Surprise. We’ll be back on WordPress soon!


Guess who is back?

We’ve decided that there is such thing as the best of both worlds. We’ll be posting more news to our WordPress site (the site you’re at now) soon. Until then make sure to check out our website for all the latest in Twin Ports development news. There’s also an interactive map so you can see just what is happening in Duluth and where.

You can visit our website here.

-The Writers

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Dunkin’ Donuts selects Central Entrance for first location


Yes, you did just read that headline stating that Dunkin’ Donuts has actually established the location for their very first location in the Northland and potentially only the SECOND location in the entire state of Minnesota. Your donut and fresh coffee deprived eyes have not decided you and yes, you’re right… you should feel proud right now to be a Duluthian. Let’s all just take a moment to gather our excitement and prepare to read further.

Plans were presented recently to the Duluth Planning Commission by Land and Lease Development for a new 2,450 square foot free standing Dunkin’ Donuts location to be constructed at 104 West Central Entrance. That site currently is home to Warehouse Liquor which has been open for 20+ years in that same location. This particular Dunkin’ Donuts location is unique in the fact that it will feature a drive thru which is guaranteed to be successful in Northern Minnesota especially during those winter months. 

Citizens of Duluth this is the moment where you should feel quite proud to call yourself a Duluthian as this will be the FIRST not only free standing Dunkin’ Donuts location in the state but also the FIRST to feature a drive thru within the state. Now that is simply luxury at it’s finest. 

Now lets get down to those niddy and gritty details. Currently Land and Lease Development is looking to have the alley that abuts this site vacated in order to allow more parking. They feel it is necessary for additional parking to be on site as this first location is expected to be very successful due in part to its location within the heart of Duluth on one of the busiest corridors in the area. The minimum number of parking spaces allowed for the Dunkin’ Donuts based on the building square footage would be 12 with a possible 50% expansion to 17 total spaces. Land and Lease Development would like to include 22 spots on site and would need the adjacent alley vacated in order to do so. The alley would however not be entirely closed off and would still have access through the Dunkin’ Donuts site to Central Entrance.

While the site itself has enough parking to meet the minimum requirements set forth by the city of Duluth the developers are still looking to include more as area fast food chains such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Subway have almost twice as much parking as technically needed. The developers fear that the success of the business will cause customers to park in nearby business parking lots as there will not be enough parking on site for all Dunkin’ Donuts customers. A formal plan has not yet been presented for the specific details of the building itself but is expected to be within the next month. 

It doesn’t sound like there should be any hiccups or issues regarding this development sailing through the planning commission after alterations are made regarding the parking if the developers choose to do so. If all goes according to plan we could see construction start this winter with an opening in late spring or summer as these buildings tend to go up quite quickly.

We’re working on getting you more details and will of course have the plans for the building itself as soon as we can get our development crazed fingers on them. Until then, check back to CDINDULUTH for all the latest in development news in the Twin Ports. 

Check out our previous post on Dunkin’ Donuts expansion into Duluth and Superior. We’ve also posted about Dunkin’ Donuts plans to expand in the Northland which you check out here.

Massage Envy Spa plans Duluth location


Who doesn’t like to be pampered? Well Duluthians, you’ll soon have the ultimate place to do so and in an ever so convenient location. Yesterday plans were officially solidified for Massage Envy to open their 27th Minnesota location right here in Duluth on Maple Grove Road in Duluth Heights. It’ll be the company’s first foray into Northern Minnesota, a seemingly untapped market for affordable massage therapy. 

What exactly is Massage Envy? They’re a “pioneer and national leader of affordable massage and spa services” according to their website. The company was launched in the early 2000’s but opened their first Massage Envy Spa location only in 2003. Since then due to their shear success the company has expanded to over 1,000 locations within the United States alone. Talk about growth.

Massage Envy Spa’s goal from the start was to “promote a healthy lifestyle through affordable massages” and the company soon found out that that was of great interest to the general public. From massages to facials, Massage Envy seems to do it all and for both and women in a setting like none other for FAR less than it’s competitors. 

We talked with Scot Ziessman, the franchise owner of a Massage Envy location in St. Cloud and also the proud owner of the Massage Envy location set to open in Duluth next month. When asked about what sets Massage Envy Spa apart he said it’s the fact that it’s “upscale, very nice, professional and still very affordable.” An affordable massage is something that basically is unheard of in the Duluth area and something we here at CDINDULUTH believe will be welcomed with open arms and aching backs. 

Massage Envy Spa to date has given over three million facials and seventy-five million massages. Needless to say, people really enjoy the concept. Their mission to “provide a pathway to wellness through professional, convenient, and affordable massage therapy and space services” clearly has found great success within the United States. The St. Cloud location alone completes at least 65 massages a day and currently has over 1700 members. Part of the Massage Envy’s success is also the ages in which they do massages including seniors and even children as young as eight years old. 

Memberships are available at $59.99 a month and have a wide variety of options. There’s the ability to have a family member add-on, split massage times from an hour down to half an hour in order to have more visits and also the option to share massages with a friend or family member for just an additional $10. There’s an additional bonus for you too if you refer a friend and they become a member. If that happens then you’ve struck gold as you yourself will receive a FREE one hour massage. Talk about a good deal! “With Massage Envy the first time you come into our clinic it’s just $39” Scot explained. By having such a low cost for a first visit you’re really able to experience all that Massage Envy has to offer and ultimately decide if a membership is right for you.

The Duluth location will be opening on Maple Grove Road in Maple Square, a retail building owned by Platinum Properties. Massage Envy will take 3,800 square feet of space on the second level and feature 14 massage rooms and 2 couples rooms with the ability for both massages and facials. The two couples rooms will be unique to the Duluth location in the fact that there are two of these rooms available and also that couples have the option to have a massage and facial, or both within the same room.

The Duluth location will also be one of the larger Massage Envy Spa locations in the state and will be the first to debut a new prototype design. Stevie Paulson who is one of the owners of the building told us “the build out will be unbelievable and customers will think they are in Las Vegas.” It’ll ultimately be one of the nicest day salon spas in the area, if not the entire city.

The Duluth location will employee 20-25 employees when it opens including 15 massage therapists. The location is also looking to fill sales associate and esthetician positions. If you’re at all interested in applying make sure to contact Tammy at 320-420-7800.

Massage Envy will be open Monday through Friday from 8am to 10pm, Saturdays from 8am-8pm and Sundays from 10am – 6pm meaning they will be open for 90 hours a week ensuring you can basically get a massage at any point during your day. There will be no need to work around those 8-5 business hours like other massage therapy locations that are ever so conveniently scheduled during your own personal workday.

Massage Envy will begin construction immediately and plans to open by mid November. 

Massage Envy plans Duluth location


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One of the most successful massage therapy companies in the country if not the world will be opening their doors in Duluth starting next month. Massage Envy finalized plans yesterday for a 3,800 square foot location on Maple Grove Road in Duluth. Check out our post here for all the details on their first northern Minnesota location.

Make sure to check out CDINDULUTH for all the latest in development news in the Twin Ports area. If you really want to stay up to date, like our Facebook page the right and bottom of what your reading right now.

Burger King plans location at Sugar Maple Crossing


Another retail building is officially underway with a commemorative ground breaking ceremony today marking the start of construction. Sugar Maple Crossing at the corner of Highway 53 and Sugar Maple Drive began work last week on the next phase of their development, a 5,000 square foot retail building towards the very front of the site.

We’ve been discussing the project for the last few months with Stevie Paulson who is one of the developers behind the project. The 5,000 square foot retail building is part of the larger 27,300 square foot development that was originally planned for three phases but will now be completely finished within the second phase due to pure success. We’ll have more information regarding the new office component later this week.

Burger King will occupy roughly approximately 3,200 square feet of space within the new retail building. They will abudt the portion of the building closest to Highway 53 and will also feature a drive thru. Burger King is working with Platinum Properties on an exterior design that will mesh the surrounding developments design with Burger King’s newest prototype. It will technically be the fifth Burger King location in the area.

If we look back at the reign of Burger King you’ll notice a bit of a downsizing and a retreat to the backlines in their presence in the Duluth area. The area originally had six locations and now that number sits at just three. While the location on London Road is undergoing a rebuild, the location in the Miller Hill Mall along with the Canal Park location closed in the early 2000’s.

Back in May 2013 GNT development bought all the Burger King locations in the area. Their plan was for an entire revamp of the brand including renovations to all locations and the additions of multiple new locations within the area. It appeared that Burger King was going to make its come back and that McDonald’s would finally feel the heat from its competitor re-entering the Northland has a viable player in the burger industry.

Last year we saw significant renovations occur at both Duluth locations, the most substantial being at their Central Entrance location. Then in last fall it was announced that Burger King would rebuild their London Road location in order to accommodate a new prototype and additional retail space for a Caribou Coffee location (read about that development here). The new location at Sugar Maple Crossing will be roughly the same size as the new location being constructed on London Road.

Construction on the retail building that Burger King will be housed in will happen at a rapid pace. The hole for the building has already been dug and footings will be poured next week. “Our goal is to have a roof on by October 20th” Stevie explained to us which means walls will begin to rise early next month. An opening for Burger King could be seen as soon as early December with some sources saying by December 1st; we were assured by Paulson that they “will open by the end of the year” regardless.

Sugar Maple Crossings will announce an additional tenant for the retail building in the coming week. All we know at the moment is that the additional retail space will house a eat-in restaurant of some sort. The brand currently does not have a presence in Hermantown but does in the greater metro area. 

The announcement for Burger King and the additional restaurant will mark three openings for the development in the coming months. Dickey’s BBQ Pit will also open next month (you can read about it here) in the first phase of the Sugar Maple Crossings. Kwik Trip will also open across the street in early October. 

As always, check back to CDINDULUTH in for the latest in development news regarding Sugar Maple Crossings and the entire Duluth area!

Burger King Plans Hermantown Location


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Burger King officially announced their first location in Hermantown today at a ceremonial ground breaking for the second retail phase at Sugar Maple Crossing. You can read more about the project here at CDINDULUTH. As always, make sure to check out our website for the latest in development news.

Don’t forget to like our Facebook page too. You can find it above in the drop down menu or below.

-The Writers

Build A Bear Workshop to open October 10th


We first broke news that Build A Bear Workshop was coming to the Miller Hill Mall when CDINDULUTH was taking our very first steps as a development reporting community back in 2008. We continued to talk with corporate representatives on the location in Duluth including with Maxine Clark herself who happens to be the founder of the company. In July of 2012 we reported that plans had become official and in July of this year we reported that the opening would officially happen this October. Well folks, Build A Bear Workshop will officially throw open their doors to a children’s paradise on October 10th at 10am

Build A Bear Workshop has been in the works for over six years and throughout that time the company has changed their planned location to various spaces within the mall. The permanent home for the company will be in the space that formerly housed Torrid which closed up shop last month. Torrid’s store location closed due to underperforming sales about two years after their opening in 2012.

Work has started on outfitting the space now in order to make it into the iconic, brightly colored and whimsical space that Build A Bear Workshop is known for. We reported on the new prototype store design that the Duluth location will feature back in July (if you missed the article you can read it here). Not only will the Duluth location be top of the line in design but it will also probably be one of the most technologically savvy stores (besides an Apple store of course) that you’ll see around. 

If you’re interested in working for Build A Bear Workshop they are now officially hiring for the Miller Hill Mall location. For a sixth year in the row it was voted one of the top 100 companies to work for so we’re assuming it’s a pretty fun job. The Duluth location is currently hiring sales associates, part-time and full time assistant managers, and a store manager. Apply here if you’re interested in working with children each and everyday to make an un-BEAR-ably cute friend. 

Let the countdown begin to creating your.. we mean your child’s… perfect stuffed animal!

Dickey’s BBQ Pit plans October opening


Delicious BBQ from a brand new fast casual concept will soon be gracing the Twin Ports come October. Dickey’s BBQ Pit has set an early October opening date for the company’s first location in the area. We talked with Landon and Sharon Wiser, a son and mother duo, about their franchise that will be opening in Hermantown next month.

While the location has been under construction for quite some time there is good reasoning for it (don’t worry, we’ll explain later on). Landon Wiser firmly stated that “we should be open by early October” when we began discussing their new location.

So what exactly brought the Wiser duo to their current state of owning a Dickey’s BBQ Pit franchise? “We’re originally from Eden Prairie, Minnesota and I was working as the general manager at a Dickey’s BBQ location there.” explained Landon. “That’s where the Dickey’s idea came from” and from there the rest is history! Well, not yet.

Dickey’s BBQ in Hermantown has actually been planned for almost two years now. Originally the location was owned by a different set of franchisees. “September of last year we signed our franchise agreement” Landon explained. That’s a few months after Landon and his mother took notice of the available franchise and swooped in. “My mom was looking for a new opportunity so I told her to go check out the franchise and pretty soon we were signing papers”. 

So why Duluth for the Wiser duo? Well, after looking at a franchise in Maple Grove Landon suggested Duluth’s franchise as he soon was heading to college at UMD. “I’m just a student and I am going to do Dickey’s also with my mom” Landon cheerfully explained. While that may be true Landon we don’t think you’re just the typical college student. Most college students are busily figuring where to go out this next weekend…not busily planning for an opening of their first franchise. We have no doubt that with such a bright set of minds behind this Dickey’s BBQ location that there will be plenty of success. After all, what’s more powerful than a mother and son duo? We don’t think anyone would want to challenge that.

You’re probably adding things together now and starting to wonder though why it is taking so long for Dickey’s BBQ Pit to open if the franchise agreement was signed over a year ago. The flat out reason? Sometimes you just can’t predict the way that construction will go. “Our biggest delay has been a setback due to a plumbing estimate” Landon told us when we asked on the matter. We were told that the contractor for the project will return on site this week and construction will pick up rapidly and be completed in a few weeks time.

Something else we were a little curious about too was why Landon and Sharon had chosen to save this particular location instead of opening something directly in the retail core of the Miller Hill Mall area. “One of the things that caught our eye initially was that everything seems to be moving this way” Landon said regarding the specific location of their franchise.  “In this area the only real restaurant is McKenzie’s which is a sit down restaurant” Landon explained. “We’re trying to bring a fast causal concept to the area.” He also noted that having a Kwik Trip location next door in the future was an added bonus as they tend to be a destination and draw customers from all over the area. The hope is that customers will fill their vehicle with a tank of gas and fill their stomachs with a plate of delicious barbecue from Dickey’s BBQ Pit. 

After all this time of waiting there has to be something special about this Dickey’s location, right? After all, good things come to those who wait, right? Yes, they do and as a matter of a fact there is something special. Besides the fact that this location will be the first in the Twin Ports there’s also another feature that sets it apart. “We’re one of the only drive thru locations in the state as of last week” said Landon. That has to be a sigh of relief for northlanders for when those frigid winter days come rolling in. While barbecue is huge in the south, the Wiser duo also think it’s also pretty big up north. That convenience of a drive thru window will ensure that no form of precipitation or temperature will keep area residents from getting their delicious ribs, a side of coleslaw and some cornbread while on their way up north.

Dickey’s BBQ Pit is currently hiring for all positions. “We don’t have servers because we’re just like Chipotle where you go through a line” Landon said to us when asking about what type of positions will be available. What that ultimately means is that there are positions available in the block (meat and food prep), pantry (sides and back of house) and as a cashier (front of house). This location also is looking for someone to fill the position of assistant manager and is looking for a few line cooks. Visit our contact us page and we can get you in touch with Landon and Sharon if you’re interested in applying.

There also will be a job fair this Thursday, September 19th from 11am to 5pm at the Hermantown Chamber of Commerce at 5094 Miller Trunk Highway. You’ll be able to apply on site and meet with Landon directly. If you can’t make it to the job fair just contact Landon and he’ll set up a time to meet with you personally.  

We’ll have more details on Dickey”s BBQ Pit as the opening date gets closer. As always, check back at CDINDULUTH for the latest in development….and… well… BBQ news too! 

 

 

Superior Choice Credit Union plans Grand Avenue location


Superior Choice Credit Union (MCCU) has submitted plans to the city of Duluth for a new location on Grand Avenue in West Duluth. The new location will be constructed on three lots in which 4121 and 4127 Grand Avenue will require rezonings from R1 (residential) to MU-N (commercial).

Superior Choice Credit Union plans to construct a 2,910 square foot branch building with a drive through complete with two vehicular lanes for bank telling and an additional lane for ATM transactions. The construction of the branch will also include the redevelopment of Pat’s Green Corner. That site that Pat’s Green Corner sits on was rezoned a few years back to commercial and will allow for all three sites to be used for the construction of the SCCU Branch.

If you still can’t pinpoint the exact location then think of the new Essentia Health’s West Duluth clinic and then think across the street and kiddie corner. Or… think of the new Kwik Trip location being construction on Grand Avenue and then travel two blocks towards downtown Duluth.

Superior Choice Credit Union has five locations currently including a location in Hermantown and two in Superior. The Hermantown location opened in the early 2000s and a new location was constructed in Superior in the mid 2000s. Both locations use a similar floor plan design that looks to be also featured in the newly planned West Duluth location. The exterior is expected to be similar with stone, brick and stucco accents in a grey tonal palette.

If all goes well with the city of Duluth construction could begin this fall with an opening in summer 2015.