West Elm furniture will open in North Loop next year
The 11,000-square-foot store will be on the first floor at 128 N. 2nd St. as part of a mixed-use project by Solaris Redevelopment Corp. that includes more than 150 apartments. The project also includes nearly 250 underground parking spots, but it is unknown how many will be reserved for retailers in the parking-starved area.
“I think it will be great for the neighborhood with more foot traffic and extra parking,” said Dana Swindler, co-owner of Martin Patrick 3, an apparel and furniture store near the new West Elm location. “If customers don’t see what they want at one of North Loop’s stores, they can walk to another.”
West Elm’s North Loop store will join a 14,000-square-foot store the chain has at Shops at Centennial Lakes on France Avenue in Edina.
The North Loop and downtown Minneapolis area is home to a slow-growing number of furniture stores including Martin Patrick 3 men’s and home, Rosenthal Interiors, Hirshfield’s Design Resource, International Market Square, Designer Marketplace and Abitare Design Studio.
Two years ago West Elm planned to locate one of its first hotels in an undetermined location near the store, but those plans have not materialized. “We have no updates to share at this time,” said West Elm spokeswoman Hannah Wickberg in an e-mail.
Originally, West Elm hotels were planned in Minneapolis, Detroit, Portland, Maine, Oakland, Calif., Charlotte, N.C., Savannah, Ga., and Indianapolis. West Elm’s website no longer lists Charlotte or Savannah, but indicates that the first location will open in 2020.
Indianapolis and Detroit were believed to be among the first West Elm hotels to open, but plans have been scrapped in Indianapolis, according to Indianapolis Monthly. Calls to Roxbury Group, the Detroit developer of the West Elm hotel project in that city, were not returned.
In January, DDK, West Elm’s hotel-management company in New York, filed suit against parent company Williams-Sonoma for breach of contract.
West Elm was founded in 2002 as part of the Williams-Sonoma brand. The Edina location opened in 2008. The store, like CB2 from Crate & Barrel, targets young adult shoppers with prices above discount chains but below Williams-Sonoma and rivals like Crate & Barrel. West Elm owns 106 stores in the U.S. and international locations.
John Ewoldt is a business reporter for the Star Tribune. He writes about small and large retailers including supermarkets, restaurants, consumer issues and trends, and personal finance. email@example.com 612-673-7633 StribEwoldt