It’s official CB2 coming to Calhoun Square

It’s official — CB2 is coming to Calhoun Square this fall.

Ken Seifert, general manager of Calhoun Square, confirmed that CB2 recently finalized a lease agreement and is shooting for a Nov. 1 opening.

The one-level store will be located at the southwest corner of Calhoun Square. To make room for CB2, demolition of the vacant shoe store building at the northeast corner of West 31st Street and Hennepin Avenue South began on April 14.

Calhoun Square management is in the process of trying to find tenants for the renovated and vacant commercial spaces along Hennepin on both the first and second levels of the building. The hope is that agreements with other high-profile tenants can be hammered out before fall, increasing the vibrancy of Calhoun Square in time for the holiday shopping season.

Getting CB2 to sign on the dotted line is a significant step toward that end. CB2 is the hip, urban brand of Crate & Barrel. It sells housewares and furniture at more affordable prices than its parent store.

The Minneapolis location will be the tenth CB2 store in the U.S. and the only one in the Midwest outside of Chicago. Calls to CB2’s corporate headquarters in Northbrook, Ill. seeking comment about the Uptown store were not immediately returned.

Calhoun Square’s plan for a one-level commercial development sparked controversy while working through the city approval process last fall and winter. Citing the Uptown Small Area Plan — an advisory planning document recommending 3- to 5-level buildings in the heart of Uptown — the CARAG and ECCO neighborhood groups both criticized the CB2 plan.

In response, Calhoun Square representatives argued that unfavorable market conditions made it impossible to realize the types of high-density, mixed-use developments recommended by the Uptown planning document.

At a Planning Commission hearing regarding Calhoun Square’s CB2 plan last December, Carol Lansing, at attorney representing Calhoun Square, said: “One point we can all agree on is CB2 is just a great opportunity for Minneapolis, Uptown and Calhoun Square. But if these applications are denied this great opportunity will be lost.” 

In a split vote, the Planning Commission ultimately approved the plan, paving the way for CB2 to finalize a lease agreement with Calhoun Square management.