Just in case you hadn’t noticed, there is a very large hole in the ground on the northeast corner of Dale and University.
Frogtown Square, a new Transit-Oriented Development project, is the brainchild of four non-profit community builders: the Neighborhood Development Center, Greater Frogtown Community Development Center (GFCDC), Model Cities, and the Aurora St. Anthony Development Corporation.
This location has been “historically plagued” according to Jill Hendrickson, the Executive Director of the GFCDC.
“We wanted a landmark building to replace what was there, something to add beauty and pride to the neighborhood,” said Hendrickson. “Rondo [Community Library] was a sore point, because the building didn’t end up looking like the plans.”
The future Frogtown Square space was recently home to a police substation, Saigon restaurant and Lendways Restaurant. Historically it has been occupied by less community-oriented tenants.
“Some people were sad to see Lendways close, but most people understood that the owner wanted to retire.” said Hendrickson.
Saigon restaurant has moved one block west to a newer and nicer location, which, according to Hendrickson, has been a “win-win situation for them.”
Frogtown Square will be a four-story building with a plaza and outdoor seating in front. Tentatively, locally owned businesses such as Fasika Ethiopian Restaurant, Nuir Grocery, a barber shop, a coffee shop (no names given), and Big Daddy’s Barbeque are slated to occupy the first floor. Subway is the only chain store scheduled to open in the space.
Sitting on top of the commercial space will be three floors of senior (62+) housing managed by Episcopal Homes. Underground parking will be available for residents and parking for patrons of the shops will be available behind the building.
Because all but one of the businesses wants to lease the space, rather than buying it, commercial space will be managed by the partnered organizations.
Frogtown Square is scheduled to be complete in early November of 2010.