Saint Paul Retail News

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twincitizen
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Saint Paul Retail News

Postby twincitizen » December 28th, 2012, 4:00 pm

The clock is running out on Downtown St. Paul's Macy's. Their obligation to the city is up at the end of 2012.

http://www.twincities.com/business/ci_2 ... s-numbered

Interestingly, the article mentions the success of Grand Avenue as one of the nails in the coffin for Downtown St. Paul's retail scene. Seems plausible enough.

Please Target, please do the right thing and open a store in that location! Downtown St. Paul needs you!

Aville_37
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Re: Saint Paul Retail News

Postby Aville_37 » December 28th, 2012, 9:25 pm

I think if Target tears the building down and puts up a new store, it would be a great win for downtown St. Paul. Sadly, I think Mpls. has a greater chance of a retail resurgence than downtown St. Paul. The business community in Mpls. is much more diverse, and hate to say it, more cosmo. St. Paul's employer base is government/banking and it's employees a bit more frugal when it comes to spending money.

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Re: Saint Paul Retail News

Postby mulad » December 28th, 2012, 10:07 pm

I'm generally not a fan of tearing things down, but starting over on this site might not be a bad idea -- The access ramps for parking along 6th Street are unpleasant to deal with for pedestrians (the sidewalk gets diverted into a hidden area behind the ramps) and the building itself is like a hulking monolith without any windows. (It seems that the design was common for Dayton's buildings of the era, though -- I think the former Dayton's building in downtown Rochester had a similar exterior.)

twincitizen
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Re: Saint Paul Retail News

Postby twincitizen » December 29th, 2012, 2:22 am

Agreed. This building is a disaster from a pedestrian perspective. It would be great if whatever replaces it allowed 7th Place to continue through as a pedestrian mall (albeit slightly askew from the current portion due to Wells Fargo).

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spectre000
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Re: Saint Paul Retail News

Postby spectre000 » December 31st, 2012, 5:05 pm

I agree that a Target store here could do very well. But I would be worried if they included a large grocery department. I'd hate to see it competing against the new Lunds. It would have the advantage of being skyway connected, which would be a huge plus. And the prospects of subsidies from the city would be high. Lunds is paying (about $2 million) the full cost of its store's buildout in the Penfield, and a market rate lease.

I'm not sure I like the idea of continuing the 7th Place mall though to Cedar. I think the grade seperation from Wabasha to Cedar could be problematic. The elevation changes by about 10+ feet downhill from Wabasha to Cedar. Plus it would end with the light rail tracks on Cedar and the unpleaseant streetscape courtesy of the Town Square building. The northern side (Wells Fargo Place, (WFP)) would likely be a continuos wall too. I can't see any way the WFP's owners would remodel the exterior with windows and storefronts. It's a nice idea in theory, but making it practical and successful sounds very cost prohibitive.

I do agree that if they tear the building down, the new one should include more windows and have a more pedestrian/open feel.

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Re: Saint Paul Retail News

Postby ECtransplant » January 1st, 2013, 12:23 am

I really would not want St. Paul to throw subsidies at Target. The last thing we need is for Minneapolis and St. Paul to inch toward a subsidy war over Target jobs.

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Nick
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Re: Saint Paul Retail News

Postby Nick » January 1st, 2013, 12:20 pm

Well Minneapolis gave them $60 million to build a profitable store downtown, so it only seems fair...that said, St. Paul is really starting a precedent by subsidizing the heck out of all of their downtown development.

mattaudio
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Re: Saint Paul Retail News

Postby mattaudio » January 1st, 2013, 12:28 pm

They've been doing it since at least the 80s. Never a better time to quit the habit than now. Lowertown is doing fine without subsidies.

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spectre000
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Re: Saint Paul Retail News

Postby spectre000 » January 1st, 2013, 2:31 pm

mattaudio wrote:They've been doing it since at least the 80s. Never a better time to quit the habit than now. Lowertown is doing fine without subsidies.
The government money is flowing quite well in Lowertown. The Union Depot, CCLRT, Lowertown Ballpark, Lofts at Farmers Market. Smaller grants/loans have been given to Barrio and Bedlam Theater, among others. Even some of the brighter projects, like the $46 million Pioneer Endicott apartment conversion was given a $2.5 million TIF loan. The fact that it's 95% privately funded is pretty remarkable for a downtown St. Paul project.

In my mind, these sort of government funded projects aren't the worst enemy for the market. The government building office buildings hurts it the most. Despite a few large government (i.e. Elmer Anderson Bldg) and quasi-private office projects (Lawsons) over the last 10-15 years, downtown has actually absorbed a lot of space. If our leaders can avoid building more vanity projects and let the market absorb another half million or more square feet of space, downtown could see rental rates and values climb higher. Thus encouraging private developers to step forward and build on their own.

The city seems to have shifted gears from building office buildings to apartment ones now though. I'm a bit biased since I live downtown and will benefit nicely with having a Lunds so close to me. But hopefully the city will divest themselves of the Lofts at FM and the Penfield soon so as to not appear to be in competition with private building owners.

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Re: Saint Paul Retail News

Postby blobs » January 2nd, 2013, 12:52 pm

'doze it. Good riddance

pfreyre
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Re: Saint Paul Retail News

Postby pfreyre » January 2nd, 2013, 4:00 pm

It's official, the downtown St. Paul Macy's will be closing.
Store employees were to be told this week that the store will shut down in late March, according to sources who did not want to be named.
http://www.startribune.com/local/stpaul/185462222.html

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Re: Saint Paul Retail News

Postby Suburban Outcast » January 2nd, 2013, 6:03 pm

pfreyre wrote:It's official, the downtown St. Paul Macy's will be closing.
Store employees were to be told this week that the store will shut down in late March, according to sources who did not want to be named.
http://www.startribune.com/local/stpaul/185462222.html
That was bound to happen sooner or later, but it's probably a good time for it to happen since the Green Line should be able to attract some new retail development on that site I hope. If there was a Target built, would they put offices or residences above it? I would love to at least a mid-rise go in there since it's right in the Downtown Core.

twincitizen
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Re: Saint Paul Retail News

Postby twincitizen » January 3rd, 2013, 12:14 am

Someone left a really good comment, especially by Strib standards. I felt it was worth sharing here:
No downtown supporter likes to see this, but it has been a foregone conclusion for years. As with Ford in Highland Park, this was eventually going to happen. It was just a matter of when. Let's get this over with and move on. This 1960s-era big box building is an eyesore. Let's get a non-suburban style mixed-use building on that site with streetfront shops, as downtown retail should be. Smaller-scale retail will come organically with more downtown residents. Don't even *think* about another inward-oriented mall concept. Much as Mpls. did with the Gateway district, St. Paul razed much of its CBD in the 1960s and is still suffering the effects today. Some of the most ill-conceived and destructive things ever done to cities were in the name of 1960s "urban renewal," which clear cut acres of historic buildings in order to make cities look more suburban. The planners from that era should've been locked up for life.

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Re: Saint Paul Retail News

Postby THERAT » January 3rd, 2013, 9:13 am

This building still has a fairly large parking ramp associated with it that may entice a future retailer or some sort of office use. Just a thought but ECOLAB has grown steadily over the years across the street. Don't know what their future office needs are downtown. They also have a campus in Mendota Heights. Just can't see a major retailer taking over this location. Very light night and weekend foot traffic.

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spectre000
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Re: Saint Paul Retail News

Postby spectre000 » January 3rd, 2013, 9:30 am

My impression of Ecolab is there pretty budget conscious. I'd love to see them expand in downtown. They probably could stand to have 10-25k sq ft more in space. But I just don't see them as moving into a new construction or expensively remodeled space. They seem to be pretty conservative.

I wonder if a CityTarget could do well in the location? Does anyone know the sq footage of the Macy's for comparison? A CityTarget is still about 100,000 sq ft. That's sounds awfully big.

twincitizen
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Re: Saint Paul Retail News

Postby twincitizen » January 3rd, 2013, 12:59 pm

MinnPost's take, with a few quotes from St. Paul officials: http://www.minnpost.com/two-cities/2013 ... pportunity

F-C, as usual, does the most in-depth reporting, with numbers. Houston & Honolulu are also losing their downtown Macy's: http://finance-commerce.com/2013/01/mac ... portunity/

THERAT
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Re: Saint Paul Retail News

Postby THERAT » January 3rd, 2013, 3:08 pm

Before the city goes rushing into another OPPORTUNITY(subsidy), let's see how the current projects - rail -Penfeild/Lunds - Saints..etc pan out. Ideally everything works out and the site becomes attractive for re-use or new development without too much public involvement.

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Re: Saint Paul Retail News

Postby Wedgeguy » January 3rd, 2013, 3:48 pm

St. PAul need to take a breather and look at the long term future of the city. We saw the Farmer's Market apartments basically sold out months before predictions. So there is demand to live in St. Paul. Some of the other inverstments that have been made have been made by more than just the city. The LRT and Union Depot are regional assets that have their hub in St. Paul. LEt's see what happens when the buses, Greyhound and Jefferson really start to use the Depot and Amtrak also gets their portion open. The Ball park will generate a ton of business for the Lowertown bars and restraunts, if the Union Depot opening weekend is any indication. I see more houseing being developed on the vacant lots in Lowertown and up by the Embassy Suites. To best of my knowledge there are not companies moving outof the Dtwn, but a few like Lawson are not what they used to be. Like MPLS, there is an ever growing populatioin in the city's core. Not sure it Target would put a store in, or if someone like Herbgers would want to expand with their store at Rosedale. MAybe it is time to redevlope the block and get a better pedestian flow thru the block . I still see retail happening on the block, but with the different elevations of that block it will make it more of a challenge.

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spectre000
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Re: Saint Paul Retail News

Postby spectre000 » January 3rd, 2013, 4:34 pm

Well the company I work for is in the process of leaving downtown. A fairly empty building is about to be even more so very soon. Depressing considering all the money being poured into the area.

It has seen a number of buildings reoccupied in recent years. But some sites have been sitting vacant for far too long (the parking lot across from Macy's w/ the skyway to nowhere, and 7 Corners site). The former post office building has been vacant for about 4 years now. The West Publishing building has been emptied. The former Ramsey county jail is empty. It took over 5 years before the Pioneer Endicott to get redeveloped.

It's a little frustrating to see the mayor tout the hundreds of new apartments in downtown, when over in Minneapolis they're talking about thousands, and mostly unsubsidized.

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Re: Saint Paul Retail News

Postby mulad » January 3rd, 2013, 7:22 pm

The Macy's press release had info on the sizes of the sites being closed/opened:
Store closings:
Bloomingdale’s:
  • Fashion Show Home Store, Las Vegas, NV (99,000 square feet; opened in 2002; 35 associates).
Macy’s:
  • Paseo Colorado, Pasadena, CA (158,000 square feet; opened in 1980; 116 associates);
  • Belmont, MA (75,000 square feet; opened in 1978; 101 associates);
  • Downtown Honolulu, HI (80,000 square feet; opened in 1850; 91 associates);
  • Downtown St. Paul, MN (362,000 square feet; opened in 1963; 153 associates);
  • Downtown Houston, TX (791,000 square feet; opened in 1947; 138 associates).
Store openings:
  • Mall of Victor Valley, Victorville, CA (103,000 square feet; to open spring 2013; approximately 140 associates);
  • Gurnee Mills, Gurnee, IL (140,000 square feet; to open in fall 2013; approximately 200 associates);
  • Mall at Bay Plaza, The Bronx, NY (160,000 square feet; to open in fall 2014; approximately 225 associates);
  • University Town Center, Sarasota, FL (160,000 square feet; to open in fall 2014; approximately 175 associates);
  • Shops at Summerlin, Las Vegas, NV (180,000 square feet; to open in fall 2014; approximately 160 associates).
The St. Paul store is huge, while the Houston one is ginormous (kind of surprising since news stories brought up a complaint that the St. Paul store didn't carry the whole line of products). The newer sites are much more consistent in size, it seems.


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