Hot property: Maplewood LA Fitness
- Article by: Don Jacobson
- Special to the Star Tribune
- March 29, 2012 - 3:31 PM
1940 E. County Road D, Maplewood
Type: Retail Size: 37,012 square feet Site: 3.5 acres Developer: Solomon Real Estate Group
Details: Minnetonka-based Solomon Real Estate Group is adding to the momentum of a spurt of retail rehabs going on in and around Maplewood Mall with its plans to convert a vacant former Circuit City store into an LA Fitness center.
Solomon's plans, submitted to the city this month, include transforming the vacant former electronics store into the fitness chain's 15th Twin Cities-area location.
The 37,012-square-foot building just north of the mall was built in 1979 as a Child World store and converted into a Circuit City in 1993. It has sat vacant since shortly after the electronics chain filed for bankruptcy in 2008.
Solomon -- which previously developed a new building for LA Fitness in Brooklyn Park -- purchased the site last year.
As part of the renovations, a new entry using LA Fitness' signature rotunda style will be installed, an unsightly loading dock will be filled in, decorative parapets will be added, and the parking lot will be resurfaced and get new lighting.
"It was a good opportunity that presented itself at the right time," Solomon Real Estate partner Steve Johnson said. "Maplewood has been receiving a lot of infrastructure updates, and Maplewood Mall is doing some upgrades."
Indeed, next door at the mall, a $13 million renovation is scheduled for completion this spring. It includes redesigning the food court, redoing the five main entrances, installing new flooring and lighting, and adding carpeted lounge spots throughout the common areas.
The LA Fitness project isn't the only retail rehabilitation going on near Maplewood Mall, according to plans being reviewed by the city.
Across the street at Maplewood Town Center, H.J. Development is moving to convert a vacant space that once held a Best Buy store into a DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse store.
At the nearby corner of County Road D and White Bear Avenue, the owner of a BP service station proposes to raze the structure and replace it with an 11,200-square-foot retail building that could hold three tenants.
The intersection just south of Interstate 694 was recently reconstructed as part of a major Ramsey County road project to improve traffic flow around the mall.
Don Jacobson, a St. Paul-based freelance writer, can be contacted at email@example.com.
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