It has stood empty since 2007, but there are finally signs of life at the former Shinder’s space on 8th and Hennepin. High-profile local design firm Shea, Inc. announced today that it has signed a 10-year lease for the space and hope to move in by July.
Shea plans to occupy about 1,000 square feet of the lower floor and the complete second floor. According to Shea Communications Director Andy McDermott a restaurant will occupy the remainder of the two-story building, but negotiations with the restaurant tenant are still ongoing. “We’re obviously not directly involved with the lease negotiations but we’re playing a part and hopefully we’ll be part of the design team for what goes there,” said McDermott. “We’re taking approximately 1000 feet on the first floor as sort of our entrance and we’re taking the entire second floor. The restaurant would take lower level, first floor and potentially the rooftop.”
Shea, Inc. has designed or consulted on many of the best-known restaurant and retail spaces on Hennepin Avenue, as well as many recent and upcoming projects. With the lease on the firm’s current Butler Square space about to expire, finding a new location on Hennepin made a great deal of sense.
“We’ve really had our hand in a lot of stuff on this stretch of Hennepin,” said McDermott. “Right now we’ve started on the Butcher & The Boar, and we’ve got the Lunds project that we’re working on. But over the last 10 years we’ve had Chambers, Seven, Solera, we’ve worked with the Hennepin Theater Trust, we just did the new Century Theatre. We’ve worked with Fogo de Chao, and Rosa Mexicano and so after encouraging so many of our clients to come to Hennepin, it made sense for us to get in the mix too.”
Shea, Inc. will restore the brick exterior of the building, as well as the terrazzo floors that bear Synders logos from the building’s former life as a pharmacy. Before Shinders moved its store from 6th and Hennepin to the space, it was a Burger King. At one point, a three-story building stood on the site, but it was demolished to build the current structure. McDermott believes the original building may have burned down.
McDermott says that Shea’s move to Hennepin Avenue is a small step in the continued revitalization of the street. “It’s known as the main drag but there hasn’t been a lot of activity there,” he said. “People like Fogo come in and there one of the top grossing restaurants in the state, that just shows that things can be successful and viable on this stretch. The more people that come, the more people that will.”