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City Council Gets Look at Plans for Cinemagic Site

While the future tenant still wishes to remain anonymous while a purchase agreement is hammered out, the city council will get the jump on the city's latest redevelopment project.

Rarely does a new "exurb" like a St. Michael experience the pheomenon as redevelopment even once.

But less than five years after the city moved forward with a plan to redevelop its downtown and create a new system of transportation through the community via the Cornerstone and one-way pair projects, St. Michael is poised for another shot at regeneration.

The St. Michael City Council will take a look at a conditional use permit application and planned unit development (CUP and PUD) tonight when it convenes at 7 p.m. at

In its presentation, Commercial Realty Solutions, located in Buffalo, is asking the city to consider additional signage for what it is calling the St. Michael Business Center, a new retail destination at the southeast corner of Interstate 94 and Highway 241.

In representing the prospective buyer, CRS does not wish to divulge the building’s new tenant(s) at this time. But the City of St. Michael has already agreed to change the building to a retail site within its B-1 Zoning District.

City of St. Michael Community Development Director Marc Weigle said the city should be able to divulge who the main tenant of the retail center will be "very soon, possibly at [tonight's] meeting."

The St. Michael Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved the CUP and PUD requests last week, at its monthly meeting on April 4. That includes a new, 400-foot sq. ft sign posted on a 50-foot pylon along Interstate 94. 

That sign will be used by the old theater building's main tenant, a tenant in another lot that is still vacant, and . An LED sign is allowed under the agreement, with content specified by the main tenant of the former theater site.

The applicant has also requested signage on the building, a possible 55,000 sq. ft. expansion on the building's east side, and an outdoor sales area for use 10 weeks per year. The exapnsion would double the theater building's current size.

Plans, including architectural drawings, can be seen in the attached PDF.

Mike Schoemer April 13, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Really, no. The fact is, if someone new is looking to develop a retail site in a brand new location, they usually want to do it on the "QT," to stave off any possible competition. Remember, there are retail pads open right across the highway.
librfun April 13, 2012 at 02:28 PM
For the most part I agree with Mike, though I think a bit more transparency would be nice. Having said that, I think the community is hypersensitive for information about new businesses and we don't want that to get in the way of progress.
Mike Schoemer April 13, 2012 at 07:22 PM
That transparency would have to come from the potential buyer, to be clear. The city can't interfere as long as the buyer's plans for the site fall within it's original zoning codes. Since it does, all they can really do is watch and wait and grant the occasional variance (for the sign). Intervene any further, and you're asking for a lawsuit or the entire thing to get dropped, period.
Bex April 17, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Sorry, but I think it is very odd, and yes, fishy, that a business wants to keep itself a secret but yet wants the city council to grant it a bunch of requests. As a parent, I liken this to my children coming to me and asking me for things which, under normal circumstances, would not be granted without more pertinent information. Makes me not trust who is behind this development and want to question anything they would want to do no matter who they turn out to be. Businesses and people should be honest and up front. If your ducks are in a row, chances are good that you won't have to worry about the competition.
Happy in St. Michael April 17, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Maybe it's a sporting goods store, like "Gander Mountain." They did recently close their Maple Grove location because the space was too small. Needing outdoor space for some of the year makes me think it would be sporting goods, Fleet Farm, or furniture.

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