Minnetonka-based Opus Development Co. confirmed Friday that it is the buyer of the Seven Corners hardware store in St. Paul.
Details on plans for the site at 216 W. 7th St. are scant, but Opus said "an exciting mixed-use development" is in the works. The plans include an adjacent parcel owned by the Free at Last Church of God in Christ, the developer said.
The W. 7th Street stretch is near Xcel Energy Center, which opened in 2000. The entertainment and sports venue has attracted a number of bars and restaurants, and one, Cossetta Alimentari, invested in a $10 million expansion.
A family-owned landmark since 1933, Seven Corners announced earlier this month that it was closing by June 1. Store President Bill Walsh, who lives in California, told the Star Tribune at the time that he turned down numerous offers for the property. But, he said, the timing and developer behind this deal "was just right."
Opus' involvement in the deal emerged on Friday.
Dave Menke, Opus executive vice president, said in a statement, "Seven Corners Hardware is a well-known property in downtown St. Paul, and when the owners decided to close the store and sell the land, Opus responded quickly.
"We see this as a unique opportunity to redevelop a key piece of property in a market that is experiencing very dynamic growth," Menke said, noting the firm is just beginning its planning efforts.
Joe Campbell, Mayor Chris Coleman's spokesman, said, "Seven Corners is a St. Paul institution, and we will miss that business. But ultimately, it's their choice to sell, and we're thrilled they sold to Opus."
He said that, based on meetings between the mayor, city staff and Opus, the developer has been responsive to potential concerns. "We have no doubt they'll be great neighbors," he said. "Their purchase and redevelopment speaks to the fact that St. Paul is a prime spot for investment."
Opus confirmed that the church property next door at 200 W. 7th St. is included in the project. The pastor of the church, Joseph Webb, could not be reached for comment Friday.
Real estate listings for the 37,000-square-foot, 77-year-old church say the asking price is $3 million, while Ramsey County property records indicate a market value of $2.4 million. The property was last purchased in 1995 for $304,700.