Coon Rapids Auto Service Mall 2620-2704 Coon Rapids Blvd. NW, Coon Rapids
Year built: 1987
Leasing agent: Mid-America Real Estate Minnesota
Details: In a move indicative of the changing identity of Coon Rapids Boulevard, the leasing agents for a mall built to house car-oriented businesses have obtained a zoning change to allow other types of retail uses.
When the Coon Rapids Auto Service Mall was built by auto dealer Jim Lupient in the late 1980s as part of a wave of auto repair mall development, Coon Rapids Boulevard was home to a thriving row of car dealerships, but they started disappearing when the new Hwy. 10 opened farther north.
Now, after years of neglect, a 6-mile stretch of the original Hwy. 10 is the focus of redevelopment efforts, which has resulted in a growing medical office hub in the “Port Wellness” area around Mercy Hospital.
The car-oriented zoning that had been placed on the mall when it was first built was lifted by the Coon Rapids City Council last week at the urging of the owner and its agent, Mid-America Real Estate. The property was instead redesignated as “general commercial,” allowing for general highway-oriented retail businesses, and an amendment to the city’s comprehensive plan was made.
Mid-America’s Luke Rieger said the request was made when non-auto businesses expressed interest in filling some of the vacant space at the mall, which once housed such national chain tenants as Abra Auto Body, Jiffy Lube and Enterprise Rent-a-Car.
“Some of the current members of our real estate team were involved in its original development in 1987-88,” he said. “The fact that we’re now moving away from the concept and opening it up to some other uses, with them being involved again, was an interesting process.”
The former Jiffy Lube space has been leased, but the mall is still looking to land tenants for 5,534 vacant square feet.
Don Jacobson is a freelance writer in St. Paul. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.