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!

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Renovations galore!


It looks like lately it’s been time for an update for most retailers in the city. It seems as if with the surge of new names entering the market that tenants that have called Duluth home for many years now are taking the time to spruce things up.

Duluth welcomed one of Taco Bell’s very first locations of its new prototype last year. Taco Bell completed an extensive remodel at its 1031 W. Central Entrance location, a location that had been open for almost 20 years with no update whatsoever occuring. Patrons will be pleased with the new location, a remodel that had been in the works since the early 2000’s. Sporting a very modern look, complete with glowing LED panels covering the facade, no more is there the bright orange southwestern look of Taco Bell’s past, rather a clearly modern image has been introduced to give the chain new life.

Another fast chain is almost done with the renovation of two of their Duluth locations. Burger King has taken on investing over a million dollars into it’s location in order to update them to the current Burger King prototype. The new interiors take a modern approach featuring modern faux leather seating, stylish light fixtures, and various uses of sleek tile as accents. The locations are also one of the first fast food retailers in the area to use digital menus (TV screens). Gone is the brick, the bright blue accent colors, and the sloped roofs, now the exteriors feature stone, stucco, and warm neutral tones with red becoming the new accent color. The locations on Central Entrance and also out on 21st Avenue West were both remodeled as part of an extensive rebranding of Burger King’s image in Duluth. You have to remember that McDonalds in the past three years invested significantly in remodeling their Duluth area locations, including the rebuild of two locations, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Burger King is upping their anti. Burger King has invested $1.5 million in the renovation of the two locations in Duluth, and will invest $1 million more in the rebuilding of the London Road location. That location will be smaller than the current location on site at roughly 3,700 square feet. The move is taking place so that a retail strip center can be constructed on site which will house four new tenants to the area. The new Burger King will be a little more embellished than the two remodels we are assuming in the fact that it will take on the full Burger King prototype being displayed across various locations in Duluth.

We posted a few months back on American Eagle Outfitter’s remodel that will be occurring at the Miller Hill Mall. Now that the holiday season is over, the remodel is ready to begin. Look for work to begin this month with a completion date set for Late March / Early April 2014.

Storefront at Killeen Mall in Texas, Duluth's will be loosely based off of this design.
Storefront at Killeen Mall in Texas, Duluth’s will be loosely based off of this design.