Developers planning a major redevelopment of the East Bank's Eastgate strip mall set the wrecking ball in motion at a July 22 neighborhood meeting.
Scott Tankenoff, a managing partner for Hillcrest Development, announced a plan that would likely include a grocery store, housing and other retail at University & Central avenues.
Under current plans, the strip mall and an adjacent four-story office building would be razed sometime early 2005, Tankenoff told more than 100 people gathered for the Nicollet Island-East Bank Neighborhood Association's annual summer meeting.
Residents asked whether the redevelopment would include a full-scale Lund's grocery story.
Tankenoff replied: "This neighborhood deserves a high-quality grocery store. This is a completely underserved area."
Lund Food Holdings leased Eastgate's Rick's Market, 313 Central Ave. NE, earlier this year, and are in active negotiations with Hillcrest.
Lund Vice President John Pazahanick told NIEBNA residents in June that there was a high probability Lund's would open a larger store at the site.
Rick's has Lund's produce and baked goods.
Takenoff said the project's timing is dependent on city and neighborhood approval. If the deal falls apart, Tankenoff said work on Eastgate would be pushed back to 2012.
The project's scope and cost have not been determined, but developers won't seek city subsidy, Tankenoff said.
It's unclear at this point if any other tenants at Eastgate or the office building at 25 University Ave., will be in the new plan, he added.
Hillcrest has partnered with St. Paul-based Exeter Realty, led by a father-son team, Jim and Rob Stolpestad.
Exeter Realty developed St. Paul's Grand Place, which includes Caf/ Latte and Bread and Chocolate, among other upscale specialty shops.
The developer typically secures about 55 to 60 percent local tenants for its projects, said
NIEBNA chair Victor Grambsch has organized a task force to review the Eastgate proposal. The first meeting will be Wednesday, July 28, 5 p.m. at Kikugawa, 43 SE Main St.
For more information, visit www.niebna.org.