Calhoun Square construction is underway

Shovels were punched into a symbolic pile of dirt today outside the Calhoun Square parking ramp in what was likely one of the most anticipated Uptown groundbreakings in recent memory.

“I wish it would have been a couple years earlier, but I’m definitely very excited about the project and we’re stoked to get started on our new store,” said Kitchen Window owner Doug Humoeller, a longtime Calhoun Square tenant who participated in the groundbreaking, which marked the start of a two-year renovation of the Lake and Hennepin mall.

Calhoun Square’s redevelopment was delayed for years as the property changed hands and the housing market soured. Current owner BlackRock, a New York-based investment firm, hired Capital Growth Madison Marquette (CGMM), of Minnetonka, Minn., to manage the property and oversee its renovation.

The Minneapolis Planning Commission approved plans in March that call for several hundred additional parking spaces on the adjacent ramp, larger and reconfigured retail spaces within the mall, a public plaza along Girard Avenue and other new features to help revitalize the aging shopping center. A residential component is planned as a later phase.

City Council member Ralph Remington (10th Ward) called the groundbreaking a “historic and monumental” event.

“We’ve been through our ups and downs here in Calhoun Square and ins and outs,” Remington said. “But now we’re finally breaking ground and we’re going to restore Uptown and Calhoun Square in actuality to the jewel it was always meant to be and bring it up to modern times.”

Uptown Association President Thatcher Imboden said the groundbreaking was an important event for Uptown as a whole.

“The renovation will bring new energy and a refreshed image to Calhoun Square, which will help reinforce Uptown’s strong retail presence,” he said.

Keith Anderson, executive vice president for CGMM, said Calhoun Square work would continue through the next 18 months. Demolition and construction efforts are underway on the parking ramp and in the mall.

Ramp parking is by valet only during the next six months, but the rates are the same as what the ramp charged. The shopping center itself is still open for business and will remain so throughout the project.

For construction updates, visit the Calhoun Square website