REAL ESTATE

Food co-op leads new Bloomington center

BY Al Urbanski

Green Top Grocery has opened and will anchor The Foundry, a center situated on a boundary between manufacturing and residential neighborhoods in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Green Top could represent the burgeoning of a new player in the fresh and organic grocery segment in shopping centers: the local cooperative. Owned by 1,500-plus local residents, the Green Top co-op attempts to source products from farmers and vendors within a 100-mile radius of Bloomington.

Along with bulk food items, wellness products, and groceries, Green Top operates what amounts to a seven-day-a-week farmer’s market supplied by local operations such as Ludwig Farmstead Creamery, Prairie Fruits Farm, and Sasse’s Apiary.

Also opening at The Foundry were Bloomington Cycle and Fitness, Gingerbread House, and Coffee Hound.


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REAL ESTATE

Home goods retailer turned hotel operator adds new location

BY Marianne Wilson

West Elm has announced the newest location for its fledgling West Elm Hotels portfolio.

The company, a division of Williams-Sonoma, is teaming up with Signature Development Group and Jordan Real Estate Investments to develop a hotel in Oakland, Calif. Expected to open in 2020, the hotel will be located in Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood, and will celebrate the rich diversity and history of the location.

Oakland is the sixth market West Elm has identified for its Hotels venture, which is being done in partnership with DDK. The format will debut in 2018, in Detroit. Other previously announced locations include Charlotte, as the newest location for its fledgling West Elm Hotels portfolio Indianapolis, Minneapolis, and Savannah.

“We feel right at home in Oakland, a city undergoing tremendous change and growth,” said Peter Fowler, VP of West Elm Hospitality. “Its influences are felt in technology companies, a wonderfully diverse maker culture and art scene, and of course, its pioneering food movement. We look forward to working with Signature to create a destination that celebrates the innovations and vibrancy of the city.”

“The property will be located in the heart of the Uptown district of Oakland. The mixed-use building will blend a historic facade preserved from a 1910s Beaux Arts structure originally designed by celebrated Bay Area architect Frederick H. Meyer. With Chevrolet’s first West Coast assembly plant nearby, the building was originally an auto retail showroom, at the heart of an area that was later known as “Auto Row.” The rich history and influence of the car culture will be celebrated in the aesthetic of the new six-floor building housing the hotel, as well as in the design and decor elements of the hotel rooms and common areas.

The building will be adjacent to the Hive, which combines residential and commercial space, including 105 residential apartments, and 100,000 square feet of offices, a beer garden, a coffee shop, an ice cream parlor, and several upscale restaurants.

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REAL ESTATE

West Elm to make Phoenix debut

BY Marianne Wilson

West Elm is adding to its growing retail footprint.

The home furnishings and decor brand, a division of Williams-Sonoma, will open its first location in Phoenix, in the revitalized Uptown Plaza shopping center, on June 29. The 11,000-sq.-ft. store will include a curated assortment of local products highlighting 10 Arizona-based makers and designers.

“In the late 1950s, Uptown Plaza stood as the harbinger of retail shopping centers, once heralded for offering customers the amenities and conveniences that were ahead of its time,” said West Elm president Alex Bellos. “We are proud to be a part of the continued revitalization of this iconic mid-century modern shopping destination, and look forward to supporting Uptown Plaza’s celebration of small businesses, local artists and the North Central Phoenix community.”

Prior to its restoration in 2014, Uptown Plaza was a 1950s landmark destination, rich in design with exposed brick walls and metal canopies. The new West Elm store will pay homage to the area’s mid-century modern heritage by incorporating motifs from the era into the store’s architectural details. These include a sculptural assemblage that decorates the back cash-wrap with a cube-in-cube pattern made from locally sourced, weathered grey poplar reclaimed from rural fencing.

West Elm operates 99 retail stores in the United States, Australia, Canada and the U.K.

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