Kowalski’s is headed to Shoreview

The former Rainbow Foods in Shoreview, pictured here shortly after closing in 2014, will soon be the home of a Kowalski’s Market. Plans for the new grocery store at the corner of County Road 96 and Hodgson Road were approved by the Shoreview City Council Feb. 1. (Mike Munzenrider/Review)
The former Rainbow Foods in Shoreview, pictured here shortly after closing in 2014, will soon be the home of a Kowalski’s Market. Plans for the new grocery store at the corner of County Road 96 and Hodgson Road were approved by the Shoreview City Council Feb. 1. (Mike Munzenrider/Review)

The former Rainbow Foods location at County Road 96 and Hodgson Road in Shoreview will soon be the home of a new grocery store. 

The city has cleared the way for a Kowalski's Market to move into the 68,000-square-foot space built in the 1990s and left empty when Rainbow's parent company, Milwaukee-based Roundy's Supermarkets, Inc., pulled out of the Twin Cities in July 2014. 

The building has been unused since then, but according to Shoreview Mayor Sandy Martin, city officials and residents have been anxious to have another grocery store occupy it. 

"The community really misses having a grocery store at that location," Martin said. 

Kowalski's and city staff worked with developer Oppidan Investment Company to prepare a proposal for the site — it was unanimously approved by the city's Planning Commission on Jan. 26 and the city council gave it their enthusiastic blessings Feb. 1.

Martin said Woodbury-based company would like to wrap up renovations and open for Thanksgiving 2016.

Some of those renovations entail interior work on the building. The company said it would like to use one-third of the space for its traditional grocery merchandize, and the rest for a coffee shop, a wine shop, a deli, bakery, catering service and general operations.

Kowalski's reportedly has told the city that there will need to be a traffic change, namely a left-turn lane from the eastbound lane of County Road 96.

"For this to be successful, they felt that that was essential," Martin said, adding that the city has already secured permission from Ramsey County to add the turn lane. 

The city would participate in the creation of that turn lane and handle the expense of the construction. 

Martin said details of the cost were still being worked out.

"The important thing is it can be done, and it will be done," Martin said.

She also noted there is a plat open near Highway 96 for a possible restaurant. Shoreview is working with Oppidan to develop plans for that spot, and city staff are encouraging a family or fine-dining eatery, in response to requests from the community.

"The city has heard over and over again that residents want more dining options," Martin said. "They wish they didn't have to leave the city for that as much."

"It all looks very, very promising," she added, regarding attracting a sit-down restaurant. "We have high expectations that it will become a reality."

Jesse Poole can be reached at jpoole@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7815. Follow him at twitter.com/JPooleNews.

 

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