Duluth mansion demolition makes way for big box store

Well, they have begun to tear down the mansion to make way for the mega Walgreens. Some other houses will be torn down too. See my post The Last Mansion Between Kitchi Gammi Club and 14th Ave. East.

33 Comments

zra

about 9 years ago

...that and the insurance offices on the corner of 12th and 1st E. I noticed the old house on the opposite corner from there (12th/1st) a few weeks ago.

Lotta construction goin on...Makes the existing empty spaces prime real estate.

This is actually what I know:
-The new construction will be Walgreens.
-CVS will build out where the Beijing part of Plaza is right now (Duluth Running has an amazingly awesome new space where the old HDC office used to be across from the Synod offices on Superior)
-It's rumored that Anytime Fitness will move into Walgreen's dead store space
-Jimmy Johns is getting Great Harvest's sandwich shop.
-Plazajubes will be looking at a remodel as well.

vicarious

about 9 years ago

"Plazajubes": I like that. I also like SuperJube.

wildgoose

about 9 years ago

Other rumor was Trader Joe's to Walgreen's space.  Completely unverified.  I thought (again the cynic) that a new Trader Joe's would be a great way to dilute the negative energy about this project from Duluth's greens, progressives and East Hillside organizers. 

Thanks Sundog. I consider myself pro-business but this really seems like a bad idea.  Gives me a sinking feeling in my belly.

Sara

about 9 years ago

We walked by the de-construction site yesterday. Looks like buildings are coming down from Superior Street all the way up to the alley between 1st and 2nd. That can't all be Walgreens, can it? It's not just the buildings that are going either. Notice the missing trees? Silver's used to have a huge willow in its side yard/parking area and a very nice maple toward the front.

Bully

about 9 years ago

That "big-box" store serves a lot Hillside residents and cannot handle the amount of customers it serves because the store is too small.  The community will benefit from a larger store that will fill its needs. The home was in terrible shape and no one had the funds or will to repair it.  It sucks that it is coming down, but not all redevelopment is bad.

Bully

about 9 years ago

I'm just hoping that someone was able to salvage whatever usable components of the home (doors, fixtures...) for use by other people in restoration.

Bret

about 9 years ago

What happened to the plan of Eric Ringstred to move the mansion?  Perhaps the (near) loss of the Kozy building changed those plans.

I heard that North Shore Architectural Antiques is salvaging items from all the houses. 

Shane

about 9 years ago

Trader Joe's will not locate in Duluth anytime soon. Reason? We are too far from their nearest distribution center in Chicago. A truck cannot drive to Duluth and drop off without going over the maximum hours allowed to the driver in a day. We are 100 miles too far north.

Should Trader Joe's decide to expand and add a warehouse in the Twin Cities things would change.

bud

about 9 years ago

Where is Beijing going to?

Sun Dog

about 9 years ago

Yes Sarah, that is all Walgreens and I did see that huge willow trees

http://the-hillsider.blogspot.com/2010/06/trees-and-plants-or-lack-of-affect.html

In the next few months we will have a new, huge Walgreen's at 12th Avenue East and Superior Street. Recently I walked around the area and counted 31 trees that will most likely be chopped down for this new development.

zra

about 9 years ago

No word on Beijing's fate yet. We rely on them pretty heavily for our sustenance, and the BOH hasn't been able to glean any other info on their fate other than they're trying to figure out a solution, and they are needing more money to effect a move.

Sonya

about 9 years ago

Aww, that's sad.  My girlfriend and I used to live at 1120 E. First St. (and had no idea at the time that it was an Oliver Traphagen house; it'd been partitioned off into apartments and renovated a lot).  I'm glad I took pictures of the apartment and the neighborhood; I should probably go document the destruction now, too.

1120 at least wasn't much of an architectural beauty any more, but it still seems stupid to tear down so much of a neighborhood so that we can have a mega-Walgreens and a CVS -- do we really need two chain pharmacies right there?

zra

about 9 years ago

I'm interested to see what happens to the remainder of the Plaza center in the whole regrade. From what I've seen, Miner's doesn't like to concern itself with facilities upkeep and appearance unless absolutely necessary. Witness the Lakeside Super One renovation. Chiefly due to Miner's losing too much Lakeside business to Mt. Royal.

Once this all starts happening, though, retail space is going to be at a premium. Perhaps we'll finally find a tenant for our street-front space. I'd like to see it go to good use.

Sara

about 9 years ago

Hi Sun Dog - Thanks for the Hillsider link.

Tony D.

about 9 years ago

Nope, Architectural Antiques didn't get the salvage gig. Bauers Bros of Mpls. got it, because they have a previous relationship with Ramsey demolition of the Twin Cities, who has the demo contract, because of their existing relationship with the developer.

Apparently—and I don't know the exact facts here — the developer only offered the house to Dr. Ringsred so he could move because of a threatened lawsuit. When the developer realized the house didn't have any protective status (i.e., that the lawsuit had no chance of success), the idea was dropped.

I won't enjoy it, but looks like there's a another subject to squeeze into "Lost Duluth." Hoping I can track down a historic image of the place (hint, hint, anyone out there!). 

Thanks for the post, Sun Dog. (One picky thing on your blog: it's Kitchi Gammi Club

Asterix

about 9 years ago

I walk up and down this stretch of First street every day. It's a bizarre experience to walk to work past four houses and then walk home eight hours later and go past only three houses. 

I had assumed that everything on the south side of First street would be Walgreens, and everything on the north side of First street would be more parking for St. Luke's. But that was based solely on gossip.

Sun Dog

about 9 years ago

I stand corrected. The south side will be Walgreens and the north side will be parking. I kinda liked that big blue house with the turret that had been on the corner, even if it had been broken up into apartments.

Call Me the Breeze

about 9 years ago

This development reminds me of a John Hartford song called Steamboat Whistle Blues.  Especially releveant are the lyrics beginning at minute 1:56. Here is a link to the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lo_-MnG-wQ

carla

about 9 years ago

The price for moving the house was $750,000.00.  Did not include buying land to put it on.
Then the Kozy fire took all of Eric's resources.
CB

johnm

about 9 years ago

As my business (North Shore Architectural Antiques) has been mentioned in this posting, I would like clarify a few points.  

1.  I'm not a fan of development which destroys what I believe are beautiful old homes.  However, when they are going to be demolished, I try to salvage the historic elements of period craftsmanship that are almost unavailable in current times.

2.  As to the Walgreens expansion; I spent many months in dialog with the developer which, threatened lawsuits or not, would have been happy to see Dr. Ringsred succeed in moving the buildings, not only to see the buildings saved, but also because it would have been much less costly to give them away than to demolish the buildings.  I would also liked to have seen Dr. Ringsred succeed.  I do not know the reason that Dr. Ringsred was unable to implement the relocation and don't wish to speculate.  Ultimately the salvage rights went to a Twin Cities firm because they have deeper pockets and a long-term relationship with the demolition contractor.  The bad news is the materials will not be available locally.  The good news is that Bauer Brothers is an experienced salvage business that will save materials of significant value from destruction.  Ramsey Excavating was considerate enough to give me an opportunity to bid on the salvage rights which they were granted under their demolition contract.  They selected the higher bidder for the salvage rights.  As much as this deal went cross-wise for me, you can't win 'em all.

3.  As to the houses being demolished related to the St. Luke's expansion; I wasn't involved until late in the process, but was pleasantly surprised by the willingness of St. Luke's representatives to allow for salvage of historic elements.  We removed many lovely items from the buildings recently demolished as well as those further slated.  The big blue house on the corner was a logistical pinch, but we saved all of the best items working until the wee hours of the night.

4.  One last note (this is the preachy bit).  Much of this development is being done in the name of convenience because the general public wants to have all their needs met in one-stop hospitals and pharmacies without having to be inconvenienced by making two stops.  This is no different than building bigger Targets and Wal-marts to capture more customers that don't want to go to multiple locations and businesses to meet their needs.  The more people feed this self-perpetuating model, the more it will continue to grow.  I spend more money and make more stops to support smaller independent businesses for personal philosophical reasons.  Contrary to popular belief, you can't have it both ways.

Have a great day!

zra

about 9 years ago

Thanks, John ... you're awesome!

Claire

about 9 years ago

JohnM said it. We're reaping what we sow.

Lojasmo

about 9 years ago

Nice post, johnm

Tony D.

about 9 years ago

Johnny Mac, thanks for putting some substance to the info I posted earlier, when I only had part of the story (and Carla as well).

I think you've hit several of the issues surrounding the loss of these old buildings squarely on the head.

wildgoose

about 9 years ago

+ 1 John and Tony D.  

"Much of this development is being done in the name of convenience"

Paul Harvey

about 9 years ago

Europe vs. USA:  It's curious how much geography has molded our identity/habits, the rise of the house and car, (death of the train) and all the retail that comes along with them. I would argue it takes a lot of cigarettes,drugs, alcohol, fast food, and hospitals to deal with it all.  John's got real spirit though. Love that guy.

Bret

about 9 years ago

Thanks for the great info, JohnM.  And thanks for saving what can be saved from these great old houses.

johnm

about 9 years ago

Thanks for the kind words.

Scott M.

about 9 years ago

Trader Joe's have opened stores as far south as Rochester. The Duluth area is on the radar for them. I would expect a store in the next couple of years. The distribution center is not the issue at this time, it is the economy.

Shane

about 9 years ago

The limiting factor in Trader Joe's expansion is distance from Chicago. Rochester is closer to Trader Joe's distribution center in Chicago than the Twin Cities. Duluth is not.

Corrie

about 9 years ago

Trader Joe's isn't all it is cracked up to be. It's the Old Navy of food stores.  I mean, hell, it is owned by the same people who own Aldi's, some German corporation.  I've found most of the products to not be worth the price paid for them.  Their store brand hummus is the WORST I have ever had and hummus is a pretty hard thing to fuck up.  I've always been amused that so many of the diehard TJ fans are the same people that eschew Walmart/Target etc, but there is very little difference between them, they are all chainstores. Yeah, their prices are a bit lower, but they don't have anything you can't find at your local, independent market.

Sjixxxy

about 9 years ago

http://www.kpraslowicz.com/photo/last-day-of-the-louis-s-loeb-house/

Photo from right before the final tear-down.

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