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Downtown Duluth’s Bullseye building sold

The two-story white brick building in Downtown Duluth occupied by the Chinese Dragon restaurant, Bullseye Silkscreen & Embroidery and Old Town Antiques was sold in March for $1.65 million according to St. Louis County records. The building sits on the corner of Superior Street and First Avenue East. The three businesses use the addresses 108, 106 and 102 E. Superior St., respectively. The building’s general address is 101 E. Michigan St.

Fox 21 News is reporting the buyer is Hall Equities Group of Walnut Creek, Calif. A company spokesperson did not confirm what is planned.

Hall Equities is a familiar name in Duluth. The company acquired the corporate assets of ZMC Hotels in 2015, previously owned and operated by the Goldfine family of Duluth.

County records list the building as constructed in 1906. The image below, from the Kathryn A. Martin Library’s Northeast Minnesota Historical Center Collections, shows it as the Hotel Astoria in the early 20th Century.

4 Comments

hbh1

about 4 months ago

A couple fun facts:   The Hotel Astoria, according to its ads, had "56 fine rooms" and in 1912 had been renovated to have hot and cold running water in the rooms, bath and electric lights. Special rate for the winter: $2.50 to 7.   On Jan. 14, 1914, the proprietor, Martin Smith, was apparently blackmailed for $5,000 ... or extorted or something. The Black Hand was even mentioned! Here's the text of the article on it in the DNT:  

DEMAND BIG SUM IN UGLY MATTER Anonymous Note Directs Martin Smith, Saloonkeeper, to Hand Over $5,000. "HIRE FOOLS TO GET US, WE WILL GET YOU THEN" Policemen and Sleuths Guard Smith While He Lies Ill in Hospital   Martin Smith, proprietor of Hotel Astoria, 102 East Superior street, and a well-known saloonkeeper, received an anonymous letter Monday demanding that $5,000 in bills be placed in a parcel and held to await further instructions as to where to place the money. No threat if the request is not complied with is made.   As Smith is now ill in St. Luke's hospital, the letter was opened by his son, Norman Smith, who notified the police and postoffice officials.   The letter, which is written with an indelible pencil and lettered, is as follows:  "Martin Smith—Never hire fools to get us. We will get you at once then. Put $5,000 five thousand dollars in a parcel made up of real bills—real. You will get a note later telling where the parcel must be placed. Then—to keep silent watch over you till paid."   There was no signature to the letter. At the top, is a drawn hand pointing to the amount. The hand is simply outlined, which leads the police and Smith to believe the letter is not the work of the Black Hand. It is thought that either a personal enemy of Smith, or persons who think that they can secure easy money by playing upon the fears of an invalid wrote the letter.   At first the demand was regarded as a joke. Finally, at the request of friends, Norman Smith took the letter to Chief of Police Troyer, who notified federal officials.   Chief Troyer detailed a large number of detectives and patrolmen on the case. Policemen are guarding the Astoria saloon, which is owned by Smith, and also St. Luke's hospital and Smith's home, 226 Fourth Avenue East. If a second threat is received, Chief Troyer will double the men on the case and also patrol the place where the money is to be put, he says.   Investigation at the postoffice revealed that the letter either was mailed at the office or early Monday morning in a letter box not far from there.   Norman Smith said last night that he can not figure out the cause of the letter. He knows of no personal enemies who would take this means to revenge themselves against his father.

Paul Lundgren

about 4 months ago

Another historical tidbit: Eddie Oswald's Bar and Grill was located there circa 1950.

Ramos

about 4 months ago

In early 2015, without the knowledge of citizens, the city administration was forging ahead with plans to build a $40 million library on that site. The plans were ultimately scrapped, but here is a glimpse of The Library That Never Was.

Paul Lundgren

about 1 month ago

Update from the Duluth News Tribune: Plans for Duluth property still emerging after $2.6 million investment   The DNT reports Hall Equities Group purchased the parking lot at 112 E. Superior St. in July for $950,000. It's the space adjacent to the Bullseye Building on the northeast. For many years the location was home to a Sears Roebuck & Co. auto service center. It later became the Muffler Clinic. The building was demolished in 2005.  

Heather Rand, director of business and economic development for the city of Duluth, said she has been in communication with Mark Hall, president and CEO of Hall Equities, and his team regarding the property, but they’re still weighing their options.   “He told us that they need a little more time before they were going to start coming to us with some firm concepts of what they’d like to see in terms of redevelopment there,” she said.

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