Development breaks ground at Phalen Village


Marjorie Otto/Review Ground was broken during a thundery and snowy April 11 for a new development at the Phalen Village shopping area.

courtesy of Paster Properties The new development will include an Aldi grocery store and an Entira health clinic, which will be moving down the street from its Maryland Avenue location.

courtesy of Paster Properties The development will also include a woonerf — a Dutch-style open plaza — along Rose Avenue. Part of Rose Avenue will be able to be closed to vehicle traffic for community events, like weekly food truck fairs.

Future tenants include Aldi and a health clinic

 

Officials broke ground amid thundery snow showers on April 11 for a new development at the Phalen Village shopping area.

The development, which will be located in a lot on the northeast corner of Phalen Boulevard and Clarence Street, will include a roughly 22,000-square-foot Aldi grocery store and a 10,000-square-foot Entira health clinic. 

The spot is being developed by Paster Properties, a local development company that owns a number of sites in the Twin Cities. 

The groundbreaking was attended by a number of East Side politicians and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, who called it “an exciting time for the East Side.”

“It seems like I’m here every week for some kind of groundbreaking,” the mayor said.

The development is a continuation of work on the Phalen Village shopping area, which has been planned for since the 1990s. Phalen Village is roughly bordered by Maryland Avenue, Johnson Parkway and Phalen Boulevard.

The shopping area includes a Wells Fargo bank, various fast food restaurants, housing and offices for the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

The last major construction in the area was for a Cub Foods, which opened in 2008. 

Soon after the Cub opened, the Great Recession hit. Chuck Repke, executive director of Northeast Neighborhoods Development Company, said it’s taken some time for retail to build up again. 

The development company has been deeply involved with Phalen Village. Repke said the organization and Paster Properties have been working since 2014 to line things up for the Aldi and clinic.

In 2018, the census tract where the development is located was designated as an Opportunity Zone, part of a federal program where investors don’t have to pay capital gains taxes for up to 10 years if it’s invested into low income neighborhoods in such zones. 

Repke said the designation “at the end it made all of the hoops to do this easier to get through.” Construction is expected to begin this spring and finish this fall, with the businesses open by the end of the year. 

Repke added that getting Aldi in as a second grocery store in the shopping area has been a major goal.

“Shopping centers traditionally do better with two grocery stores,” he said, explaining that it creates healthy competition between the stores and attracts shoppers from outside the area, knowing they have multiple shopping choices.

Beyond Aldi and Entira, the development will include a 670-square-foot community room and a 2,000-square-foot building that would be ideal for a restaurant, said Repke. 

The development will also include a woonerf, a Dutch-style community plaza, along Rose Avenue. Repke said the avenue will be able to be closed to vehicle traffic between Wells Fargo and Clarence Street for community events, such as weekly food truck fairs.

 

–Marjorie Otto can be reached at 651-748-7816 or at eastside@lillienews.com

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