Suburban World Theater could be home to retail

EAST CALHOUN — A Florida-based developer seeking to renovate the Suburban World theater plans to rip out the kitchen and restore the theater to provide new retail space.

The theater at 3022 Hennepin Ave. would house a single retail tenant that isn’t nailed down yet, according to the project architect, but it would provide consumer goods rather than food.

The developer Elion is seeking to flatten the theater floor and remove some of the remodeling work done in the late 90s, said architect Sheldon Berg of DJR Architecture. The interior and exterior of the historic Granada Theater would be restored.

Elion apparently beat out other interested parties to secure the space. A restaurateur was also interested, according to the restaurant’s consultant, but did not manage to secure the purchase agreement.

Suburban World has been closed for two years, according to Don Driggs, the former owner. It is now owned by Commerce Bank in Edina.

“It’s a beautiful theater,” he said. “There is no reason why it can’t be preserved the way it is.”

Restoration plans will go before the city’s Heritage Preservation Commission in July, according to the architect.