Cub Foods planned for former White Bear Lake Kmart site

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Pioneer Press

Cub Foods is planning a 60,000-square-foot store in White Bear Lake, on the site of a vacant Kmart, the project developer said Tuesday.

A Planet Fitness location and other future retail tenants are also on deck for the development, which is intended to revive an abandoned 12-acre site on White Bear Avenue north of Maplewood Mall.

Drew Johnson, developer with Minnetonka-based Oppidan Investment Co., noted that the redevelopment project still requires city approval. But with pieces falling into place, work could start as soon as March.

"We're tearing down the majority of the former Kmart," Johnson said. "The southern portion of it will remain, for now. And then it's a 100 percent new parking lot, landscaping, signage."

Kmart closed the White Bear Lake location early in 2011, saying it was among a group of "marginally performing" stores. The property has mostly sat vacant since.

The Cub Foods store planned for the site would be owned by its corporate parent, Eden Prairie-based Supervalu. It also will have a liquor store with a separate entrance.

"Cub is a great anchor tenant to give it a critical mass to kick it off, and the city (of White Bear Lake) has been great to work with as well," Johnson said.

Oppidan Investment is optimistic that Planet Fitness also will be part of the development, although that lease has not yet been signed, Johnson said.

Beyond that, "we can accommodate another junior box tenant," Johnson added.

"We have the ability to sell some (outer) pads, and we could do anything from small-shop retail to even medical office. We're going to let the market dictate the timing and the use there."

The site just north of I-694 is under the legal control of Oppidan Investment, which is in the process of acquiring it, Johnson said.

The project application to White Bear Lake was reported by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal.

If all goes well, the Cub Foods could open for business in early November, Johnson said.



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