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Business North - The Daily Briefing - Business Newspaper Online
maurices unveils final headquarters design
Duluth-based maurices on Tuesday unveiled a slightly-modified final design for its new Headquarters Building to be constructed in Duluth.
The 11-story structure at 425 West Superior Street will allow the clothing retailer to merge its scattered downtown offices into 200,000 square feet. Its building will span an entire block, becoming the largest downtown commercial development in Duluth’s history.
That’s slight different than described about 18 months ago. Originally, the building was to be a few stories higher. In October, AtWater Group, the project’s developer, decided not to build and lease tower space on two additional floors. The decision was made to accommodate an accelerated timeline required by all parties.
The revised footprint is wider, given AtWater’s acquisition of the Palladio Building on the corner of Fourth Avenue West and Superior Street. Along with the former KDLH Building, it will be demolished to make room for the new development. maurices’ investment has grown from $30 million when first announced to $50 million.
“We’ve simply outgrown our current space. Our new headquarters will allow us to continue to grow and add more jobs in future years,” maurices President George Goldfarb said at the company’s morning news conference, which a rendering of the building was unveiled.
maurices currently employs 425 at its Duluth offices. It is a division of Ascena Inc., which Goldfarb said will reach $1 billion in sales this fiscal year.
Over the years, maurices has steadily added corporate office jobs in Duluth. Facing space limitations, it has expanded beyond its original structure into adjacent buildings. Goldfarb said the company wants to consolidate within the central business district.
“We’ve been passionate about keeping downtown Duluth as a vibrant business community and we continue to have that passion,” he said.
maurices new headquarters will include a fitness center, outdoor plaza on the seventh floor overlooking Lake Superior, an auditorium, access to daylight throughout the building and meeting spaces .
The city and state of Minnesota are contributing $20 million to build a four-story parking ramp. It will occupy floors three through six and provide approximately 500 parking spots. Access will be from First Street via a driveway that will be created through the demolition of an existing warehouse building owned by the Duluth News Tribune, said maurices CFO Brian Thun.
Although AtWater sold the property to maurices in December, it will develop and lease 15,000 to 20,000 square feet of commercial and retail space on the Superior Street level, which also will provide access to maurices two-story lobby. National Bank of Commerce has signed a non-binding letter of intent to locate there, said AtWater President Brian Forcier. The commercial real estate company is seeking to recruit a restaurant tenant to the corner parcel at Fifth Avenue West. He expects to announce space commitments within the next few months.
The project will employ 250 during construction. Demolition of existing structures will begin this April and construction is anticipated to be complete by December 2015.
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