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Visions for Vacancies: Building at Minnetonka and Texas

What would you like to see go here?

Today, we're introducing a new, occasional series called "Visions for Vacancies" in which we'll ask you, the Patch reader, what you'd like to see move into vacant spaces in St. Louis Park.

Our first post is the building at the corner of Minnetonka Boulevard and Texas Avenue, across from the Texa-Tonka Shopping Center. In the comments section below, tell us what you'd like to see occupy this space, and why.

We'll try to update old posts when someone moves into a vacant space, but we could use your help with that, too. If you notice comings and goings in St. Louis Park, please email michael.rose@patch.com. Also, we'd welcome suggestions on places to feature in "Visions for Vacancies." If you have a photo, all the better.

Richard W. Miller Sr. April 12, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Apartments Middle income
Rolf Peterson April 12, 2012 at 11:53 AM
I would love to see a brand new SLP Community Center on that corner complete with a pool, workout facility and a youth center.
Scott Lidstone April 12, 2012 at 01:17 PM
In the 1960's, that was the old "Ericksons" Holiday gas station/store. In the back of the building there was a very small storage room with a door to the outside that served as a "paper shack" when I was a kid delivering papers in the neighborhood. My paper route was on Texas Ave from Minnnetonka Blvd up to Hwy 7. My 4 brothers and I had that route for years. I recall some pretty cold winter mornings when we delivered papers back then. -Scott Lidstone
Nancy Ritzman April 12, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Why can't that be done at the existing Rec Center site? Renovation and expansion seems more realistic than a second facility.
Erica Strohl April 12, 2012 at 02:17 PM
A walking, biking destination: Burger joint, bagels?, another great locally owned coffee shop.
Irene Thoennes April 12, 2012 at 03:11 PM
How about a good ol' fashioned meat, potatoes, and gravy restaurant like Marie B's from long ago? That kind of neighborhood restaurant is hard to find and would be a welcome business.
Mildred April 12, 2012 at 03:38 PM
An awesome, family-friendly restaurant - not a chain.
Emily B April 12, 2012 at 04:09 PM
I second the coffee shop or other local (non-chain) "faster food" restaurant idea. SLP is a great city, but does seem lacking in these areas.
Emily B April 12, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Also, I really like ice cream. Galaxy has a good milkshake/malt option, but I'd really love straight up ice cream close to home in the summer vs having to bike/drive to Mpls for Sebastian Joes, Ben & Jerry's or the new Yogurt Lab (which is very tasty, btw). I know Bean Good has SB's ice cream, but I guess I'm thinking something that has ice cream at its epicenter. :)
Michael Rose (Editor) April 12, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Great ideas, all. I really like the idea of a little ice cream shop. Seems like a good corner for it, with the HS and PSI not that far away. Ben & Jerry's would rock!
Caroll Solberg April 12, 2012 at 04:31 PM
How about several of the above? Break it into small shops, i.e.old-fashioned style restaurant/ice cream shop; small retail shop - there again not a chain. I'm sure there are several of us in the Park who do great crafts - how about a low-rent space for us to sell our wares? Do something different and more down home style without destroying and rebuilding the facility. I'd love to be included in the planning. Caroll Solberg
Julie M April 12, 2012 at 05:40 PM
I was kind of thinking the same thing. With the way the building is kind of 'meandering' in its design, breaking it up a bit and doing a few different things, like possibly a craft/hand made wares and coffee / ice cream as well. Possibly highlight items made from the high school as well, I know Byerly's has the high school pottery for sale once a year or so. No chain stores, and nothing that would put a current business in the Texa-Tonka area out of business.
Michael Rose (Editor) April 12, 2012 at 06:03 PM
That probably would work pretty well. Large enough building—4,000 square feet.
Emily B April 12, 2012 at 08:22 PM
My friend is an artist and she is part of a shop called Something New in the Park (in St. Anthony Park). They have 60 artists who sell their stuff there. Here is their website: http://somethingnewinthepark.wordpress.com/ I haven't been there yet, but might be an interesting concept to consider... maybe something new in OUR Park!
Michael Rose (Editor) April 12, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Emily, I grew up in St. Anthony Park (and used to work at Speedy Market). Love the area. A little artist shop would be a great addition to SLP. So would a neighborhood grocery and deli! ;)
Jeanne Andersen April 12, 2012 at 09:57 PM
For you history buffs, here's what it was long ago: http://www.slphistory.org/history/mtka7916.asp We think there may have been a building west of it also; see http://www.slphistory.org/history/mtka7920.asp
AP April 12, 2012 at 10:56 PM
I would give almost anything for a bakery in SLP. I'd especially like to own it, but that's just a dream. :)
Patty Hoy April 13, 2012 at 12:07 AM
We need a Noodles & Company, Chipotle, and chain or locally owned coffee shop in this neighborhood!
Dennis Bergkamp April 16, 2012 at 02:37 AM
I'd love to see an offshoot of Cecil's Deli in St. Paul or the newly reopened Lincoln Del.
Michael Rose (Editor) April 16, 2012 at 02:45 AM
As someone who used to work at a small, neighborhood deli, I can get behind this idea.
Heather G April 17, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Ooh, never been to Cecil's, but legend has it my late mother-in-law was a HUGE fan, and she was a tough cookie to impress. I'd give it a try!
Heather G April 17, 2012 at 10:17 PM
I'd also like to see a family friendly eatery w/some low-key entertainment everybody can enjoy. A little jazz trio on a Saturday evening, an acoustic guitar performance on a Sunday, or maybe even, yep, I'm going there, the "K" word, (karaoke,) once a week. The closest we have to family oriented entertainment in SLP is Park Tavern, but it's too grown up for the kids at night in the dining/bar area. I've often looked at this empty building & seen the potential for this.
Maryann Drabelis May 05, 2012 at 02:35 AM
I have read several suggestions for that empty building on the corner of Texas and Minnetonka - and have seen the potential for that site. Bakery, crafts, small coffee shop, anything that you have mentioned above would work GREAT!!!
Terry M. Warner June 07, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Lets get a decent coffee shop here! Parking is good, and it helps the "walk-ability" factor. If Linden Hills and 50th-and-France can do it, so can we here in the park! The city fathers need to look BEYOND Excelsior Blvd! Terry

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