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Suburban Avenue ‘town center’ turns around former car dealership

The locally based commercial real estate company, Java Properties, is already starting to fill up the spaces of its Suburban Avenue Town Center, which is still in planning stages.

The “destination center” will replace a former car dealership at 1891 Suburban Avenue in St. Paul, a site that’s long been underused, according to Betsy Leach, executive director of the District 1 Community Council.

She says that the developer has expressed interest in working with the neighborhood group on the project.  

The developer has “committed to working with us and the city on the Come Clean! litter reduction program and has committed to support of the public planters along Suburban Avenue,” she says via email.   

The four-building town center will include a chiropractor, salon, automotive repair, pet foods store, restaurants, and more, according to Mark Krogh, who works for Java Properties. “We have some strong prospects,” he says, adding, “We’re still looking for the best use.”  

On the whole, the idea is to recreate a kind of small town, he says.

The project preserves part of the old car dealership. “We’ll remodel the existing building to make it retail-friendly,” Krogh says.

“Right now it looks like a car dealership,” he says, explaining that windows and other features will be added to change its aesthetic.

Rain gardens that will help with stormwater management are a prominent part of the site plan.

Krogh says that details such as the project’s cost and timeline are still coming together.

“It’ll be a good development,” he says, adding, “We’re turning a bunch of asphalt into a thriving center.”

But besides the redevelopment aspect, he says the town center will be a boon for the area because, “It’ll create a lot of jobs.”

Source: Mark Krogh, Java Properties  
Writer: Anna Pratt  
 

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