Type: Retail center

Owner: Tri-Land Properties

Architect: Hanson Design

Details: A total renovation of the aging, mostly vacant Oak Park Plaza shopping center in Blaine has reached the starting gate with official city approvals of plans by owner Tri-Land Properties of Westmont, Ill.

The Blaine City Council this month signed off on a conditional use permit for Tri-Land’s $17 million bid to essentially rebuild the blighted 1960s strip mall with a new “neighborhood-scale” Cub Foods as anchor.

Under the plans, about 35,000 square feet of the existing mall will be demolished, with the new, 45,000-square-foot Cub Foods added onto the north end of the center. Meanwhile, the remainder will be extensively remodeled and upgraded, including new building exteriors, landscaping, parking surfaces and sidewalks.

Tri-Land Executive Vice President Hugh Robinson told the council two existing primary tenants, Star Liquors and Frattallone’s Ace Hardware, will remain and be open during the construction. Anytime Fitness has signed a letter of intent to take space in the rehabbed mall. About 25,000 square feet, however, remains to be leased, he said.

For 10 years, Oak Park Plaza has struggled without an anchor tenant after losing a Jubilee Foods store. Pioneering home developer Vern Donnay built it in 1960 to serve residents of his Oak Park subdivision of starter homes, according to the Blaine Historical Society.

Robinson said unexpected contamination found in a former dry cleaning tenant space had delayed the start of the rehab project.


Don Jacobson is a freelance writer in St. Paul. He can be contacted at hotproperty.startribune@gmail.com.