As I reported last month, Trader Joe’s is looking at moving into a proposed new one-story, single-tenant building on the southwest corner of Lyndale Avenue and 27th Street in the greater Uptown/Lyn-Lake area. After getting grief from many at the neighborhood meeting and the City of Minneapolis, the developer (TOLD) has worked with their architect and Trader Joe’s on revising their plans.
The revised plans, as presented tonight at the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association Zoning & Planning Committee meeting, still call for a single-story, single-tenant Trader Joe’s but has rearranged the site plan to better address some concerns about the building’s orientation and the site layout.
The more significant changes include:
- making the building more rectangle so that it has more frontage along Lyndale
- reducing surface parking by adding stalls underground (albeit the total number of stalls increased by about 20)
- reducing one of the curb cuts on Lyndale by adding a new drive aisle behind the building to 27th Street
- adding a little plaza adjacent the main store entrance by the parking lot
- likely moving the liquor store entry further down Lyndale towards 27th Street that would also have a secondary entrance to the grocery
That said, the project team is still revising all of the drawings and predicted that they won’t be at the Planning Commission until March as a best case. This normally would be a non-issue, however a new proposal for a different liquor store across the street could cause serious repercussions for Trader Joe’s.
The other project anticipates a Planning Commission date in February, which may mean the potential liquor store could get its license before Trader Joe’s. As previously discussed, there are a number of liquor store restrictions in Minneapolis that make it difficult to locate new liquor stores in the City. In this case, if either of these stores get their license, the other one cannot open unless the laws change.
There’s also the possibility that neither will be able to get approved because both require their land to be rezoned to a more intensive commercial use (C2 versus their current C1). This requires votes by both the Planning Commission and the City Council.
It feels like just yesterday we were watching three liquor stores battling it out on Hennepin Avenue in Uptown to see who would be the fortunate new operator since the laws would only allow one to open. Kowalski’s ultimately won out, getting through the process first.
So will Trader Joe’s be boxed out by Cellars Wine and Spirits for the one block on Lyndale Avenue in the greater Uptown/Lyn-Lake area that can potentially house a new liquor store? Time will tell.
(Photo courtesy of JoeInSouthernCA via creative commons license.)