Big boxes at a crossroads

  • Article by: JANET MOORE and JIM SPENCER , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: September 1, 2012 - 9:16 PM

Two suburbs took different paths when Kmarts closed.

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  • 1 - 6 of 6
FrankLSep. 1, 1210:13 PM

I don't know about the New Hope store, but the one in WBL will be redeveloped privately without a problem. It is across the highway from the Maplewood Mall and next to Sam's Club. The market will find a new use for the property.

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gfsorumSep. 2, 12 1:12 AM

The Kmart in Minnetonka has been closed for a long time. Currently an attempt to develop into an entertainment complex. Wasted space that needs to work.

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furguson11Sep. 2, 12 6:00 AM

"FrankL-I don't know about the New Hope store, but the one in WBL will be redeveloped privately without a problem." I'm not sure about that. It's kind of in a no-man's land across the highway from Maplewood and even that is not doing well. Best Buy and a bunch of other businesses are iffy along that stretch also. There is a new Goodwill and a Savers doing well however. But I still don't think government should be in the business of subsidizing business, even in an attempt to improve tax base.

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choochoo12Sep. 2, 12 8:21 AM

The New Hope project will fail. Why? The LAST thing needed is more retail. And any housing is going to include "low income housing" which means CRIME. They built a bunch of welfare housing around Maplewood Mall and crime jumped as a result. Really? Yeah, really.

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mnliberal68Sep. 2, 12 9:12 AM

@choochoo12 I agree with you! Kmart was a store for low income people and it could not make it there and really was not any competition for them. And besides you have a cemetary across the road on side, police, fire, and pool and another cemetary on another, and senior living and low income housing on another. And the stores they have on the other side of the mall. Maybe instead of assuming what the public wants there, get their input what they think might work.

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acidradioSep. 2, 1210:40 AM

The whole model of retail and malls has radically changed since all of these malls were built. We do more shopping online or because of the natural erosion of profit margin out of many products only larger stores can stay in business selling items that once were the domain of scores of smaller specialty retailers you would see in a mall. Kmart can be credited as the inventor of the "discount department store" or what we now refer to as a "bigbox" store. But Kmart lots its way and has failed to keep innovating to stay current amidst competitors like Target and Walmart. The new malls that succeed tend to be outdoors, moving away from the whole idea of an indoor enclosed mall we Minnesotans often take credit for bringing to the American landscape. They have different kinds of shops and restaurants, usually a bit larger and upscale or specialized (still margin in these products). I don't know if a "downtown" or upscale type of mall would gain traction in New Hope a la Excelsior & Grand development in St. Louis Park. But it would be really neat to try!

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