Miller Hill Mall plans additionA sizable addition is being planned for Miller Hill Mall to make room for the first Dick’s Sporting Goods store in northern Minnesota.
By: By Candace Renallsemail@example.com, Superior Telegram
A sizable addition is being planned for Miller Hill Mall to make room for the first Dick’s Sporting Goods store in northern Minnesota.
The nationwide sports and fitness specialty retailer carries a full line of team sports gear, hunting apparel and fitness equipment in an assortment of name brands.
“It’s very good sign that some retailers have faith in this market, and there’s room for fairly significant expansion,” said Drew Digby, president of the Duluth Planning Commission, which recently approved the plan. “I think they fill a need. There’s some overlap with other retailers, but it fills a need.”
Construction next to DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse on the mall’s northeast corner will get under way by spring. When complete, it will have a prominent entrance facing Trinity Road.
“It definitely will change the look and feel for that end of the mall,” Digby said. “It’s continues the theme of having a little more interesting exterior for the mall, which is a good thing.”
With the 26,400-square-foot expansion, Dick’s Sporting Goods will be nearly as large as nearby Barnes & Noble and DSW combined, but smaller than the footprints of the mall’s anchor stores — Sears, JC Penney and Younkers — plans on file with the city indicate.
Based in Coraopolis, Pa., Dick’s Sporting Goods has 490 stores in 44 states. Its seven stores in Minnesota are in the Twin Cities area. Besides store sales, it sells its merchandise online and through catalogue sales.
The chain’s website says its mission is to become “the No. 1 sports and fitness specialty retailer for all athletes and outdoor enthusiasts through relentless improvement of everything we do.”
Mall Manager Katie Altrichter said big things are happening at the mall, but she couldn’t comment on this one.
“It’s such a big project, we decided on the mall level that we will let our PR person at Simon and Dick’s (Sporting Goods) make any comments,” she said.
However, that official with Simon Property Group, which owns the mall, couldn’t be reached Wednesday. And a spokesperson with Dick’s Sporting Goods couldn’t be located.
Plans on file with the city, however, provide some project details.
The addition, being done by Simon Property Group, will neatly fill a rectangular gap in the mall’s footprint and increase the mall’s size by 3 percent.
The addition will displace 153 parking spaces out of the mall’s total of 3,857 spaces. But officials say what’s left will still surpass the required minimum of five spaces per 1,000-square-feet of retail space.
A section of the parking just outside the new store will be partially reconstructed to comply with landscaping requirements, including providing 30 percent tree canopy coverage when trees reach maturity. Because parking spaces were needed close to the store, Simon proposed locating some of those trees at the eastern end of the parking lot, which will give it a more balanced look. It also proposed some raised beds, planted with drought-resistant plants.
The city’s planning staff recommended approval of the project plan, which the planning commission did unanimously.