Photo by Jeff Wheeler
A Chicago investment firm has purchased Calhoun Square and an adjacent vacant lot in Uptown’s busy retail district for $34.5 million, half of the more than $69 million the shopping center sold for five years ago.
The Uptown landmark on the corner of Lake Street and Hennepin Avenue has had its struggles with several retailers recently departing the building including the Libertine restaurant in September and Famous Dave’s earlier this year.
Northpond Partners, which purchased the site from Minneapolis-based the Ackerberg Group last week, plans to make “significant changes” to Calhoun Square after some research and consultation with residents, said Sam Ankin, managing principal of Northpond Partners.
“We are super cognizant and understand that Calhoun Square has not been working,” Ankin said, in an interview Thursday morning. “We really believe that’s not because of the location or the neighborhood. That’s because of the mix of the building and the wrong tenants.”
Ankin said Northpond is open to a range of different uses for the 171,000-square-foot center, and the firm will take the next two to four months to explore its options.
Uptown like St. Paul’s Grand Avenue shopping boulevard is going through a transition with it losing long-term retail stores North Face and Columbia earlier this year. But Ankin said the neighborhood is still vibrant with the addition of new apartments, the location’s high walkability, and the popularity of the nearby Chain of Lakes.
“We just think that it’s still the best if not one of the best urban neighborhoods in the Twin Cities,” Ankin said.
Northpond Partners is an investor and operator of retail and urban mixed-use properties with its current portfolio including the Broadway and Icehouse Plaza properties in Minneapolis.