Duluth's newest neighborhood expands

By KBJR News 1

August 5, 2014 Updated Aug 5, 2014 at 8:30 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)--- One year ago , the Bluestone Commons Development was home to a brand new ninety nine apartment complex called Bluestone Lofts. Now a year later....

"We also have the shops at Bluestone, six commercial spaces that we leased out," said Peggy Walsh, Bluestone Development Property Mgr.

Everything from Q'Doba, to Starbucks to SportsClips is part of the retail complex. In addition, the Tavern on the Hill, a new bar and restaurant that will seat around 500 people, is opening in the development on August 25.

"we're part of something that is new, exciting, cutting edge, that I think Duluth needs and the University needs," said Cullen Flaherty, Vice President of Operations for Blackwoods Group.

Q'Doba, a fast, casual Mexican restaurant opened in the commons two weeks ago. General Manager Andrew Hallfrisch says the development was much needed in Duluth.

"It's one of those things that I feel there has been a void in this area of the neighborhood," said Andrew Hallfrisch, General Manager of Q'Doba.

He says customers day in and day out have raved about the small neighborhood filled with shops, housing, and restaurants.

"They know the exact mileage of how far away it is from their house. They will come up and say hey this is 3 tenths of a mile from our house. I've had five or ten people that are like that. Still, that just shows the excitement that they have. They have been waiting for something like this," said Hallfrisch.

Some have compared the development across from the University of Minnesota Duluth to Dinkytown near the U of M campus in MInneapolis, but Bluestone Property Managers say to be careful about the comparison.

"We're trying not to get that reputation as a Dinkytown necessarily because we want to make people feel like they're welcome to come here and shop at the shops and have something to eat here, whether or not they live here at Blue Stone. We're not just here for our Bluestone residents , we're here for the whole community."

Developers at the Bluestone Commons plan to add an additional six shops that will open in Spring of 2015 plus start construction on another 120 apartments to keep up with the demand.

Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati