewhat of a milestone for the area. The most recent new residential units to be built within the neighborhood would be the 311 Superior condominium development located atop the Sheraton hotel off Superior Street. That project was completed nearly ten years ago.

The units within the building most likely would be rental units however there is a slight chance that they could be condominium units. If there was an area that could support condos it would be here as there are most likely buyers would be those individuals working within the hospitals or the Downtown core. There's also a chance that the building could be a mix of the two with condominiums being located on the upper floors and apartments on the lower.

If the project does turn out to be rental units, we suggest those who are looking to rent pay very close attention to this project and to take note of every development pertaining to it. The views of Lake Superior from these units will be unbelievable and that ensures that they will go quickly. 

We will have more details regarding this project soon. As always, make sure to check back to CDINDULUTH for all the latest in Twin Ports development news!

624 East Superior Street development elevations | Duluth Planning Commission

New retail center planned for Central Entrance

There's an interest in a block of Central Entrance after a recent closing occurred and news of a developer purchasing the site. 

News broke recently that the BP gas station at the corner of Central Entrance and Arlington Avenue would be closing and along with it the Sammy's Pizza located inside. Don't confuse this location with the other BP station kiddy corner on the side of McDonald's, that one is still open for business.

It seems that almost as quick as the news of the closing was announced that the closing itself occurred. If you drive by the site today you'll notice that there are no signs of a BP once existing at this site and in fact the gas tanks have even been removed along with the canopy. With such rapid closure and removal it poses the question of what is next for the site and why the hurry?

The purchaser of the site is local developer Joe Kleiman along with his company Kleiman Realty. They also own the neighboring Pizza Hut building, the UPS Store, AND the Lake Superior Laundromat building. Are you sensing a redevelopment might occur? If so, you're correct.

Kleiman Reality is in the planning stages for a new retail strip center that would be constructed on the sites in which they own. All four of the current buildings would be razed. At the moment the exact details regarding the size and the design of the retail center have yet to be announced. 

Two of the three local businesses that will have their buildings demolished in order to make way for the new project will relocate in the new strip center. UPS will open a new store along with Pizza Hut. But ladies and gentlemen, this won't be your typical Pizza Hut location.

GET READY TO SEE A NEW SIDE OF PIZZA HUT

Last month Pizza Hut opened a new store concept in St. Cloud Minnesota. The new restaurant design features an updated look along with a full bar. We're excited to say that this new concept will also be making its way up to Duluth.

Muy Pizza Minnesota is the company responsible for bringing the new sports themed concept to Minnesota. They're no strangers to Pizza Hut as the company owns and runs hundreds of locations across the country among other restaurant brands. The new sports bar concept debuted originally in Texas with a goal of retaining the idea of Pizza Hut being a sit down restaurant. Let's be honest, delivery sometimes is just too good to be true. 

MSPBJ \ Clare Kennedy 

The new sports bar concept has a full bar that serves wine, beer, and cocktails. Overall these restaurants tend to be a bit larger than a typical Pizza Hut location and the atmosphere is a little more modern and edgy. For instance, Minneapolis' new location features 13 flat screen televisions along with modern wall graphics and neon lighting. And don't worry, the sports bar locations still feature a buffet.

While most of these new styles of Pizza Hut are located in the Southern portion of the U.S. the company did open a location in St. Cloud in May and also a location last week in downtown Minneapolis. 

Muy Pizza has further plans for Duluth. The San Antonio based company will also be the ones behind a few new Pizza Hut locations opening in Twin Ports (we'll have more information soon) over the next few months. Muy Pizza also plans to open another Pizza Hut sports bar concept in Grand Rapids this coming year.

At the moment it is unclear on the exact time frame of when the new Pizza Hut will open on Central Entrance however it is most likely to happen in Spring 2016. Check back to CDINDULUTH in the coming months for more information on this new retail center and the new businesses that will fill it!