By Scott Carlson
As the Bugle kicks off a new year of reporting, we expect a wealth of news in 2019.
Several plans and projects unveiled in 2018 should move ahead and/or reach completion this year. Here’s a list of items already in the queue:
— Changes in downtown St. Anthony Park. The look of downtown St. Anthony Park is changing in 2019. After months of preparation, Nico’s Taco & Tequila Bar, recently opened in Milton Square, replacing the longtime neighborhood staple, Muffuletta. Meanwhile, just down the street on Como Avenue, the retail space at the Bibelot shop is up in the air. Founder and owner Roxanna Freese has been holding a “Retirement Sale” at her St. Anthony Park store and three other Twin Cities locations. As of the Bugle’s deadline, White Bear Lake-based Good Things announced plans to takeover Bibelot’s Grand Avenue and Linden Hills locations but is closing the St. Anthony Park and northeast Minneapolis venues. Nevertheless, “There is an interested party who is hoping to open a shop in that [St. Anthony Park] location later this year,” said Janet Haugan, Bibelot general manager.
— Luther Seminary redevelopment. Luther Seminary put 15 acres of buildings and land of its site on the market in mid-2018 to pursue its “Campus of the Future” plan, which includes shedding land and buildings in the northwestern part of its campus. Last spring, the seminary’s board of directors approved the sale of a parcel that includes Northwestern Hall, the administrative building at 1501 Fulham St. and the seven acres of wooded land known as Breck Woods, which abuts the Lauderdale Nature Area. At a community meeting this month, a development team led by Master Properties outlined its vision for building a mix of housing (up to 450 units) on the sale property and preserving all or most of the woods. Any new construction is not anticipated until 2020.
— Twin Cities German Immersion School and St. Andrew’s Church.The Twin Cities German Immersion School (TCGIS) last year unveiled plans to raze and replace its current facility, the former St. Andrew’s Church in Como Park, with a new campus building to meet growing K-8 student enrollment — expected to reach 630 kids in two years — needs. But “Save Historic St. Andrew’s,” a group of 23 neighbors who live near the school, want the church building designated as a historic landmark. The St. Paul Heritage Preservation Commission sided with the citizen group, but the city’s Planning Commission has essentially backed the school. Ultimately, the German Immersion School’s proposal will wind up before the City Council, most likely in early March.
— Como Harbor project: Como Zoo is continuing construction of the $20 million Como Harbor, its new seals and sea lions exhibit that is expected to open in this year. The new exhibit will provide year-round indoor and outdoor use that will meet or exceed all regulatory and animal-care requirements, according to zoo officials.
— Falcon Heights senior housing project. Groundbreaking and construction is underway on an estimated $13 million senior housing complex on Larpenteur Avenue in Falcon Heights called “The Hendrickson.” The four-story, 66-unit building at the former Hermes Garden Center site will include five studio apartments with the rest a mix of one- and two-bedroom units. Completion is expected in December, according to an official at Kelly Brothers Ltd., the project’s developer.
— Zvago development project. Zvago, a three-story, 49-unit housing cooperative took shape in 2018 and is now on tap to welcome its first residents in late February with the rest expected to move in sometime this spring. The new development is located at the southeast edge of Luther Seminary at Como Avenue and Luther Place. Ecumen, a Lutheran-affiliated nonprofit, is the developer.