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Auto parts retailers make move to Superior

Nikos restaurant, the old LB Data building and the house beside the McDonald’s parking lot in the 2000 block of Tower Avenue will be torn down to make way for construction of an Advance Auto Parts store. (Jed Carlson/

Two auto parts retailers plan to set up shop in Superior.

City Planning Director Jason Serck confirmed AutoZone is moving into the former Office Max space at 3625 Tower Ave., next to Dollar Tree, and construction of a new Advance Auto Parts store in the 2000 block of Tower Avenue  this spring.

Both businesses provide automotive parts, accessories, batteries and maintenance items. Both already have a presence in the Northland.

There are two Advance Auto Parts stores in Duluth, one on Grand Avenue and the other on Central Entrance.

AutoZone stores can be found both along Central Entrance in Duluth and in Cloquet.

Advance Auto Parts, founded in 1932, operates more than 3,900 stores in 29 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, according to its website. The company has been looking at the Superior market for a long time, Serck said. They started the process by looking at four different sites this summer before settling on the corner of North 20th Street and Tower Avenue.

The plan calls for demolition of Nikos restaurant, the old LB Data building and the house beside the McDonald’s parking lot and construction of a new building.

“I think it’s really going to sharpen up that corner,” Serck said. He said construction would take place in the spring with a possible opening date in late fall or winter. As part of the construction process, the alley will be redone to make sure it sheds water correctly.

Nikos Pizza and Gyros at 2002 Tower Avenue was dark Monday afternoon. Members of a clean-up crew at the building said the business closed last week. They were unaware of any plans to relocate the restaurant.

AutoZone began in 1979 in Arkansas as Auto Shack and today serves customers in 48 states, Mexico and Puerto Rico, according to its website. The business is slated to move into the area of Superior between Walmart and Target next to Dollar Tree. The building was constructed for Office Max, but the Superior store closed during a nationwide corporate retrenchment. The site’s last tenant was Dollar Days, which moved out in the midst of a company liquidation in 2008.

In 2011, water pipes to the active sprinkler system ruptured and caused an estimated $50,000 damage to the vacant building. Sheetrock was removed and the building was gutted by Anderson Building & Restoration of Duluth in August 2012, but it remained vacant.

Calls to AutoZone and Advance Auto Parts were not returned by press time.