Construction end nears for Sugar Maple Crossings development

What began as a single retail building at the intersection of Sugar Maple Drive and Highway 53 in Hermantown has developed into a bustling commercial campus.

Sugar Maple Crossing is about to wrap up construction on their final phase of the project with tenants beginning to move in by early May.The project has been constructed over a few years time and is located at the entry to the residential development Maple Village which features 44 residential lots, many of which have already been developed. 

Above: Exterior work is wrapping up on the most recent addition of Sugar Maple Crossings

NEW CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY

If you've driven past the site recently you may have noticed an additional building, rather an expansion, being constructed towards the back of the site. A large portion of that space is already leased to Eventis, a telecommunications provider that currently has an office in Downtown Duluth. 

One retail space featuring 3,000 square feet of space is still available and can be subdivided into two smaller spaces depending on the need. The retail space does have the ability to have a drive through depending on the tenants needs which the developers hope may attract a coffee shop or another dining establishment.

Last month a second retail building was completed that is now fully leased with a Burger King and Domino's location, both of which have been doing exceptionally well

Above: The remaining 3,000 square feet of space has yet to be leased

Above: The second of the project was completed last month

THE CLOSING PHASE

This final expansion will mark the completion of the Sugar Maple Crossing development. The area has changed significantly over the past few years beginning as a largely wooded and somewhat desolate area, to now being a bustling commercially active corridor.

Platinum Properties will be remodeling the exterior of the first phase of Sugar Maple Crossing, adding new crown molding, and changing paint colors, so that all phases of the project flow together and each phase is not distinguishable.

Above: Work is underway on renovating parts of the first phase of the development in order to remain cohesive in the overall design.

Sugar Maple Crossings includes the area's first Dickey's Barbecue location along with Fastenal, Crossfit, Country Financial, and as mentioned above Burger King and Domino's.

Last year the development received a new neighbor as Kwik Trip opened their first Hermantown location next door to the site.

If you are interested in leasing any of the remaining retail space please feel free to contact us here and we can get your in contact with the developers.

New Domino's prototype coming to Hermantown

Domino's will be opening their sixth area location next month in Hermantown. The new store will be located at the Sugar Maple Crossings development at the corner of Miller Trunk Highway and Sugar Maple Drive in Hermantown. 

While you may be expecting to just be another Domino's location and may in fact be grunting at the news right now, rest assured as it will in fact not be. Get ready for something special as Domino's will be introducing their newest prototype to the area. It's called a "Pizza Theater" and it's quite the experience.

"It'll be very similar to the look and feel of Noodles and Company" developer Stevie Paulson of Platinum Properties told us when we spoke with him recently. While 1,600 square foot space still fits within the typical size of a Domino's location the decor and overall feel of the environment is vastly different.

Customers will have the option to dine in with seating for around 20 people in store. Typically most stores are only carry out or delivery and if they do by chance feature any seating at all it is a very limited amount. 

The other difference with this concept is that all of the preparation of your pizza is right in front of you. Domino's is embracing their revamped menu including the freshness of their ingredients and want customers to see and know just how their pizza is being made. This pizza "show" is what gives the concept the "Pizza Theater" name.

Above: Domino's Pizza Theater location in downtown Tacoma, WA. (Image proved by Gnich Architecture Studio)

Above: Domino's Pizza Theater location in downtown Tacoma, WA. (Image proved by Gnich Architecture Studio)

Domino's will fill the last remaining vacant space in phase two construction at Sugar Maple Crossing which includes a new 5,000+ square foot retail building. The building has yet to finish construction and is already fully leased which shows just how strong the demand is in the commercial market right now.

Domino's plans to open around the first of January while Burger King next door plans to open a few weeks later in Mid January.

Make sure to check back to CDINDULUTH in the coming month for photos of both these finished projects along with news and information about many of the other developments occurring within the Duluth area!


 
 

Burger King plans location at Sugar Maple Crossing

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Another retail building is officially underway with a commemorative ground breaking ceremony today marking the start of construction. Sugar Maple Crossing at the corner of Highway 53 and Sugar Maple Drive began work last week on the next phase of their development, a 5,000 square foot retail building towards the very front of the site.

We've been discussing the project for the last few months with Stevie Paulson who is one of the developers behind the project. The 5,000 square foot retail building is part of the larger 27,300 square foot development that was originally planned for three phases but will now be completely finished within the second phase due to pure success. We'll have more information regarding the new office component later this week.

Above:  Retail building to be constructed housing Burger King and an additional tenant. 

Above: Retail building to be constructed housing Burger King and an additional tenant. 

Burger King will occupy roughly approximately 3,200 square feet of space within the new retail building. They will abudt the portion of the building closest to Highway 53 and will also feature a drive thru. Burger King is working with Platinum Properties on an exterior design that will mesh the surrounding developments design with Burger King's newest prototype. It will technically be the fifth Burger King location in the area.

If we look back at the reign of Burger King you'll notice a bit of a downsizing and a retreat to the backlines in their presence in the Duluth area. The area originally had six locations and now that number sits at just three. While the location on London Road is undergoing a rebuild, the location in the Miller Hill Mall along with the Canal Park location closed in the early 2000's.

Above:  Interior of the new Burger King prototype which could be featured at the new location in Hermantown.

Above: Interior of the new Burger King prototype which could be featured at the new location in Hermantown.

Back in May 2013 GNT development bought all the Burger King locations in the area. Their plan was for an entire revamp of the brand including renovations to all locations and the additions of multiple new locations within the area. It appeared that Burger King was going to make its come back and that McDonald's would finally feel the heat from its competitor re-entering the Northland has a viable player in the burger industry.

Last year we saw significant renovations occur at both Duluth locations, the most substantial being at their Central Entrance location. Then in last fall it was announced that Burger King would rebuild their London Road location in order to accommodate a new prototype and additional retail space for a Caribou Coffee location (read about that development here). The new location at Sugar Maple Crossing will be roughly the same size as the new location being constructed on London Road.

 Above:  Interior of the new Burger King prototype

 Above: Interior of the new Burger King prototype

Above:  Interior of the new Burger King prototype

Above: Interior of the new Burger King prototype

Construction on the retail building that Burger King will be housed in will happen at a rapid pace. The hole for the building has already been dug and footings will be poured next week. "Our goal is to have a roof on by October 20th" Stevie explained to us which means walls will begin to rise early next month. An opening for Burger King could be seen as soon as early December with some sources saying by December 1st; we were assured by Paulson that they "will open by the end of the year" regardless.

Sugar Maple Crossings will announce an additional tenant for the retail building in the coming week. All we know at the moment is that the additional retail space will house a eat-in restaurant of some sort. The brand currently does not have a presence in Hermantown but does in the greater metro area. 

Above:  Burger King's new exterior prototype. Elements of this design will be featured in the Hermantown location.

Above: Burger King's new exterior prototype. Elements of this design will be featured in the Hermantown location.

The announcement for Burger King and the additional restaurant will mark three openings for the development in the coming months. Dickey's BBQ Pit will also open next month (you can read about it here) in the first phase of the Sugar Maple Crossings. Kwik Trip will also open across the street in early October. 

As always, check back to CDINDULUTH in for the latest in development news regarding Sugar Maple Crossings and the entire Duluth area!

Dickey's BBQ Pit plans October opening

Delicious BBQ from a brand new fast casual concept will soon be gracing the Twin Ports come October. Dickey's BBQ Pit has set an early October opening date for the company's first location in the area. We talked with Landon and Sharon Wiser, a son and mother duo, about their franchise that will be opening in Hermantown next month.

While the location has been under construction for quite some time there is good reasoning for it (don't worry, we'll explain later on). Landon Wiser firmly stated that "we should be open by early October" when we began discussing their new location.

So what exactly brought the Wiser duo to their current state of owning a Dickey's BBQ Pit franchise? "We're originally from Eden Prairie, Minnesota and I was working as the general manager at a Dickey's BBQ location there." explained Landon. "That's where the Dickey's idea came from" and from there the rest is history! Well, not yet.

Dickey's BBQ in Hermantown has actually been planned for almost two years now. Originally the location was owned by a different set of franchisees. "September of last year we signed our franchise agreement" Landon explained. That's a few months after Landon and his mother took notice of the available franchise and swooped in. "My mom was looking for a new opportunity so I told her to go check out the franchise and pretty soon we were signing papers". 

So why Duluth for the Wiser duo? Well, after looking at a franchise in Maple Grove Landon suggested Duluth's franchise as he soon was heading to college at UMD. "I'm just a student and I am going to do Dickey's also with my mom" Landon cheerfully explained. While that may be true Landon we don't think you're just the typical college student. Most college students are busily figuring where to go out this next weekend...not busily planning for an opening of their first franchise. We have no doubt that with such a bright set of minds behind this Dickey's BBQ location that there will be plenty of success. After all, what's more powerful than a mother and son duo? We don't think anyone would want to challenge that.

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You're probably adding things together now and starting to wonder though why it is taking so long for Dickey's BBQ Pit to open if the franchise agreement was signed over a year ago. The flat out reason? Sometimes you just can't predict the way that construction will go. "Our biggest delay has been a setback due to a plumbing estimate" Landon told us when we asked on the matter. We were told that the contractor for the project will return on site this week and construction will pick up rapidly and be completed in a few weeks time.

Something else we were a little curious about too was why Landon and Sharon had chosen to save this particular location instead of opening something directly in the retail core of the Miller Hill Mall area. "One of the things that caught our eye initially was that everything seems to be moving this way" Landon said regarding the specific location of their franchise.  "In this area the only real restaurant is McKenzie's which is a sit down restaurant" Landon explained. "We're trying to bring a fast causal concept to the area." He also noted that having a Kwik Trip location next door in the future was an added bonus as they tend to be a destination and draw customers from all over the area. The hope is that customers will fill their vehicle with a tank of gas and fill their stomachs with a plate of delicious barbecue from Dickey's BBQ Pit. 

After all this time of waiting there has to be something special about this Dickey's location, right? After all, good things come to those who wait, right? Yes, they do and as a matter of a fact there is something special. Besides the fact that this location will be the first in the Twin Ports there's also another feature that sets it apart. "We're one of the only drive thru locations in the state as of last week" said Landon. That has to be a sigh of relief for northlanders for when those frigid winter days come rolling in. While barbecue is huge in the south, the Wiser duo also think it's also pretty big up north. That convenience of a drive thru window will ensure that no form of precipitation or temperature will keep area residents from getting their delicious ribs, a side of coleslaw and some cornbread while on their way up north.

Dickey's BBQ Pit is currently hiring for all positions. "We don't have servers because we're just like Chipotle where you go through a line" Landon said to us when asking about what type of positions will be available. What that ultimately means is that there are positions available in the block (meat and food prep), pantry (sides and back of house) and as a cashier (front of house). This location also is looking for someone to fill the position of assistant manager and is looking for a few line cooks. Visit our contact us page and we can get you in touch with Landon and Sharon if you're interested in applying.

There also will be a job fair this Thursday, September 19th from 11am to 5pm at the Hermantown Chamber of Commerce at 5094 Miller Trunk Highway. You'll be able to apply on site and meet with Landon directly. If you can't make it to the job fair just contact Landon and he'll set up a time to meet with you personally.  

We'll have more details on Dickey''s BBQ Pit as the opening date gets closer. As always, check back at CDINDULUTH for the latest in development....and... well... BBQ news too!