White Castle and Holiday at Central & Hennepin

Northeast, Near North, Camden, Old St. Anthony, University and surrounding neighborhoods
grant1simons2
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Re: White Castle and Holiday at Central & Hennepin

Postby grant1simons2 » June 24th, 2016, 10:22 am

There are corner markets scattered throughout my neighborhood. Santana Foods, 8th St Market, and Maxwells are common for people to walk to, or occasionally drive to, and get the same stuff you'd find at a Holiday.

mattaudio
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Re: White Castle and Holiday at Central & Hennepin

Postby mattaudio » June 24th, 2016, 10:23 am

I'm not suggesting Holiday should be forced to close an existing gas station (though I do think it may be possible to not allow them to rebuild)... but I'm curious, how would Holiday's business be if they didn't have a gas station? If they were purely a corner convenience store?

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Re: White Castle and Holiday at Central & Hennepin

Postby Qhaberl » June 24th, 2016, 10:57 am

I would be curious about that as well. Especially given the density of that area. I would even be happy if holiday were to remain, but only as a convenience store.


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Re: White Castle and Holiday at Central & Hennepin

Postby RailBaronYarr » June 24th, 2016, 11:15 am

Lotta 7-Elevens in urban formats out there.

I mean, I'll say that at least both the buildings have okay frontage along the sidewalks? Doors, materials, whatever. I guess, it could be worse? But how hard would it be to have a wide alley running through the center of the site with these on each side of it? Knowing what we do about the future of fossil fuels and whatnot, I dunno, maybe not a terrible idea. But I didn't get a masters degree in urban gas station design so there's that.

As far as business models go for gas+cstores, what percent of drivers even walk into a store nowadays given pay-at-pump? Especially ones like this that serve the run o' the mill fillup where it's unlikely you need a snack or drink at the same time? I do some people watching at the BP on 36th/Lyndale, and rough guess it's maybe one in 5 or 6? Gotta believe a commercial space with 200 units above it would have that level of walk-up traffic, right? Not that the gummint can force people to invest millions in a massive building. But, you know. Just saying I'm unconvinced by the economics argument.

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Re: White Castle and Holiday at Central & Hennepin

Postby mattaudio » June 24th, 2016, 11:59 am

I've wondered this too... You always hear that gas stations use gas to bring in customers who then buy other products that actually have a profit margin. And that may work fine for a large-format suburban/rural gas station. But ultimately these gas stations are so ridiculously congested at certain times that it actually makes things worse to have people leaving their car at the pump and running in for a quick purchase.

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Re: White Castle and Holiday at Central & Hennepin

Postby Mcgizz » June 24th, 2016, 2:07 pm

mattaudio wrote:I've wondered this too... You always hear that gas stations use gas to bring in customers who then buy other products that actually have a profit margin. And that may work fine for a large-format suburban/rural gas station. But ultimately these gas stations are so ridiculously congested at certain times that it actually makes things worse to have people leaving their car at the pump and running in for a quick purchase.
It's a lot more complex than this as well. The layers involved here are numerous. This gas station has zero parking. You cannot drive to this gas station and leave your vehicle to enter the store portion of the station without leaving your vehicle at the pumps. I assume that is Holiday's main reason for this expansion/renovation. They are loosing out on possible customers due to the restricted nature of their lot and layout. I frequent this station for all sorts of things ranging from Mt. Dew to Mt. Dew Code Red and all the way to Mt. Dew Baja Blast. I would argue that the plurality of people shopping here are paying with cash. So often am I stuck in line waiting for some dude to pull out 2 twenties for gas. I think this speaks to the socioeconomic status of the clientele specific to this locale. There is more cash being used which in turn requires more people to enter the store. On the other hand, a suburban location may experience a larger percentage of customers able to use credit or debit cards that gives that location's patrons even less of a reason to enter the store. This location apart from being one of the few places in the immediate area that you can fill gas, buy a Dew and a pack of ciggies, is also located at a major intersection and a number of bus lines. It is a great location for this type of service.

I don't think you are wrong in arguing for something more urban, because this does feel on the surface at least to be a bit of a regression. I think this could work out though. There needs to be better street fronting for both buildings, bike racks for those types of customers, and better active uses for the dead spaces in the rendering just to start. We all know that Holiday station will not have a door facing the sidewalk along Central Ave either, so that has to change.

uncle phil
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Re: White Castle and Holiday at Central & Hennepin

Postby uncle phil » June 24th, 2016, 3:00 pm

The SuperAmerica station at University & Broadway is fairly close to this one. It always seems pretty busy - the pumps are used a lot and there are always people buying things inside. I think Holiday sees that level of success and thinks they could be a lot more like that with this type of development.

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Re: White Castle and Holiday at Central & Hennepin

Postby BruiserB » June 24th, 2016, 7:53 pm

As someone who lives in this neighborhood, I have to say I like this potential development. The main reason I don't used that Holiday station much is the congestion of the site. With all of the additional housing about to be constructed, the residents will want to have a decent gas station in the neighborhood. While I'm not a huge White Castle fan, I don't really mind it being part of the development. Also looks like the Holiday will get a car wash, which I'd be glad to have nearby. While it might be nice to see something go into the existing buildings on Central that will apparently be torn down, if there hasn't been interest, then I'd rather see a nice usable gas station than dilapidated under utilized buildings.

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Tcmetro
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Re: White Castle and Holiday at Central & Hennepin

Postby Tcmetro » June 25th, 2016, 10:15 pm

This could be an example of "land banking" in which the owner is going to wait out the build out of the neighborhood in anticipation of redevelopment at the highest potential value. Maybe it's a stretch though.

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Re: White Castle and Holiday at Central & Hennepin

Postby xandrex » June 27th, 2016, 11:34 am

The new layout is not great, but I’m not opposed to a rebuilt gas station and White Castle. Even urban neighborhoods can have places for cars to fill up.

This used to be right in my neighborhood, and I frequented it both for gas and as a general store when I needed a snack or a 2-liter. It does a ton of gas business (and a decent amount of them seem to be from a relatively nearby area given the traffic patterns I observed as people left) and being near several bus stops, there was always a line of people grabbing snacks or nearby workers getting a “meal.” In this sense, it’s not unlike the Holiday in the North Loop that does a decent gas business but also serves a lot of people who go inside.

I suppose the “best” option in my mind (assuming Holiday wants to stick around) is to push for an urban design that has good sidewalk presence and tucks the gas into the interior of the lot. Removing the car wash would be great, or at least get Holiday to require drying inside the facility rather than having that roaring along Hennepin.

I somewhat be grudgingly like 6th Street and don’t want it vacated, if only because it proved to be pretty good for neighborhood access during a lot of hours of the day (and the fire department definitely used it, so you’d need to figure that part out).

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Re: White Castle and Holiday at Central & Hennepin

Postby amiller92 » June 27th, 2016, 12:47 pm

xandrex wrote:The new layout is not great, but I’m not opposed to a rebuilt gas station and White Castle. Even urban neighborhoods can have places for cars to fill up.
Re-built might be okay, but this is rebuilding on a much bigger footprint, which seems like exactly the wrong direction to go.

Abroad you sometimes see a gas station built in to bigger structure. Is that even an option (fire and safety?). Like, how about the store and White Castle are part of a mixed-use structure with the pumps out on one side?

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Re: White Castle and Holiday at Central & Hennepin

Postby Silophant » June 27th, 2016, 1:01 pm

As long as the pumps are out in their own structure, I don't see why the convenience store portion would be any different than, say, a Walgreens as far as being a part of a mixed-use structure.

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Re: White Castle and Holiday at Central & Hennepin

Postby xandrex » June 27th, 2016, 1:18 pm

amiller92 wrote:Abroad you sometimes see a gas station built in to bigger structure. Is that even an option (fire and safety?). Like, how about the store and White Castle are part of a mixed-use structure with the pumps out on one side?
I'm not a big fan of the expanded footprint. It would be much better if they could redo it on the current footprints.

It seems they could combine the two buildings into one at the very least. Plenty of gas stations have places like White Castle in them.

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Re: White Castle and Holiday at Central & Hennepin

Postby sdho » July 26th, 2016, 11:18 am

mattaudio wrote:I'm not suggesting Holiday should be forced to close an existing gas station (though I do think it may be possible to not allow them to rebuild)... but I'm curious, how would Holiday's business be if they didn't have a gas station? If they were purely a corner convenience store?
I believe Holiday started as a larger grocery store format, and more recently morphed into the gas station/convenience store. As battery-electric cars become more prevalent, I hope they may go back to that. (Of course, some automotive needs will remain -- like car washes.) The only Holiday I'm aware of that doesn't have gas is the one that's the lobby of their headquarters on American Blvd.

In general, I like Holiday's urban design -- it's better than nearly any other chain gas station. But I agree this is disappointing.

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Re: White Castle and Holiday at Central & Hennepin

Postby mister.shoes » July 26th, 2016, 11:24 am

MoA still has the Holiday store on the west side along the hallway to the parking ramp, so that's a second one without a gas station, but I have always considered that more of a marketing piece than an actual store.
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Re: White Castle and Holiday at Central & Hennepin

Postby FISHMANPET » July 26th, 2016, 11:41 am

It also includes a vanity gas pump that doesn't actually have any gas and is locked at whatever price gas was when it opened. So yeah feels more like marketing. Though having one in HQ is probably more providing a service to employees and an easy test bed than it is having an actual profitable location as well.

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Re: White Castle and Holiday at Central & Hennepin

Postby sdho » July 26th, 2016, 11:53 am

Yeah the one at the HQ also feels sort of like marketing. It's not particularly accessible to any residential, and I think the only staff for the store are also staff they'd have anyway for reception.

Still, it is kinda neat. And now for a complete suburbanist confession: the lack of high-quality gas stations in the first ring and central cities is pretty frustrating. There is not a single modern gas station in Richfield (good-sized convenience area + car wash + at least tolerable urban design). The closest in Minneapolis is the Holiday at 36th/Cedar, but I usually go to Bloomington for gas.

So, I believe this is a niche to be filled. Not sure filling it should take up the entire block.

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Re: White Castle and Holiday at Central & Hennepin

Postby scottmann » July 26th, 2016, 1:07 pm

The Holiday corporate office lobby store is open to the public and actually gets a ton of use from the Walser dealership employees next door (both east and west). It's open M-F 7a-5p so anyone can check it out.

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Re: White Castle and Holiday at Central & Hennepin

Postby grant1simons2 » July 26th, 2016, 2:51 pm

#HailCorporate

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Re: White Castle and Holiday at Central & Hennepin

Postby mattaudio » July 27th, 2016, 10:59 am



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