A NEW LOOK AND EXPERIENCE FOR SKYLINE LANES

Bowling Lanes | Skyline Social & Games

After a multi-million-dollar renovation and a 6,000 square foot expansion, Skyline Social & Games is ready for their official grand re-opening tomorrow, September 27th.

Skylines Lanes has occupied the same site at 4894 Miller Trunk Highway for over 20 years. Tomorrow a new chapter will begin as Skyline just recently completed a massive renovation that not only introduced new branding and an upgraded atmosphere, but also new experiences and games.

When visiting Skyline Social & Games you’ll noticed a refreshed interior that features an industrial vibe not only in the bowling lanes but throughout the entire building. During the renovation the restaurant was also updated and its bar expanded (which now includes 36 different types of beer on tap).

With the remodel two large entertainment options were also added which include duckpin bowling and a virtual reality experience.

Now if that virtual reality experience peaked your interest let us fill you in a bit more on what exactly it is. Called “Hologate”, the VR experience last about 8-minutes and can be experienced with a total of four players of all ages. The experience puts you on an exhilarating adventure in a new dimension where “you’ll fight robots, zombies, and dragons, or even challenge each other with virtual snow balls” according to the company’s website.

Hologate VR Experience | Skyline Social & Games

Arcade Area | Skyline Social & Games

It’s not the only new game that’s been added though, 30+ new arcade games have also been added each with digital card readers.

The renovation and re-branding comes at a perfect time as Skyline has been busier than ever. From May to October they host nearly 3,000 different players during weeknights who come for volleyball, bocce ball, bean bags and spike ball. In the winter the types of events switch to include indoor bowling leagues which include craft beer bowling, poker bowling leagues and more. Skyline also hosts a number of different private parties throughout the year that include corporate events, graduations, reunions, birthdays and more. As a part of the renovation those birthday parties have only gotten better as “glow” party rooms and black light bright rooms have been added.

Sounds like we just made your Friday night plans, right?

Skyline Social & Games is located at 4894 Miller Trunk Highway and officially reopens to the public on Friday, September 27th.

 
ESSENTIA WELLNESS CENTER NEARS COMPLETION

Hermantown’s brand-new Essentia Wellness Center will open this October.

The new 72,000 square foot, $26 million facility (which is scheduled to open October 15th) will fill a number of voids not only for the Hermantown community, but the entire Twin Port’s Community.

Within the new facility visitors will find a daycare, an aquatic center, a YMCA workout center, community rooms, an indoor walking track, an Essentia Clinic Center which will offer lifestyle and physical therapy services along with a Yellow Bike Coffee shop.

One major component of those services listed will be the 118-seat daycare center. It’ll fill a major void currently found within the Twin Port’s for childhood services which are limited and often filled. Another major component of the facility is the aquatic center which will include a large indoor pool, a family pool/splash pad, a lazy river, a hot tub, sauna and more.

The opening of the center is a huge milestone considering it has been under discussion and development since 2012.   

Memberships for the facility will range in cost with a two-parent family costing $84 monthly and a one-parent family $74. Single, individual prices will also be available for around $48 a month for adults and $21 a month for children.

The Essentia Wellness Center was made possible through a partnership between the City of Hermantown, Hermantown Community Schools, Essentia Health and the Duluth Area Family YMCA.

 
HERE'S WHAT THE FUTURE OF THE "CAN OF WORMS" WILL LOOK LIKE
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We all know what the “can of worms” is, right? 

If not, it’s the area where I-35, I-535 and Highway 53 all come together near the shores of the St. Louis Bay. You can also just think of the area in Duluth near the water where multiple freeways intertwine in about every direction possible.  

Yes, that area.

We thought we would let you know that work will begin next year on completely dismantling and rebuilding the interchange we know today. Heavy construction work is expected to last for two years while the entire project will be officially complete in 2023.  

Plans for the $342 million Twin Ports Interchange (TPI) project include essentially completely rebuilding EVERYTHING. Yes, everything.

Here are the main focuses of the project:

  • Providing a new conventional design

  • Relocating all exits and entrances to the right side of the roadway

  • Improving merging sight distance and eliminating merge conflicts

  • Eliminating weaving problems near the interchange

  • Providing lane continuity for through I-35 traffic

We think one of the major wins with this project will be the bullet that states that “all exits and entrances (will be located) to the right side of the roadway.” That’s good news for motorists who use those exits and entrances because at the moment they can be quite tricky (and dangerous) to maneuver.

Another win for the project is that it will also straighten out I-35 as it continues heading southwest, pass the I-535 and I-53 connections. If you think of the area today, it’s the part of I-35 that winds to the left and dips down as exits appear on both the left and right sides. 

THE DESIGN

When it comes to the aesthetic of the TPI project you won’t just see another bland concrete interchange constructed.

The walls and bridges of the TPI will feature two intersecting patterns, one representing the local stone found within the Lincoln Park area and the other representing the taconite pellets that travel through Duluth’s harbors.

These two patterns will intersect and have a break line that represents Miller Creek as it weaves its way through the Lincoln Park neighborhood from the top of the hill down to the bay.

Separating the large plates of these two intersecting patterns will be vertical stacked stone columns that represent the “skilled tradesmen and woman who helped build this part of Duluth, both past and present.”

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You won’t see a lot of the aesthetic work begin for another year or two (for a complete timeframe of the project visit MNDOT’s project website here), however you might have already seen a bit of construction work going on on some of the area’s surrounding the existing interchange.

Work on $1.88 million of improvements is currently being completed on 46th Avenue W, 27th Avenue W, and Railroad Street. The work will include concrete pavement repair and pavement rehabilitation. In addition, new rail crossings will be installed by the BNSF in four locations while one will be removed. 

ANIMATION

Lastly, if you’re interested in seeing the Twin Ports Interchange project in its entirety, check out the fly through of the Twin Ports Interchange courtesy of MNDOT below.

To learn more about this exciting project and to get details on road closures and updates throughout the project’s construction, visit’s MNDOT’s Twin Port’s Interchange project website here.

 
SUPER ONE LIQUOR PLANNING NEW CENTRAL AVENUE STORE
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Super One Liquor is planning an entirely new store after nearly 10 years of business along Central Avenue.

The company has purchased a small commercial building located at 202 N Central Avenue that sits directly behind their current Super One Liquor store. Plans are to raze that building in order to construct a new, much larger Super One Liquor.

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The new building will make quite the impact on the corner.

Not only will it be larger in square footage, but it will also be much taller than current building on site. Designed by Duluth-based DSGW, the new liquor store will feature Super One Liquor’s most recent store design which includes expansive ceilings, celestial windows, and almost 50 different cooler doors. 

Super One Liquor’s current store, which was purchased in 2010 and at the time was a liquor store called Liberty Liquors, will be demolished to make way for a new parking lot.

When the Central Avenue store opened it was the second liquor store in the Super One Foods chain, the first having opened just a few years prior in Cloquet. Today, there are 10 Super One Liquor stores spread across Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Plans for the new Super One Liquor will go before the Duluth Planning Commission next Tuesday, August 13th.

 
RESTAURANT AND BAR PLANNED FOR FORMER LINCOLN PARK CHURCH

A Church in Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood will soon be transformed into a… restaurant and bar. 

Bethany Lutheran Church is located at 2308 W. 3rd Street. The church was built in 1903 and originally was a Swedish-speaking church. Bob Bagley has purchased the church (which is no longer be used) and has plans to transform its unique spaces into a restaurant and bar called Church Restaurant Duluth.

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The main floor of the building will house the restaurant and bar which will have seating for 128 people. Bagley intends to reuse some of the existing architectural elements within the new restaurant such as the pews which will be used for table booths and a bar top. 

One unique aspect of the transformation of the Bethany Lutheran Church building is that the building will also house a large indoor garden on the basement level of the building. Bagley intends to use the harvest from the garden to create dishes for the restaurant along with the possibility of selling some of the excess goods to neighbors.

While some may look at the transformation of a religious space into a restaurant and bar as odd Bagley is excited about the transformation. He feels that with the transformation the space will return to its roots and become a gathering space for the community, like it was for the previous 120 years when it functioned as a church. 

Church Restaurant will located just blocks from the thriving Lincoln Park Craft District. A straight shot down the road will bring you to Duluth Cider, make a right and you’ll arrive at Ursa Minor Brewing and Wild State Cider, make a left and you’ll be brought to OMC Smokehouse, Corktown Deli, Love Creamery, Taco Arcada, Bent Paddle Brewing and more. With the addition of Church Restaurant to the Lincoln Park scene the neighborhood continues to establish itself as a place for unique eats, drinks and shopping.

There isn’t an exact opening date set for Church Restaurant, however the hope is that work can be completed within a year which would put an opening somewhere in mid to late 2020.

 
TRU BY HILTON SETS OPENING DATE
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Duluth’s newest hotel has an opening date.

Tru by Hilton will open the doors to their brand-new Duluth hotel located at 503 Clearwood Avenue on August 22nd. The Duluth location will be the company’s first Tru location not only in Northern Minnesota but also the entire state.

Tru by Hilton is a new hotel brand from Hilton that is “vibrant, affordable and young-at-heart.”

What does that mean? Think small hotel rooms (around 230 square feet), more built in technology and larger community spaces that encourage gathering and mingling. The hotel was developed in 2016 with the Millennial customer along with business and leisure travelers in mind. Currently Hilton has plans for over 200 Tru locations across the United States.

The new four-story Duluth hotel features 106 hotel rooms that are a mixture of king and double queen rooms. The nightly rate at Tru will be much less than many other Duluth hotels with rates between $99 and $169.

Amenities found within the hotel include a fitness center, indoor pool, business center and convenience store. Guests will have access to free Wi-Fi throughout the entire property along with a free and delicious breakfast where you even have the option to customize donuts with your choice of over 30 different toppings.

There’s another amenity within the hotel in the form of an expansive 2,880 square foot lobby. The large lobby replaces what would have been conference rooms and meeting space in a traditional hotel. Inside the lobby you’ll find space to work, relax, eat and more. It’s also where the convenience store that is open 24/7 is located where guests can purchase gourmet snacks and drinks along with single-serve beer and wine.

Another exciting feature of the lobby is the game area which features a number of different games like a pool table and bubble hockey and there’s also a giant media wall. Each Tru lobby also has a custom mural that is inspired by the local community in which the hotel is in.

Now for those who do need a place to work the lobby does feature semi-private alcoves and other lounge spaces to work from. You’ll also have access to free high-speed wireless internet along with free wireless printing.

Tru by Hilton currently has plans for two more locations in Minnesota. One location is currently under construction in Bloomington, MN adjacent to the Mall of America and another location is planned for Downtown Minneapolis.

Tru by Hilton may be the latest hotel to open in Duluth, but it won’t be the last. Construction recently began on a new Fairfield Inn and Suites location directly behind Days Inn near the Miller Hill Mall. The hotel is expected to open in Summer 2020.

Tru by Hilton is located at the corner of S Blackman Avenue and E Central Entrance at 503 Clearwood Avenue.

 

LUXURY APARTMENT BUILDING PLANNED NEAR THE SHORES OF LAKE SUPERIOR
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A new apartment building has been proposed for a site near the shores of Lake Superior.

Launch Properties is planning a six-story residential building for a site located at 2215 South Street. The site currently is home to four single-family homes and is situated directly behind Wendy’s and a commercial building located along London Road.

Plans show that the new building would include 98 market-rate apartments that would range in size and include micro, alcove, one bedroom, one-bedroom + den and two-bedroom units.

A number of different amenities would be included throughout the building. On the ground floor residents would have access to a large lobby and a business center, space for the leasing center and administrative offices along with the mailroom would also be included. The third floor of the building would be home to a large clubroom, a fitness room and a guest suite that would be available to book by residents. In addition, there would be a large amenity deck likely filled with outdoor seating, grilling areas and green space also located on that level.

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The new building wouldn’t be the only luxury housing within the area as the site is located directly next to Endi Apartments, a six-story mixed-use building that features luxury apartments and retail space that was completed a few years ago.

Launch Properties is the developer proposing the new project. The company entered the market last year when they developed Miller Hill Crossroads, a new retail building at the corner of Anderson Road and W Central Entrance that is home to Aspen Dental, Starbucks and one vacant retail space. They are also developing a 21,700 square foot multi-building retail development across the street called “The Jigsaw”. Seven spaces are available within the project with one space already having been leased by Chuck & Don’s (you can read more about that project here).

Plans for 2215 South Street will be presented to the Duluth Planning Commission at their next meeting next Wednesday, July 9th at 5:00pm.

 

AT HOME, THE HOME DECOR SUPERSTORE, LOOKS TO HAVE ITS SIGHTS SET ON DULUTH

A large space that was recently vacated by Shopko may already have a new tenant lined up to fill it.

At Home bills itself as “The Home Décor Superstore.” The company appears to be planning a new store within a 119,842 square foot space located at 801 W Central Entrance. The space was being marketed up until recently when the listing was taken down.

What exactly is At Home? It’s you dream store when it comes to home goods.

Stores carry over 50,000 unique items including furniture, home décor, wall décor, rugs and just about anything else you would need for your home. And when it comes to the stores, they’re massive. Think six times the size of a TJMaxx or a HomeGoods store (if you missed our post, HomeGoods is also opening in Duluth soon).

After we were notified last week that individuals working on the project were in the city recently, we reached out to At Home to see if they could confirm the Duluth opening. “It is too soon to provide any additional information about this store” a company representative responded with. Key words there are “too soon” and “this store.” To us that looks like a confirmed location.

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At Home currently has 185 locations across the United States and is expanding with the goal of reaching 600 locations in total. Currently there are two At Home locations in Minnesota within the Twin Cities area with one location being located in Burnsville and another in Blaine. The Blaine store is the most recent store to open and when it opened in 2016 it filled 138,000 square feet of space that previously was home to a Wal-Mart. That’s quite the superstore when you consider that At Home’s typical store is around 120,000 square feet (meaning Duluth’s former Shopko space is perfect).

If… more so when… At Home opens in Duluth it will add some competition to the already somewhat heated home décor market. The new store would be located directly next to a Pier 1 Imports and just down the road from HOM Furniture, Schneiderman’s, Slumberland and the planned HomeGoods.

Recently, Pier 1 Imports posted a dramatic loss in sales and announced that they are planning to close 57 or more locations around the US. No word yet on the fate on the Duluth location or the impacts that At Home could have on it.  

Depending on when construction begins, At Home could open as soon as the end of this year. We’ve asked to be notified when more information is available and will be sure to post it here on our website once it is.

 
HERE WE GO AGAIN. COSTCO APPARENTLY SCOUTING FOR DULUTH LOCATION

Could Costco be coming to Duluth… this time for real?

Multiple sources are stating that Costco is working with a local real estate company to find a suitable site for building a new store within the area. At the moment it is rumored that three sites are in the running with one site in particular, at the corner of Haines Road and Arrowhead Road, having been named.

The site located at 4699 W Arrowhead Road has been listed for sale for a number of years by Holappa Commercial Real Estate. In total the site covers 54.2 acres which is much more space than what Costco typically would need. Costco stores on average are around 150,000 square feet which requires anywhere between 20-30 acres of land. However, the company does have some locations that around 250,000 square feet which require extra acreage. Now, just because there are 54 acres of land that doesn’t mean Costco would need to take all it and therefore could easily carve out a perfect acreage amount for their store.

4699 W Arrowhead Road  (Holappa Commercial Real Estate)

4699 W Arrowhead Road (Holappa Commercial Real Estate)

Costco is still expanding in Minnesota. The company just yesterday opened a brand-new 162,000 square foot store, the second largest in the state, in St. Cloud. Another, even bigger store, has been announced for the Twin Cities suburb of Eagan and is expected to open in late 2019/early 2020. Currently there are 10 other Costco locations within the state of Minnesota with the closet to Duluth being located in Baxter.

Costco plans to open 20+ new stores this year and is currently planning another 20 or more locations that would open by 2022. Duluth is currently not listed as a planned location.

Rumors of Costco coming to Duluth have been swirling for a number of years. We actually originally posted about the rumors back in 2016 when the company was said to be opening a store within the market that year or the following.

We have yet to hear of the other two sites within the area that Costco could potentially be looking at. As always, we want to remind our readers that at the moment this only a rumor. But hey, rumors become reality sometimes. Just take the recent confirmation of HomeGoods opening with Duluth as an example. 

We will be sure to post more information on our website about Costco coming to Duluth once more information is available. Until then, take a moment to check out our Development Map to see all of the other exciting projects under construction and planned for the Twin Ports.

 
HOMEGOODS OPENING DULUTH LOCATION
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Rumors confirmed. HomeGoods is opening in Duluth. 

HomeGoods will open a new 23,458 square foot store at 5115 Burning Tree Road in a retail space that was formerly home to Dunham Sports (and just one space away crom TJMaxx. The new store is expected to begin construction this fall with an opening anticipated before the end of the year. 

Duluthians have had a HomeGoods store on their wish list for quite some time and a few months ago rumors began swirling that the retailer was coming to Duluth.

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The company is owned by TJMaxx and operates on the same business model of selling amazing finds at incredible savings.” The difference between the two retailers is that instead of selling clothing like TJMaxx HomeGoods focuses on household furniture, décor and other household items. 

HomeGoods currently has 14 Minnesota locations with 12 located in the Twin Cities along with one location in St. Cloud and Rochester.