United Properties proposes 85 unit apartment project for Kenwood corner

The saying goes "Good things come to those who wait". Here at CDINDULUTH we like to say "Bigger things come to those who wait" and the recent proposal for a new development on a busy Kenwood neighborhood shows that there might be some truth to our saying.

United Properties showed the city of Duluth today their official plans for a development called Kenwood Village that would be built on the bustling corner of Kenwood Avenue and Arrowhead Road. Standing four stories tall (five with parking), the building includes 85 apartment units along with 14,000 square feet of first floor retail. The development would without a doubt dramatically change the vacant corner.

Second time's a charm

(United Properties)

United Properties had previously proposed a 14,000 square foot retail center for the site. We wrote about back in December about a 14,000 square foot retail development that United Properties was proposing for the site. At that time rumors were swirling of a Caribou Coffee and Bruegger's Bagels opening up within the development however no tenants were officially announced.

Almost as soon as the development was introduced it was noted that United Properties was exploring the option of including housing on the site too that would result in a drastic redesign of what was planned. Well, now we know that plan is set in concrete... or about to be at least.

What's included?

The Duluth News Tribune had a nice breakdown of how exactly the project will be broken up. United Properties is looking to include about 34 one bedroom units, 21 two bedroom units, 12 three bedroom units, and the rest would be studio units (give or take a few). 

The first floor of the building still will feature about 14,000 square feet of retail space which could be divided in a multitude of ways (one could still feature that Caribou Coffee and Bruegger's Bagels as originally mentioned).

Developers are looking at leasing to a casual restaurant of some sort (could we see Duluth's second Chipotle or Noodles & Company) along with other retailers that would be service oriented such as a bank or wireless carrier like AT&T.

The project would also provide about 190 parking spaces in what appears to be two levels of parking, one of which would be underground 

View from Cleveland Street (United Properties)

View from Cleveland Street (United Properties)

So how much are we talking?

How much is United Properties about to sink into this corner if all goes as planned and rezoning variances are granted? We looking at a number around $20 million however nothing has been set in stone and the development could run even more. 

Exact rents for the building have yet to be determined and won't be for a while. However Vice President Keith Ulstad is quoted saying that rents could range between $1.40 to $2 as mentioned by the DNT. That means a 500 square foot studio would be around $700 a month, with a one bedroom coming in around $1,200-$1,400 and the two bedrooms around $2,000. Pricing would be similar to comparable units found within the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

What about the traffic?

As with any development, more people means more traffic. It's inevitable. But hey, you live in a growing city and unfortunately in a society dependent on vehicular transportation traffic is unavoidable with growth.

Access for the project would be off Arrowhead Road and Cleveland Street which would help lighten the headache on Kenwood Avenue. Developers are even willing to give up a 10 foot wide strip of land in order for a dedicated left turn land to be able to be built. United Properties would also be willing to pay for traffic light upgrades.

Developers will need to rezone a portion of the property in order for construction to be able to begin. If that goes according to plan we could see shovels hit the ground in late summer and see residents moving in by late summer 2016.

Plans moving forward for Kenwood development

A project for the corner of Kenwood Avenue and Arrowhead Road is moving forward as United Properties begins to solidify their plans for what will now be a mixed use center. Finance and Commerce reported on latest news regarding the development late last week.

CDINDULUTH reported on the first wave of news for this particular site a few months back when plans were floated for what at that time included a retail center that would be home to the areas first Caribou Coffee and Bruegger's Bagels location. However even with plans in place it was hinted that those plans could change in both size and offering depending on the demand in the market by time of construction.

United Properties looks to have taken the alternative path to their original development plan and sources are saying that the development will include retail and upscale housing above (most likely apartments). The Duluth News Tribune noted that the developers recently paid a hefty $1 million to purchase the corner of Kenwood Avenue and Arrowhead Road along with a neighboring home.

The site originally was to be home to a Duluth Teacher's Credit Union branch back in the early 2000's however plans for that branch never moved forward even after rezoning of the site was approved. DTCU did eventually open a branch across the street in the Kenwood Shopping Center.

After DTCU a number of companies went after the site with McDonald's even exploring the option for a restaurant on the site at one point. The most recent interested party was Walgreen's who ended up not being successful in their efforts to build a location on the site but did in fact end up building a new store across the street. 

What exactly is planned for the site will be released later this month when United Properties details their plans further at a press conference. 

As always, CDINDULUTH will keep you updated when news becomes available.