A former Rainbow Foods grocery store in south Minneapolis has been sold to be redeveloped into possible new retail and office space.
Wellington Management plans to develop the site at 2919 26th Av. S. after it purchased the lot for $5.35 million, according to a certificate of real estate value made public Friday. St. Paul-based Wellington bought the 5.8-acre site from Minnehaha/Lake Partners, which is associated with real estate developer Watson Centers.
The 60,000-square-foot building has sat unused since the grocery store closed in 2014. Developers don't know if there will be any changes to the tenants that already occupy the 10,000 square feet of retail space on the site as well as an existing Wendy's fast food restaurant, said David Wellington, director of acquisitions and development at Wellington.
"At this point, we are looking at a variety of development scenarios," Wellington said.
It's possible that there will be just a single retail tenant in the main part of the building or multiple tenants who would most likely include some non-retail users such as office tenants who could occupy space toward the back of the building, he said. In a later phase, it's possible that apartments could be erected on the site.
In recent months of marketing the site, Wellington Management has received more inquiries for interested users than it has space for, Wellington said. The density and amount of traffic the site gets makes it ideal for many potential users, he said. The site is near the Lake Street light rail station.
Wellington already owns quite a bit of property in the area, including the 149,000-square-foot Hi-Lake Shopping Center, the Lake Street Station senior housing project, the Corridor Flats condos and the Greenway Office Building. Its Blue Line Flats apartment project at E. 32nd Street and Hiawatha is under construction.
"We feel good about investing in the Longfellow neighborhood and that location," Wellington said. "We think that the whole area is going in a really good direction. It's fun to be part of that story."
Wellington would like to start renovations at the site this fall with new tenants moving in next spring or summer.