The CARAG Zoning Committee met September 15 to review a proposal by Calhoun Square to modify their expansion plans for the northeast corner of Hennepin Avenue and West 31st Street. Calhoun Square is proposing to build a one-story structure for home furnishings retailer CB2. CB2, owned by Crate & Barrel, sells “affordable, modern housewares and furniture for apartment, loft and home.”
The proposed new building has been designed by the Crate & Barrel design team. The existing, two-story, brick building at the corner of Hennepin and 31st would be razed.
The city’s Planning Commission approved in March 2008 Calhoun Square’s most recent redevelopment plan which included a five-story building, with underground parking, two floors of commercial space, and three floors with residential units, on the subject site. Calhoun Square recently considered building four floors of office space above the CB2 store but determined the office space component to be not feasible. The proposed one-story, 24-foot tall building would adjoin the Kitchen Window building to the north and have a loading dock on the east side.
Speaking for himself and not CARAG, Aaron Rubenstein’s initial reaction after the meeting was mixed. “It’s a very modern and appealing design,” but “I’m disappointed it’s not a multi-story, mixed-use building,” he said. “I’m concerned about the amount of paved area in the service court,” he added. Rubenstein is chair of the CARAG Neighborhood Association.
The CARAG Zoning Committee will meet in October to review final plans for the project and develop a recommendation to be considered at the October 19 monthly CARAG neighborhood meeting. Calhoun Square expects the Planning Commission to review the new CB2 plan on November 15. Go to www.carag.org or call 612.823.2520 to get the date, etc.