Calhoun Square is in line to gain a CB2, Crate and Barrel's mod furniture offshoot.
The well-known Uptown retail center in South Minneapolis is deep in discussions with the Northbrook, Ill., retailer, and plans are emerging to construct a new one-story CB2 store, just under 15,000 square feet, on the corner of Hennepin Avenue and W. 31st Street.
The industrial chic store would be the first CB2 shop in Minnesota, joining just a handful of markets outside of California. CB2 carries a range of minimalist home furnishings such as platform beds and desks made of steel and glass. Ninety-two dollars buys a set of three cotton throw pillows with photos of taxis on them.
A group from Calhoun Square and Crate and Barrel presented a preliminary proposal for the new CB2 store last Thursday to the Minneapolis planning commission. A single-story store would be a significant departure from the five-story building with three levels of apartments or condos that was originally envisioned for that corner, where a vacant brick building sits. It's unclear what the future plans are for housing there.
Todd Karlen, a broker at Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle, which manages and leases Calhoun Square, said he couldn't discuss developments or whether a lease has been signed.
Calhoun Square is owned by BlackRock, a New York investment company that bought it in 2007 for $47.3 million and has been renovating and expanding it.
Mary Lower, a Calhoun Square spokeswoman, would only say CB2 is "definitely a tenant that Calhoun is pursuing."
Aaron Rubenstein, outgoing president of the Calhoun Area Residents Action Group, said his group has reviewed preliminary plans for a sleek CB2 store with a zinc tile exterior that Calhoun Square would build.
"It's a good design," Rubenstein said. "Personally, I think it would be great to have CB2 in the neighborhood."
However, the neighborhood group is still discussing whether a single-story building is the right approach.
The planning commission hearing focused largely on signage, said city planner Kimberly Holien. She said preliminary designs showed a facade that was more than 40 percent glass, with doors that opened onto Hennepin Avenue.
Crate and Barrel spokeswoman Vicki Lang said she couldn't confirm anything but called Minneapolis "a wonderful market for both our brands." Crate and Barrel has one store in Minnesota, in the Galleria in Edina.
Jennifer Bjorhus • 612-673-4683