Hello and a very Happy New Year to you all!
The blog “Duluth’s Commercial Developments” will be shutting down by mid February and moving to it’s new site (http://cdinduluth.wordpress.com/). Please continue to follow the blog as there will be far more updates this year than last and also because it now is easier to navigate and features a new more modern view!
ALL new posts will be posted on the new blog site, and this site will no longer be used, effective today (01/24/11).
Don’t worry. We will still be here. Just keeping up with the times!
Thank you so much for following!
Blockbuster will close its Duluth location that is located on Central Entrance in March of 2012. The Cloquet location will remain open.
This closing is part of a larger set of closings where 10 Twin Cities locations are also closing. No information on why the stores are closing is listed. More information will come as it is available. Seven stores will remain open in Minnesota (Bloomington, Rosemount, West St. Paul, Minneapolis, Edina, Cloquet and Mountain Iron).
Well it seems like in my book a week really is almost three. Sorry the delay! As for updates… I have a few! A lot of these will be repetitive for Duluth residents, so once again my apologies for that.
Applebee’s has completed a three day, yet extensive, remodel of it’s Miller Hill Mall location. the remodel included swaping out exterior signage and awnings, along with completely updating the interior (included a major renovation of the bar). The new remodel features the characteristics of Applebee’s newest, and very modern, prototype. Definitely worth checking out!
Bed, Bath, & Beyond
Wait…what? It finally opened? Yes folks! That’s correct! BBB has finally opened it’s Duluth location, making it the first northern MN location for the retailer! The new store is located next to Buffalo Wild Wings and Home Choice in the former space of Gander Mountain and is the final tenant for the building. Featuring a slightly smaller footprint than a normal BBB, the new Duluth location still offers quite an array of items that are guaranteed to satisfy and Bed, Bath and Beyond fan.
Great American Bar and Grill ***CLOSED
The Great American Bar and Grill has closed in the Miller Hill Mall. It seems as if Grandma’s restaurants luck in the mall has finally run out. But not necessisarily due to lack of sales. According to sources the mall raised the rent on the GA space, which usually is a sign that there are other retailers in the space. Having said that, the moment the space closed the mall said that there are TWO food retailers filling the space. Being the GA had space on the streetscape it would not be surprising to see a completely renovation of the space as seen with the former Walgreens (Coldwater Creek, AT&T, and Five Guys) space and also the former Champs space (Ulta). I know many Duluthians are crossing their fingers that a Chiptole, Noodles & Company or Panera Bread location locates in the space. The truth is, none of us will know probably 2012. I’ll be sure to update you if anything is found out.
Walgreens Opens! And starts construction…
The new Walgreens on Superior Street has opened after a relitvely quick construction. The new space, located only a block down the road from the former location in the Plaza Shopping Center, features the new modern interior prototype, along with a larger footprint, parking lot, and Drive-thru Pharmacy. While one Walgreens opens in Duluth, another one begins construction! The Walgreens in Kenwood has finally gotten the green light and construction has begin. The fifth Walgreens location in the Twin Ports is being built on the corner of Arrowhead and Kenwood, and no not where you think. Instead of being built on the empty lot that currently sits on the corner, Walgreens was forced to build on the opposite corner. In the process they had to raze three houses, an apartment building and gas station. Interesting huh? The new location will feature a modern exterior made from metal, glass and various stucco and brick. The new store will be around the same size as the store that just opened on Superior Street and will also feature the new modern interior prototype, as well as a drive-thru Pharmacy. The new Kenwood Walgreens (which is replacing the current location which replaced Falk’s Pharmacy) will hopefully open by late Winter or Spring 2012.
A new BBQ chain is coming to Duluth! Dickey’s BBQ just announced it will be opening a location in Duluth in the coming year. Where? Well… we actually have no idea as of right now. The chain, known for it’s delicious and fast BBQ ribs and brisket, already has a few locations in the Twin Cities area. Look here for more information on it’s location and it’s opening date.
Sprint is opening a new store in the Miller Hill Mall with in the coming months. The exact location is still unknown. Also unknown… the fact of whether or not they will close the Stone Ridge Shopping location when the mall location opens. They have begun hiring though which is a sign that the opening of the mall location must not be that far off. More news to come.
Kolar Chevrolet Dealership
Kolar has begun construction on it’s new Chevrolet dealership which is being built on Arrowhead Road. The new dealership will be replacing the Luther dealership Kolar bought last year. Once the new dealership is built, Kolar will move operations from the dealership location on the corner of Mall Drive and Loberg Road to new dealership on Haines. More details to come!
Walmart becomes a Supercenter!
Walmart has completed it’s expansion of it’s Hermantown location, thus making it into a Supercenter. The store has been completely renovated inside and out and now features a full grocery section, Subway and Cost Cutters location. The interior feature a cool blue tone, while the exterior features modern curved roofs, stucco, and metal characteristics. Great news for Duluthians? Not more driving to Superior or Cloquet to get your nearest Supercenter, now there’s one right in your backyard!
Boy does time fly by! Look for new updates in the coming week!
It’s finally official. CVS is indeed coming to Duluth, but not to where you think. All of the latest buzz about CVS is how they are buying up the Plaza retail center in the East End and will tear it down and build a new store on the opposite corner of the new Walgreen’s location. Well it turns out Duluth’s first CVS will actually be in the West End. Where? Directly across from Walgreen’s. CVS plans to begin construction sometime either in late May or early June on their new store. They will be a part of the new retail block currently being built on the corner of 40th and Grand Avenue. Currently the only tenant for the block is Napa Auto Parts (which is still being built). The CVS store will be on the corner where ICO currently is located. That store will be closed and demolished to make way for the new 13,600 square foot CVS store. So clearly Duluth will have two CVS stores by mid 2012. The question is… where will the third go? Currently the rumors I am hearing are that the old Ground Round location which was purchased originally by Members Cooperative Credit Union for their new branch, was actually re-sold to CVS for their Duluth Heights location. Not sure if there is any truth to that… but it is a possibility. So with this first store…the pharmacy battle begins.
Well some may have noticed that its been over 2 months since I last posted. And yes, there is a reason. When areavoices switched over to its new format I somehow lost my password and therefore was unable to post. But all is well now! And you’re also probably saying “What’s up with the new background?!” It just appealed to me because I feel like this is what my desk looks like at this very moment that I am writing this post. I’m glad to be back and ready to report!
Ulta finally is ready to open its doors, atleast they are crossing their fingers they are! Ulta plans to open its new Miller Hill Mall location on Monday October 25th. The new store, clad in all white (inside and out) will feature cosmetics, skincare, fragrance, and haircare products along with a full service salon. The prices are generally lower than other competitive stores such as Sephora. What sets the two stores apart? Ulta tends to carry a majority of name brand products, but does not carry as high-end of products as Sephora does. The other difference is that Ulta has a salon in ALL their locations. Seems like a gap in Duluth’s market finally will be fufilled on Monday when Ulta opens and as of right now it seems like it wont be too long before we see Ulta’s competitor Sephora enter the Duluth market also. More news to come.
I’m sure most people have seen at least one Discount Tire Co. location (pictured above) while down in the Twin Cities area. In December Discount Tire will finally make its way into the Duluth market with its first location in the area. Discount Tire Co. specilizies in, well, discounted tires and wheels and has 23 Minnesota locations. The new store will located on Central Entrance in the “Central Plaza” development in the former Car-X building. Work begun last month with projected opening of December 1st, 2010. The new store will employ 10 to 12 people.
It’s official. Bed Bath and Beyond will be coming to Duluth in 2011. They will be filling the space formerly filled by Gander Mountain across from the Miller Hill Mall. Buffalo Wild Wings filled the left hand portion of the front of the building and BBB will fill the entire right hand side. More news to come such as when construction will start and how many employees will work at this new location. Now what will happen with the final space in the old Gander Mountain? Well, word is that that space too has been filled.
The final retailer for the Gander Mountain building supposedly is Home Goods. To me this does not make sense being Home Goods locations usually encompass more than 20,000 sqf and the remaining space left over in the Gander Mountain after BBB and BWW is only a little more than 8,000 sqf. Unless they do some much expansion to the building or unless the store is two levels (which part of the building has room for two levels) I don’t see how this could work. But in the end it is official that Home Goods is coming to the Duluth market, whether or not they go in the old Gander Mountain building. For those of you who may not know what Home Goods is here is a quick summery. Home Goods is actually a branch of T.J. Maxx. They are almost the exact same as Pier 1 Imports in the fact that they sell the same types of products (home furnishings) but Home Goods follows the T.J. Maxx way of merchandising. They buy off extra product from designers and companies who have been unable to sell a product and then they therefore are able to sell their items at a relatively inexpensive price. More information to come.
Osaka Sushi Hibachi Steak House
I don’t have much information on this one, but here is what I do have. Osaka Sushi & Hibachi Steak House will be opening in the Burning Tree Plaza next to Regency Beauty Institute most likely with in the next month or two. This restaurant is a franchise and already has a pretty strong presence in the cities. They offer all types of sushi along with a hibachi grill experience too. The restaurant from what I have seen is split in half with a wall running down the middle. On one side there are the hibachi stations, on the other side there is basically just a restaurant set up. Guests will have the option to chose which experience they would like (the hibachi experience being the more expensive). I believe this is a great thing for the Duluth area because currently there Hibachi market is none existent and very under served. When more details come about I will be sure to post them here!
Panera Bread is coming to the Duluth market in 2011! Their first location in the area will be located either on Highway 53 or close to it (for sure in the Miller Hill Mall area). Details on the location area very sparce right now. But this does hold true to Panera’s promise from last year when they backed out of their lease in the space that currently is filled by Buffalo Wild Wings. When they did back out of the space they promised they would be in the Duluth market within the next year. More information to come!
McDonald’s is open! And boy is it nice! McDonald’s on London Road reopened its doors Friday morning at 4AM. The new store features the “Forever Young” prototype and it’s interior is built to resemble the same style as a “Starbucks”. Duluth’s really is quite nice. Even though all new McDonalds feature the same exterior design, all the interiors vary. Duluth’s features a wood ceiling, leather booths, modern light fixtures, bright yellow cushion chairs and unique wallpaper. When I say unique, that doesn’t mean its bad, that means it’s very creative. The wallpaper gives off the look of just a modern wallpaper design with geometric shapes. But when you look closer you see that embedded behind the shapes are images of St. Scholastica’s “Tower Hall”, the Aerial Lift Bridge, Canal Park, the William A. Irvin and UMD. It’s very cool! Head down to London Road and take a look at Duluth’s newest McDonald’s!
Check back later this week for news on a new “Master Planned Power Center” coming to Duluth Heights.
Work continues on the new Ulta store at the Miller Hill Mall. The store is schedueled to open in September (shocking being there is so much work that has yet to be completed. The new Duluth Ulta store will also feature "The Salon at Ulta." By the looks of the construction it seems that the renovation will also include a full exterior renovation which has just started to begin. The store will open on September 20th, 2010.
Unicel has closed its only Duluth location. The company and Duluth location recently were aquired by Verizon Wireless which said that it was unsure of what would happen to the Unicel locations once the transferring of its lines were completed. Not all Unicel locations have closed, but the Verizon Wireless across the road from Unicel may have played a role in the closure of the Duluth Unicel. Once details emerge of what will fill the former space that Unicel occupied you can be sure to find them here.
Best Buy Mobile opened its Miller Hill Mall location on Monday July 19th. The new store sells phones, plans and accessories under the Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T carrier names. What this store has basically done is made it far easier for customers to compare different carriers and their offerings when deciding to sign a new contract. It helps customers find exactly what the want and the best deals, all while remaining at one conviently located space. The store is very similar to the Mobile section that can be found inside the Best Buy store at the Burning Tree Plaza. The new store fills the former space of Gordon’s Jewelers.
Its confirmed, Bed Bath & Beyond will be opening up its first Twin Ports location in Duluth this coming year. The exact opening date and location details have yet to emerge. The most logical space that Bed Bath & Beyond would open in would be the remaining space of the former Gander Mountain. Other possible locations could be Duluth Hill or the new Greendale Commerical Development that currently is signing tenants. Check back for more details!
As most already know, McDonalds has closed its East End location on London Road and is currently rebuilding the location which is schedueled to open in October 2010. The new location will feature what is known as the "Swish Eyebrow" or "Forever Young" prototype (As pictured below), a completely different look than what the new McDonalds on Central Entrance has. Look for the new location to feature Flat Screen TVs, fabric covered seats, computer outlets and subdued lighting. These new McDonalds locations are aimed to look somewhat along the lines of Starbuck’s locations. They are meant to encourage people to stay and linger and either watch the news on the TVs or surf the internet on their laptops while eating their food. The new location will change the landscape of the site dramatically. The new site will have a better traffic configuration and better entrances and exits. And various reports have also reported that the hill that McDonalds currently sits on will be lowered to bring the new site closer to street level. Below is a picture of the "Forever Young" prototype that the new Duluth McDonalds will be designed after.
Culvers will open its Mall Drive location on Monday, May 24th. The new location has been under costruction since October 2009, but the wait will be worth it. The interior is almost complete while the final touches are being put on the outside this week, such as the signs, paving of the parking lot and lights.
Ulta will be opening its Duluth store in August. It will be going in the Champs space and the old Charter space. The store now is rumoured to be two levels and over 10,000 square feet. It has been said that Ulta may even demolish the entire space that Champs and Charter encompassed, including walls and ceiling, and build an entirely new store in that space. An announcement is expected to be put out within the next month.
You read correctly! The final space in the outside line up of retailers in the Miller Hill Mall’s streetscape has been filled. AT&T started construction this week on their new retail location. It will be located between Five Guys and Coldwater Creek. The store will be replacing AT&T’s kiosk in the Miller Hill Mall and also their retail location on Maple Grove Road. The new location will be bigger than the Maple Grove Road location and will therefore have the ability to carry more products. Look for AT&Ts new Miller Hill Mall location to open in early July 2010.
Finish Line opened its Miller Hill Mall store on Friday April, 2nd. It is located next to Hollister in the former space of Christopher and Banks, which recently moved to where C.J. Banks previously was located. Finish Line has over 600 stores and is the second largest shoe retailer in the U.S. Finish Line can be compared to Champs, but Finish Line also carries brand name shoes such as Lacoste and Puma.
Whats the newest store coming to the Miller Hill Mall? Best Buy Mobile! Best Buy Mobile plans to open a 3,500 square foot store in the Miller Hill Mall by late Spring or early Summer. Best Buy Mobile locations "offer customers a wider variety of cell phones than their other locations, some of which are "unlocked" phones that can be used on any GSM network." Best Buy Mobile also offers "services comparable to those from carrier stores, including but not limited to a number transfer machine, warranty service on any phone, loaner phones, and the most popular carriers." The locations within the mall that seem most suitable for the Best Buy Mobile store are the space next to Dressbarn that has yet to ever have been occupied since the remodel, the space on the streetscape between Five Guys and Coldwater Creek or the space currently occupied by KBF uniforms. More information about the exact location and opening date are to come!