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November 29, 2004 // UPDATED 4:47 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

Central Business District

Gaviidae Common's Saks Fifth Avenue will be replaced by a larger four-story Off 5th store in January, according to the Star Tribune.

Off 5th, which sells discounted Saks items, will occupy 110,000 square feet in the mall at South 6th Street & Nicollet Mall -- the largest Off 5th in the country, according to the Nov. 25 news report.

Saks officials announced plans to close Gaviidae Common's Saks Fifth Avenue in October. The three-level store occupies 84,000 square feet. The Off 5th store currently has a 27,000-square-foot space at street level.

Saks is obligated to maintain a department store or specialty store until 2015 under its lease terms with Gaviidae, which is managed by Brookfield Properties. Herberger's, which has lower price points than Saks Fifth Avenue, had also been mentioned as a possible replacement.

Off 5th has been a more popular option for Downtown shoppers while the Saks Fifth Avenue has lagged in sales for some time, according to retail observers.

The stores are operated by Birmingham, Ala.-based Saks Incorporated. The company manages more than 350 stores in the country, including 55 Saks Fifth Avenue stores. The Minneapolis Saks is among eight stores the company plans to close across the country.

Loring Park

Greenway Chiropractic has opened in a new 830-square-foot space in Hyatt Regency Center's Greenway Plaza at 1300 Nicollet Mall.

Chiropractor/owner Chad Laux said two massage therapists would join his staff in December. Laux treats patients experiencing ailments including headaches and pain in the upper and lower back.

"We spend time with people. They are not hurried in and rushed out," Laux said.

Laux said several insurance plans cover his services. He also takes payments by cash or credit card.

Office hours vary, but Laux typically works between Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Appointments can also be made for Saturday.

Loring Park

Midwest Diamond & Watch Company has opened in the newly renovated Greenway Plaza of the Hyatt Regency Center, 1300 Nicollet Mall.

The designer jewelry and watch dealer has a 600-square-foot space near the hotel's destination restaurants The Oceanaire and Manny's Steakhouse.

The store specializes in high-end timepieces, such as Ulysse Nardin, Chronoswiss and the British Masters, among others. The watches cost between $4,000 and $600,000, said Craig Zaligson, the owner of Midwest Diamond and Watch Company.

The store also carries watches that fetch between $300 and $500.

Zaligson, 52, said watches have fascinated him since age 7. "I love the mechanics of watching time pass," he said.

The store's hours are Tuesday to Friday, noon-10 p.m. and Saturday, 4-10 p.m.

Central Business District

A KinderCare daycare center is expected to move into the City Center, according to a Downtown retail insider.

The new daycare center would fit with City Center's push to reshape its image as a hub for basic services for Downtown's workers and residents. Leasing consultants for the 615 Hennepin Ave. S. shopping center have frequently mentioned a daycare as a possible new tenant.

KinderCare is expected to open near the third-floor food court, said Tony Strauss, a senior retail analyst for Welsh Cos.

Andrea Christensen, a leasing consultant for City Center with Colliers Turley Martin Tucker, a commercial real estate firm, would not confirm the arrival of a new daycare center. She said the leasing paperwork needs to be finalized before a deal can be announced.

The Portland, Ore.-based KinderCare was founded in 1969. It operates more than 1,250 learning centers for an estimated 120,000 children. Children range in age from 6 weeks to 12 years.

Central Business District

Dolce Vita, a new mid-range jeweler, has moved into the space vacated by Cayol Natural Foods in the skyway level of the Highland Bank Court, 811 LaSalle Ave.

The store's owner, Robert Rhawie, previously ran Princess Jewelry in the City Center, 615 Hennepin Ave. S. It closed in August because of ongoing construction in the increasingly vacant shopping center.

The new store is located across from Roly Poly Sandwiches and next to the skyway linking Highland Bank Court with Marshall Field's. It sells jewelry priced $250 and lower.

Central Business District

A new Crown Bank branch is opening in the Six Quebec building at South 6th Street & Marquette Avenue in January.

Crown Bank has one other location in Edina. Since opening June 2000, the bank has amassed more than $118 million in assets, according to its Web site, www.crown-bank.com.

Construction on the new 5,000-square-foot bank is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

John Crinklaw, president of the new Downtown branch, called Crown Bank a "touchy, feely" type of bank with a focus on customer service. "You don't feel like you're walking into a typical bank," he said.

Crown Bank was founded by Peter Dahl, Kevin Hawk and Ed Hanson who formerly work for BankWindsor, a small bank based Downtown acquired by Green Bay, Wis.-based Associated Bank-Corp. in 1999.

Crown Bank will focus on the same type of clientele as BankWindsor -- entrepreneurs and real estate investors, Crinklaw said.

Hours will be Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Warehouse District

A new restaurant, 112 Eatery, will open in January in the space vacated by Amsterdam Bistro and Bar.

Restaurateurs/chefs Isaac Becker and Nancy St. Pierre are behind the new 112 N. 3rd St. nightspot. Becker has been the head chef at Loring Park's Caf/ Lurcat, 1624 Harmon Place, and St. Pierre is a veteran local chef, said John Laurent, a local developer who sold the restaurant space to the couple.

Becker and St. Pierre plans to focus on dinner menus geared toward patrons dining after work.

The Amsterdam closed last summer after a four-month stint despite rave reviews for its menu, which featured crab cakes, hand-tossed pizza and bourbon-maple-glazed salmon, among other items.