Sears Redevelopment

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mattaudio
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Sears Redevelopment

Postby mattaudio » August 1st, 2012, 12:58 pm

Never been in the Sears, but it amazes me that a giant 4+ square block piece of parking lot was able to be built a block from the Capitol. It seems like a prime spot for redevelopment. Have there ever been plans?

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spectre000
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Re: Sears

Postby spectre000 » August 1st, 2012, 1:47 pm

If you walk around the capital grounds and its neighboring buildings you'll notice a lot of parking lots and ramps. Kinda surprising, but not really given all the office space in the vicinity. I don't find Sears lots particularly unusual or out of place because of that. Still I wouldn't mind seeing some development around there. I think the store probably performs well, it's lasted this long afterall. I've been to the auto center there and it's crazy busy at times.

As for development plans I don't think there's ever been anything serious. Downtown business owner and perennial city council candidate Bill Hosko once proposed buildng an 800+ ft observation tower there (others suggested the Cleveland Circle site near the "X"). But there are height limits around the capital (145') that extend even across I-94. If or when Sears goes out of business (and I think that day is coming) then the site will hopefully be sold and redeveloped into something more attractive.

But still it's not exactly a high end neighborhood. Any redevelopment will likely be geared towards government office use.

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Re: Sears

Postby mulad » August 1st, 2012, 2:02 pm

That whole area got bulldozed a long time ago before the Sears went in, of course. The store was built by 1966 (even before I-94 was completed to the south), as seen in the aerials in this blog post of mine:

http://hizeph400.blogspot.com/2011/12/r ... r-lrt.html

Today, part of the parking area is actually used as a state capitol parking lot. The state government seems a bit addicted to providing nearby parking to their employees.

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Re: Sears

Postby THERAT » August 1st, 2012, 2:47 pm

I remember at one time it was casually tossed out as a stadium site. Got a Ted Williams AMF bike there way back when.

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Nathan
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Re: Sears

Postby Nathan » August 1st, 2012, 4:19 pm

mulad wrote:That whole area got bulldozed a long time ago before the Sears went in, of course. The store was built by 1966 (even before I-94 was completed to the south), as seen in the aerials in this blog post of mine:

http://hizeph400.blogspot.com/2011/12/r ... r-lrt.html

Today, part of the parking area is actually used as a state capitol parking lot. The state government seems a bit addicted to providing nearby parking to their employees.
Holy Crap. I had never seen the destruction laid out like that D:

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Re: Sears

Postby Nathaniel » August 8th, 2012, 8:26 am

mattaudio wrote:Never been in the Sears, but it amazes me that a giant 4+ square block piece of parking lot was able to be built a block from the Capitol. It seems like a prime spot for redevelopment. Have there ever been plans?
Sears, as a company, has to be hanging on by a thread lately. I'm thinking the site will likely be something else in the next 10 years. Proximity to light rail will hopefully make it a more attractive residential area. The capitol area has some great buildings, but it often times quiet and acts as a slight barrier.

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Re: Sears

Postby Wedgeguy » August 8th, 2012, 5:56 pm

Nathaniel wrote:
mattaudio wrote:Never been in the Sears, but it amazes me that a giant 4+ square block piece of parking lot was able to be built a block from the Capitol. It seems like a prime spot for redevelopment. Have there ever been plans?
Sears, as a company, has to be hanging on by a thread lately. I'm thinking the site will likely be something else in the next 10 years. Proximity to light rail will hopefully make it a more attractive residential area. The capitol area has some great buildings, but it often times quiet and acts as a slight barrier.
When I lived in St. Paul I would go to the Sears as there was a driver's registration station there for license, tab's and other paperwork dealing with car sales and title transfers. It is a good sized store that is in need of an over haul in the long run if it is to reamin a retail store. In my opinion there is way too much parking lot for as few customers as they have in their store at any given time. And I'm including Christmas shopping season.
Most of this sea of parking I believe is leased to the state for employee parking. 70 to 80% of that parking could be eliminated and there would still be enough parking for their customer base. We need to remember that they will soon be only a few blocks from the Rice street station so people from a distance can now come to Sears without a care for small purchases. Not got to by a table saw and take it on the Lightrail, but you get my drift. Clothing, small applinces, hand tools, etc.A huge portion of the street front on Rice is balnk open parking lot from University to The hotel that fronts the 94 frontage road. This whole section should become retail to compliment the Sears store. I'd propose a street level retail area froning rice street, with a parking deack built over the retail, but set back from the street. You could have roof top patios over looking the Capitol on teh single story sections. MAybe work in a small 2 to 3 story office building closer to the Rice Street station or closer to the hotel for small companies that do alot of business with the state. Between Rice street and Sears you build a 3 to 4 level parking deck that can be used by customer of the retail section and have a section of contract parking for the state emploees. About there the pergilla is on the east side of Sear. that area would be an enclosed walkway to Sears with stores lining the walkway so people can get to Sears from Rice street. I'll stop for now as I could continue, but I'd like some feedback.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Sears

Postby FISHMANPET » August 8th, 2012, 7:33 pm

Sears is primarily a real estate company now. They bought a couple of stores from K-mart, and then K-mart used that capital to buy Sears, and renamed the company back to Sears, but it's basically a real estate holding company that operates some retail stores now.

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Re: Sears

Postby nickmgray » September 3rd, 2012, 3:48 pm

I've been in to the sears a few times, but only because I forgot something and knew it was right there. If I had to choose, I'd never shop there. The store is mainly empty with very few employees and fewer customers.

Once the the central corridor is up and running, I wouldn't be surprised if this place was torn down and turned into a proper retail center with a mixture of residential options. It's not a bad location being just blocks from downtown and the lite rail line will make this area a lot more appealing.

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Re: Sears

Postby Wedgeguy » September 3rd, 2012, 5:28 pm

[quote="nickmgray"]I've been in to the sears a few times, but only because I forgot something and knew it was right there. If I had to choose, I'd never shop there. The store is mainly empty with very few employees and fewer customers.

Once the the central corridor is up and running, I wouldn't be surprised if this place was torn down and turned into a proper retail center with a mixture of residential options. It's not a bad location being just blocks from downtown and the lite rail line will make this area a lot more appealing.[/quote

They will not really invest money into this store until there is truely a need to, But this could be in the future the anchor to a retail district if they play their cards right!

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spectre000
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Re: Sears

Postby spectre000 » December 21st, 2012, 11:11 pm

A little blurb in the latest MetCouncil press release about all the redevelopment along the Green Line. Nice to hear some things in the works.

http://www.metrocouncil.org/transportat ... 121221.pdf
"In addition, these St. Paul development projects are also in the planning or early design
phases:
• Rice Street Station – Sears store site redevelopment"

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Re: Sears

Postby twincitizen » December 23rd, 2012, 9:15 pm

Station Area Plan document from 2008 http://www.stpaul.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/7500

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spectre000
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Re: Sears

Postby spectre000 » January 3rd, 2013, 4:39 pm

Hmm, some good news. Could someone provide a synopsis due to the paywall?


http://finance-commerce.com/2013/01/sea ... paul-site/

"While Macy’s prepares to pack its bags, Sears is poised to double down on its St. Paul property."

Unity77
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Re: Sears

Postby Unity77 » January 3rd, 2013, 4:48 pm

This is huge!! :shock:

Highlights from the article below:
Sears wants to add retail, office, housing at St. Paul site
By Drew Kerr

* Sears wants to build new retail and office space, townhomes and apartments.

* The 14-acre Sears site, assessed at $15.5 million, is west of the State Capitol and a block south of the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit line

* The Sears store and auto center will remain in place, but the store’s footprint will be downsized from 187,000 square feet to 175,000 square feet to make way for a pair of new retail spaces

* 111,700 square feet of retail space, including a pair of two-story buildings on the southeast and southwest ends of the Sears building.

* Two smaller retail buildings are also proposed along Rice Street.

* 121 apartments and 18 townhomes at North Marion Street and Aurora Avenue, in the northwest corner of the property.

* A four-story, 112,000-square-foot office building on the northeast corner of the site. Another 12,600 square feet of office space would be built on top of a new retail building on the southeast corner.

* A four-level, 586-space parking garage on the northeast corner of the site, at Rice Street and Aurora Avenue. Another 701 surface parking spaces would be retained on the property’s south end.

* Sears spokesman Howard Riefs would not say much the redevelopment is expected to cost, or if any tenants had been lined up. More information will be shared in the coming weeks, he said.

* Additional details could come Jan. 16, when the project goes to the Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board for design concept approval.

* The state planning agency has design and zoning authority on the site because of its proximity to the state Capitol campus.

* Cecile Bedor, St. Paul’s director of Planning & Economic Development, said the city is enthused about adding density to an area now dominated by more than 1,200 parking spaces.

“When asked when they might get going, they [Sears] used the word expeditious quite a bit,” Thompson said.
Last edited by Unity77 on January 3rd, 2013, 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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spectre000
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Re: Sears

Postby spectre000 » January 3rd, 2013, 4:58 pm

Wow!

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Nathan
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Re: Sears

Postby Nathan » January 3rd, 2013, 6:03 pm

Can't wait to see what they have cooked up! I think sears corp probably makes more money from real estate than product anymore anyways ;)

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spectre000
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Re: Sears

Postby spectre000 » January 3rd, 2013, 6:26 pm

Sounds like the city will have to find a new dumping ground when it snows. :D

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Re: Sears

Postby mulad » January 3rd, 2013, 7:31 pm

F&C has site plans (not sure if that's paywalled or not, though).

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Re: Sears

Postby twincitizen » January 3rd, 2013, 11:27 pm

Love the idea of housing facing [s]Uni[/s] Aurora and Marion, but extremely disappointed that >60% of the area remains surface parking with no street grid to guide future, non-superblock development. Sears doesn't use that parking now and they likely won't use more after the addition of a ramp. I guess I'm not surprised about them not wanting to sell off any land, but there should be clear language in St. Paul comp plan about recreating normal sized blocks.

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Re: Sears

Postby transportationist » January 4th, 2013, 4:56 pm

I would view the parking as a place holder for Phase II development. If Phase I works well, develop the parking. If not, sell it off. No reason for them to commit now if they aren't planning on building now.


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