Fast-growing clothing retailer Maurices has unveiled the look of its planned headquarters building, which will comprise 200,000 square feet, stand 11 stories tall, and span an entire city block.
In fact, the company is touting its planned office tower as “the largest downtown commercial development in Duluth’s history.”
Maurices has been expanding in recent years and has outgrown its current offices. It’s planning a new office building in downtown Duluth at 425 West Superior Street, which could accommodate 600 employees. Demolition of the former KDLH and Palladio buildings is scheduled for April and will make room for the new headquarters building. The project’s planners hope to finish Maurices’ new headquarters in December 2015.
The retailer currently employs 425 employees across 150,000 square feet of office space split among three buildings in Duluth.
Footing the Bill
Maurices is investing at least $50 million, while the City of Duluth and the state have together committed $20 million that will help finance a public parking ramp and skywalk via a matching grant program. (Floors three through six of the new structure will house a public parking ramp with about 500 stalls.)
The plans for the building have changed somewhat over time. Last April, news surfaced that its previous construction timeline would be delayed, and in October, the size of the project was scaled back from earlier plans that called for 15 stories. Maurices bought the property in December from the AtWater Group, which itself decided not to develop and lease office space on the previously planned top floors (hence the fewer stories).
“With the significant investment Maurices is making, we thought it was prudent for us to own the land and building,” Brian Thun, Maurices’ senior vice president and chief financial officer, said in a statement.
The look too has changed. In fact, the Duluth News Tribune reported that the new design "looks nothing like the gleaming 15-story glass tower depicted in the preliminary rendering."
AtWater Group is still, however, planning to develop and lease 15,000 to 20,000 square feet of commercial and retail space on the ground level and is seeking a restaurant, coffee shop, and other commercial and retail tenants, Maurices said.
Maurices’ new headquarters will also include a “dramatic two-story lobby grand entrance,” a fitness center, an outdoor plaza on the seventh floor overlooking Lake Superior, and an auditorium, among other amenities.
“A design goal for Maurices is to provide a contemporary headquarters building that fits into the fabric of downtown, extends the pedestrian vitality of Superior Street, and adds an icon of economic growth to the city’s skyline,” Ted Davis, design principal of Minneapolis-based RSP Architects, which is designing the building, said in a statement.
Maurices is a subsidiary of the publicly traded Ascena Retail Group, Inc., whose portfolio also includes the Catherines, Dressbarn, Justice, and Lane Bryant brands. Maurices is planning to raise its footprint to more than 900 U.S. and Canada stores this year—and it plans to top $1 billion in sales.
Developments in Duluth
Twin Cities Business has been closely following Duluth’s ongoing economic development. A 2013 “Special Report” took an in-depth look at the city’s many growing sectors, which in addition to Maurices and the retail industry include aviation, health care, and others.
Just last week, TCB gave Duluth Mayor Don Ness its first-ever “Person of the Year” award. To read more about Ness and his work to improve Duluth’s economy, click here.