One of the busier property owners in the Lyn-Lake area is back at work with plans to build up a long-vacant corner.
Julius De Roma, who owns the property on the northeast corner of Lyndale Avenue and 31st Street, plans to build a two-story building there with ground-floor retail and a single second-floor apartment.
De Roma said he’s “gone back and forth on what to build there” since purchasing the property around a decade ago, and after discarding several options over the years, settled on the current structure.
Right now there’s a parking lot and green space on the property. De Roma plans to build a 3,600-square-foot retail space with a 2,000-square-foot apartment above. He said he wants to market the apartment to somebody who’s looking for an upscale, large space but may not be interested in the condo- or apartment-buying markets.
De Roma hasn’t lined up a retailer for the space, but said he’s already received several calls from interested business owners. He plans to confirm and announce a business sometime next year.
De Roma said he isn’t intimidated by the effects Lake Street construction have had on the area, nor is he put off by the market conditions that have caused other developers to pull away from commercial construction. He figures the building is about the best investment he can make, both personally and for the character of the intersection.
De Roma is a lifelong Minneapolis resident who runs a Lyn-Lake business called Hansa, which imports jewelry and other items. He owns the building adjacent to his new development, which currently houses Lava Lounge (3037 Lyndale Ave. S.), as well as buildings that house the Flanders Gallery (3012 Lyndale Ave. S.) and Buffalo Exchange (2727 Lyndale Ave. S.).
He also owns Clubhouse Jager, a trendy neighborhood bar in downtown Minneapolis’ North Loop neighborhood.
De Roma said he plans to start construction on the building sometime in spring 2009, once he’s got all his plans and permits in place, and finish the building later that year.