New Mixed-Use Development Benefits from Former Hardware Store Site

The Opus Group extends their "live, work, play" philosophy to their new development site.

Opus_Seven Corners Hardware_renderingBy Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer

St. Paul, Minn.—Capitalizing on the spirit of energy and rebirth being felt across the city, The Opus Group has broken ground on a six-story mixed-use luxury apartment and retail development in the historic downtown of St. Paul, Minn.

The apartment project will fill the West Seventh Street site formerly occupied by the venerable Seven Corners Hardware store. In addition to providing 11,500 square feet of ground-level retail space, the development will include 191 apartment homes as well as a variety of luxurious resident amenities.

“The Seven Corners Hardware site had the potential that we look for in multifamily developments,” Matt Rauenhorst, vice president, Opus Group, told MHN.

“It really fit the ‘live, work, play’ philosophy that we believe is driving today’s multifamily market. And the location in the heart of St. Paul makes this a special opportunity. The project brings the energy and excitement of new development to a neighborhood with a high demand for quality housing.”

Located in the center of downtown St. Paul’s Seven Corners area, the development site sits within an entertainment district boasting close proximity to employers and highly desirable residential amenities, such as access to pedestrian areas and bike paths, Rauenhorst said.

“As we considered the project, it became clear that we could leverage our integrated capabilities and expertise across design, development and construction to deliver a high-quality product to the area,” he added.

The U-shaped development will feature a mix of studio and one- and two-bedroom apartments, as well as three-bedroom townhouse-style residences. Specific rates have not been determined, but will be competitive with the St. Paul market. Luxury common-area amenities will include an outdoor courtyard with a pool, hot tub, bocce ball and grill areas. Residents will also have an opportunity to enjoy a terrace-level patio and club room with views of the river.

Any mixed-use project, such as this development’s blend of retail and luxury multifamily, presents its own distinctive challenges, Rauenhorst said.

But he believes these developments can also provide enormous opportunities.

“The scale of the project meant we needed to collaborate closely with key stakeholders, including the city of St. Paul,” he reported. “In the end, navigating the intricacies of the development with the right players early on meant we were on track for success from the start.”

Opus Development Company LLC is the developer, while Opus Design Build, LLC is the design builder. Opus AE Group, LLC is the architect and structural engineer of record. Elness Swenson Graham Architects, Inc. is the design architect. Completion is slated for January 2017.

Projects such as this one demonstrate the power of collaborative, community-focused development, said St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman. “I am excited to see the development of this iconic street corner, and know that it speaks volumes to the energy and momentum we are seeing across St. Paul,” he said.

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