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.
- 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!
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.
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.
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.
The restaurant was stocked, staffed and ready to open. There was just one problem facing Salt Cellar, the Cathedral Hill neighborhood restaurant at the corner of Western and Selby in St. Paul. There was no liquor license. The liquor license was contingent on a parking issue.
Eater reports that the neighborhood already boasts several eateries, including W.A. Frost, Moscow on the Hill and Red Cow near the same intersection. The on street parking is limited and actual parking lots for guests are in even shorter supply. Salt Cellar’s owners ran into issues with the number of parking spots available for a 180 seat restaurant. Neighbors argued that there would not be enough to support the influx of traffic the restaurant will draw. The owners countered that they were “grandfathered” in from the parking allowed for the College of Visual Arts who last occupied the building.
In the end, the Board of Zoning Appeal sided with Salt Cellar. With the approval of the liquor license (and a plan for valet parking thanks to a nearby Boy Scouts parking lot) the restaurant announced that they will open for dinner service on December 20th.
MSPBJ reports that Peace Coffee is planning to open a retail location in the ground level of the Capella Tower in downtown Minneapolis.
CEO Lee Wallace confirmed Tuesday that the Minneapolis-based fair trade coffee company has chosen the newly-renovated tower as the site for its second stand-alone coffee shop. The bulk of Peace Coffee’s business is wholesale, though the company already has one retail shop in Minneapolis’ Longfellow neighborhood and an in-store outpost at Lakewinds Co-op’s Richfield store.
Wallace could not give further details about the project as of Tuesday. Workers training on-site said the shop would open in a few weeks.
Capella Tower, the 1.4-million-square-foot office tower at 225 South Sixth St., recently finished a $7 million renovation project.
Southwest Journal reports that Hoban Korean BBQ is opening a new location in the former Design within Reach space at 2939 Hennepin Ave.
The restaurant also has a location in Eagan.
The City Council’s Community Development and Regulatory Services Committee approved the restaurant’s liquor license application Tuesday.
The restaurant will have seating for 138 people. Hours will be 4 p.m.–2 a.m. daily.
Southwest Journal reports that the East Coast sub shop Jersey Mike’s has filled Dunn Bros’ shoes at 1504 W. Lake St.
“All the meats and cheeses are sliced on the line right in front of you,” said Marco Ayuso, assistant operations manager.
He said the roast beef is trimmed, tied and cooked in-house, the bread is baked fresh daily, and they’re known for No. 13: the Original Italian, with five different meats including cappacuolo.