Posts tagged BlueStone Vue
BLUESTONE COMMONS PLANNING BIGGEST PHASE YET

An aerial showing a mass diagram of the final phase of BlueStone Commons | Duluth Planning Commission

BlueStone Commons final phase of development will be its largest phase yet.

The final phase, tentatively called BlueStone Vue, might actually give a little more meaning to the word “view”. Developers last year stated that they were working on plans for a mixed-use building that would include at least 100 residential units along with an undisclosed amount of retail.

While it seemed at that time that developers were proposing a building that would be comparable in size to BlueStone Lofts and BlueStone Flats, the other two residential buildings within BlueStone Commons, we see now that plans have grown significantly.

Plans have been submitted by the developers to the City of Duluth’s planning commission requesting a height variance for the site. Plans show an 11 story residential building standing 123’ feet in height along with a larger retail building sitting adjacent to the residential tower.

Now before you think that might be out of a scale for the area, take a look at the site section diagram below. There you will be able to see that the building would actually be no higher than the tallest adjacent buildings such as the Mount Royal apartments and the Grigg's residential hall at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

A section diagram showing the height of the new building with the surrounding buildings in the area | Duluth Planning Commission

Doran has constructed a similar residential building in both size and function within Minneapolis’ Dinkytown neighborhood called “The Bridges.” It too stands 11 stories tall and features 211 residential units aimed at students enrolled in the University of Minnesota. It seems that Doran might be looking to take a similar route with a building of the same scale here at BlueStone Commons.

MORE RETAIL

As mentioned above, there will also be retail space within the final phase. It appears that there will be a larger amount of retail than originally expected as mass studies show a big box anchor retail space that would be constructed in front of the new residential tower. While no specific details have been made available regarding the size of the retail space it looks to be around 25,000 square foot (think about the size of a Michael's store) and also seems to be designed for one large retailer.

Now what could that tenant be? It seems logical that BlueStone Commons could see the addition of a grocery store of some type within the development. Developers had stated years back that they would like to lure something along the line of a Trader Joe’s or Aldi to the site, something that would benefit not only the residents within the project but also the surrounding area. 

Requests for more information have been sent to Doran regarding this new exciting project. The project will officially go before the Duluth Planning Commission at their November 15th meeting.

 
Shops at BlueStone secures new tenants, plans for the future

The Duluth News Tribune recently reported on the continued development of Mark Lambert's BlueStone Commons off Woodland Avenue and Clover Street. New details also emerged regarding the Shops at BlueStone.

Pizza Hut | Wing Street will open their doors September 15th (for more openings check our calendar here) in what will be the third phase of the Shops at BlueStone project. The building also will be home to two more retail tenants.

An unnamed dentist will open an office next to Pizza Hut while AT&T Wireless will open their fifth (third in Duluth) Twin Ports location. Both are scheduled to open this fall. With these two additional tenants the building will be 100% leased along with the rest of the Shops at BlueStone buildings. So, on to the next phase we go!

WISHLIST: GROCERY STORE

Developer Mark Lambert told the Duluth News Tribune that he hopes to attract an organic grocery store of some type to the final phase of the BlueStone Commons development called BlueStone Vue. This is where things get interesting.

Originally BlueStone Vue was to become the third and final housing phase of the BlueStone development. It was to include about 14,500 square feet of retail space on the first floor along with residential units on the upper floors. Now plans seem to have shifted to making retail the priority within the building. Lambert mentions that he is looking to attract a "popular upscale market chain not currently in the Northland." He also notes that he is looking for this marketplace to fill 20,000 to 30,000 square feet of space.

WE'VE BEEN THINKING

So, naturally we here at CDINDULUTH have been thinking. What could possibly be a potential candidate for this space? There's two companies that come to our mind right away. The first would most likely be a prayer come true for many Duluthians and that is Trader Joe's.

With Aldi entering the Twin Ports market in November with the opening of their Superior location it marks a milestone for their parent company. As we've mentioned before, Aldi and Trader Joe's are actually part of the same company. Aldi has plans to continue expanding in the Northland and is currently scouting for a location within Duluth.

Now, Aldi could be a fit for the Shops at BlueStone however it doesn't fit the category of being an upscale organic marketplace, plus it wouldn't be new to the Northland. Trader Joe's however fits the description perfectly with one exception.

Interior of a typical Trader Joe's store (Leopardo Construction)

Trader Joe's locations tend to rarely be over 12,000 square feet in size. However this could match up perfectly with Lambert's comments regarding the size of the marketplace and how it could ultimately determine if other retailers could also located within Vue and how much housing could be included within the development.

There's one more player that comes to mind and that particular grocer could be an even more perfect fit for the development.

LET'S THINK BIGGER. LET'S THINK MORE SPECIALIZED. 

There's another organic marketplace that is sweeping the country by storm and that is Whole Foods Market. Don't confuse it with the local organic grocer Whole Foods CO-OP as this is completely different company.

Whole Foods Market currently has five Minnesota locations all of which are in the Twin Cities. They're currently constructing a new replacement for their St. Paul store that will make it the second largest in the state after the Downtown Minneapolis location on Hennepin Avenue.

If you haven't heard of Whole Foods Market we can almost guarantee you that you have seen a chef shopping at one on the Food Network. They're huge in presence on the West and East Coasts and up until about three years ago they had a relatively small presence within Minnesota.

Interior of a Whole Foods Market in Del Mar, California. (DLE Design)

The reason that we are bringing up Whole Foods Market as a potential player for the final phase of the Shops at Bluestone and the BlueStone development all together is that they are basically the perfect contender.

Whole Foods Market is an upscale organic marketplace. Their older stores tend to range as small as the 17,000 square feet mark but more recently are averaging between 35,000 and 45,000 square feet. This would match up more so with the developer Mark Lambert's wishes for a marketplace between 20,000 and 30,000 square feet. Also, we should mention that East Duluth's demographics are essentially a perfect fit and dream come true for Whole Foods Market.

IT'S ALL SPECULATION AT THIS POINT.

Let's just make it clear, we're not here to start rumors but rather we are here to lay the facts on the table. It is all speculation at this point, got it? Has Trader Joe's been looking to expand their Minnesota presence including within Duluth? Yes.

Has Whole Foods Market also been looking to expand their Minnesota presence, even venturing North? Yes. In fact last year they opened their most northern location in Minnesota in Maple Grove's Shoppes at Arbor Lakes (about 35 minutes from Downtown Minneapolis).

At the moment is clear that both retailers could be perfect contenders for the final phase of BlueStone Commons. But, we're also thinking that if Lambert's dreams come true Whole Foods Market might be the forerunner in the race. 

As always, we will keep you up to date right here at CDINDULUTH with all the latest in news regarding this exciting project and the countless others within the Twin Ports!

 


St. Scholastica shows off new building planned for BlueStone Commons

The new Health and Science Pavilion building planned for BlueStone Commons | College of St. Scholastica

St. Scholastica has officially unvieled their plans for a new building at the successful BlueStone Commons development off Woodland Avenue in Duluth.

The Duluth News Tribune shed light on the project that will be called the Health and Science Pavilion and will be constructed on the site that formerly was home to the Woodland Middle School. The college will hold an official ground breaking ceremony today for the new $17.1 million project which is expected to open by Summer 2016.

Standing three stories tall, the 45,000 square foot building will be home to the graduate occupational and physical therapy programs that the college currently houses on their main campus. There is hope that a new physician assitant program also will call the building home if accrediation is achieved by next summer. However, the building will be more than just a space for learning.

Located within the building will also be the Maurices Community Clinic, a free on-site clinic that was made possible by a generous donation from maurices corporation. The programs within the building will offer services through the clinic allowing the students to have real life experiences pertaining to the education just floors blow.

WHY BLUESTONE?

Now there have been a few questions regarding why The College of St. Scholastica would build a building closer to UMD than their own campus. Well, if you look at the BlueStone Commons development as a whole then you'll notice it clearly is a perfect fit.

With BlueStone Lofts finished and filled with residents, the new BlueStone Flats under construction, and the wildly successful retail component of the BlueStone Commons development, the Shops at BlueStone, completing it's third phase within the month, it's clear this is the place to be.

It also makes sense when you consider the fact that most of the residents within the residential buildings at BlueStone Commons are graduate students, the same people in which would enroll in the programs offered at the new Health and Science Pavilion.

MORE DETAILS

While the St. Scholastica's development will take up a large space of the remaining land available at BlueStone Commons, developer Mark Lambert is not done yet.

BlueStone Vue will be the next residential building to be constructed directly next door the St. Scholastica's new building. The will also be additional retail space added to the Shops at BlueStone (most likely within the BlueStone Vue project itself). BlueStone Vue is expected to begin construction in late 2016 with completion expected in Fall 2017.

 

 

BlueStone Commons embarks on next residential phase

More residential units (and when we say more we mean A LOT more) are planned for the BlueStone Commons development on Woodland Avenue in Duluth. In fact, 142 units are under construction as we type and you read. 

The Duluth News Tribune revealed more information today about developer Mark Lambert's plans for the continuously growing BlueStone Commons development that began a little over two years ago with the construction of BlueStone Lofts. 

BlueStone Flats will be the name for the second residential building that will be located to the northeast of the current residential building. At 4 stories tall the new building is slightly shorter but will include 42 more units that the first building for a grand total of 142 units in an F shaped building plan. Designed by Minneapolis based ESG Architects the new building features modern design elements that compliment the first housing phase of the development.

BlueStone Flats (Summit Management)

New amenities for the second phase will include an indoor swimming pool, club room and a fitness center. Other special amenities will include a sauna and massage room along with, drum roll please, a pet bathing area. Yes folks, you will be able to officially bring your beloved cat child and canine friend to BlueStone. All amenities will be available for any BlueStone resident.

Units within BlueStone Flats will be smaller than those at BlueStone Lofts with most units sized for one to two residents. While the units will feature largely the same finishes as the first phase, including custom cabinetry and granite countertops, one major difference between the first and second phase is that the lofts will include units with balconies. 

Demand has been so high for units at BlueStone Commons that developers are already planning a third residential phase even as the shovels just sink into the freshly thawed ground for the second phase. That third phase will be called BlueStone Vue and will include roughly 100 more units planned occupancy in 2017.

Construction on BlueStone Flats is projected to be finished by May 2016 with an early summer occupancy.