Nye’s project has not been abandoned

According to Schafer Richardson, the developer for the Nye’s project, the plan is still in play. The redevelopment project design was a 30-story residential and retail tower, to be built where Nye’s is currently located. Soon after the plan was announced, the neighboring church, Our Lady of Lourdes, spoke out against the idea, afraid that the high-rise construction might damage their 100-year-old building. People in the neighborhood then followed suit, fearing that the current scale of the project is not suitable. Unfortunately for the developer, some aspects of the project may not be negotiable in order for it to be cost-effective.

Read the full article from Star Tribune here.

Posted in Minneapolis

Cooperative grocery settles in North Minneapolis

According to research from the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal, Wirth Cooperative Grocery has decided on a site in North Minneapolis. The Commons at Penn Ave, currently under construction, will be the home of the new 4,600 square foot grocery store. As of now, their opening date is set for January 2016. The store’s specialty will be fresh fruits, vegetables and meats, foods that seem to be lacking in North Minneapolis. Nearly 40% of the products will be organic and 60% conventional.

Read the full article here.

Posted in Minneapolis | Tagged , ,

Design Concept Revealed For Downtown East Park

The new design concept has been released for the downtown Minneapolis park, adjacent to the Vikings Stadium. The park is intended to serve as a plaza for Vikings games as well. However, they are still working on obtaining enough money to put these concepts into action. The following information is from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

The Star Tribune reports on the latest design by San Francisco-based landscape architect Hargreaves Associates, revealed at a public meeting Wednesday night [May 27th]. The park plan is built around large grassy ovals, with a reflecting pool that can be drained for more space.

A Minneapolis Downtown Council fundraising committee will now work on obtaining $22 million to cover the park’s construction and first year of operating expenses. The Vikings have promised to contribute $1 million, as long as the park doesn’t sell naming rights to anybody else.

The site is bordered by Park Avenue, Fourth and Fifth streets and a proposed building on the other side of Fifth Avenue South from the Hennepin County jail. Earlier designs had the park running straight across Portland Avenue, but county officials nixed that, saying the street was needed for emergency vehicles.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that landscape architects now propose closing the street only for special events, but narrowing it to two lanes and changing the pavement to alert drivers that they’re passing near a pedestrian zone.

In October, Minneapolis business leaders formed Greening Downtown Minneapolis, a nonprofit that will oversee the park. The Minneapolis Park Board had initially considered running it.

The following renderings and site plan were posted by Kare 11.


Photo: Hargreaves Associates


Photo: Hargreaves Associates


Photo: Hargreaves Associates


Photo: Hargreaves Associates

Posted in Minneapolis

Skechers Opens New Location in Minnesota

Skechers, a $2 billion American footwear company, recently opened a new location at Riverdale Crossing in Coon Rapids, MN. The company, headquartered in Manhattan Beach, CA, has more than 1,000 retail stores around the world, offering over 3,000 styles for men, women and children. This new 8,996-square-foot location, which opened on March 27, is now the fourth to join the Minnesota market.

Riverdale Crossing, owned by HJ Development, is anchored by Cub Foods and Walmart. Deb Carlson, of Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq, is the representing broker for Skechers in this market. When asked about the new location, Deb said, “This is a great-looking store and a strong addition to Riverdale Crossing center.”

Posted in Coon Rapids

Aurora Center Wins MNCAR Deal of the Year Award

The Aurora Center in West St. Paul recently won the Deal of the Year award, presented by the MNCAR Awards Program.

The Tenant brokers were Tom Martin of Cushman & Wakefield | NorthMarq and John Kalamaras of Realsource Partners. The brokers representing the landlord were Brad Kaplan and Kim Meyer of Cushman & Wakefield | NorthMarq.

Transaction details:

  • The 4.2 acre assemblage included a former Bowling alley parcel, a former strip center parcel owned by Aurora Investments, and parking rights on a former equipment rental parcel. The City of West St. Paul acquired the Bowling Alley parcel through condemnation and transferred title to Aurora. The City also acquired the equipment rental parcel, retaining ownership but granting necessary unilateral parking rights for the project.
  • Three existing leases encumbered the strip center site: FedEx, Darque Tan and Payless were all relocated to a new 11,700sf strip center on site before demolition and site work could commence for the 35,000sf anchor, LA Fitness. All three tenants had to renew or blend/extend at the new building, and would only do so without a disruption in business. Aurora had no relocation rights as a part of the existing leases. This three-party relocation was accomplished successfully, as all three tenants opened in their new space in November, 2014.
  • Arriving at a mutually agreeable site plan was contentious – The City, Aurora, LA Fitness and the small shop tenants all had their desires. The Zoning Code mandated that the new buildings border the major road (Robert St.) while the tenants all desired a plan that allowed the customer to easily understand and visualize the new storefronts and parking layout. As it became evident the City was not going to be flexible, the tenants acquiesced, but not without additional RE committee review.
  • The timing of the project involved:
    • Site Acquisition (condemnation of Bowling Alley, separate purchase by City of parking parcel)
    • Plan Approval by all parties
    • 4 new/amended leases with new economics
    • Demolition of bowling alley and remediation
    • Construction of new strip building and relocation of 3 existing tenants
    • Demolition and site work for anchor pad without business interruption of operating tenants
    • Construction of Anchor building to commence in March of 2015 for a Fall ’15 opening
    • Project start to finish – 34 months

When asked what lesson they could pass along to other real estate professionals, the brokers stated that lengthy, complicated deals are the new norm!

MNCAR Award Aurora Center

This post was written by Sara Meddock, with information from Tom Martin. Tom Martin is a senior director with Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq. Tom focuses on tenant representation services to retail clients.


Posted in West St. Paul

Walgreens confirms plans for new Nicollet Mall store

MSPBJ reports that Walgreens has signed a lease for 37,000 square feet on Minneapolis’ Nicollet Mall where it plans to open a new store next year.

The lease was signed this week, but there aren’t may details to announce yet, said Phil Caruso, a spokesman for the Deerfield, Ill.-based company.

It is likely that the existing Walgreens at 815 Nicollet Mall will close when the new one opens. Construction will start early in 2015 and the store should be open sometime in the middle of the year, according to sources familiar with the deal who declined to be named because the deal hadn’t been formally announced.

Posted in Minneapolis

Chick-fil-A is planning a restaurant near Blaine’s Northtown Mall

MSPBJ reports that Chick-fil-A is planting another restaurant in the north metro area.

The Atlanta-based fast food chain is planning a 4,668-square-foot restaurant at 595 Northtown Drive. The site is currently a parking lot next to Blaine’s Northtown Mall.

The project is up for a vote by the City Council in early January. The company has told the city that construction will most likely start in spring, Blaine Community Development Director Bryan Schafer said. Schafer said that the restaurant would probably open in fall 2015.

Posted in Blaine