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Home Depot in Midway area of St. Paul?

A loyal Deets reader sent over this story about Home Depot’s proposal to build in the Midway area of St. Paul along Pascal at I-94. Home Depot has previously proposed building at Lexington and University but the city asked for too many concessions from HD, so they pulled out of the deal. I think the city made the right call on the previous deal since Lex & University is a relatively high pedestrian area, making a hardware warehouse a poor fit.

This time, the location is along the frontage road to I-94 at Pascal, pictured below (link to Google Map here).

Home Depot Proposed Location

The corner in play is on the North side of St. Anthony Ave (frontage road) and to the West of Pascal St.

This time, however, Home Depot has proposed a transit-oriented design that might win over some of those earlier opponents.

Rather than create a surface parking lot, Home Depot has proposed building a parking ramp and putting scores of parking spaces on the store roof, said Corinne Tilley, a St. Paul zoning official.

The roof parking could help defuse criticism from proponents of the Central Corridor light-rail line proposed nearby.

“If they’re trying to do things that are transit-friendly, then I’m all for it,” said City Council Member Debbie Montgomery, who learned of Home Depot’s site plan Wednesday morning.

That sounds like a smart design change. Put that together with the less pedestrian intensive location along the freeway and things start looking pretty good. Another nice thing is drivers will be able to get on and off the freeway without clogging up traffic (or causing pedestrian conflicts) along University Ave.

The area in question became even more vacant in recent years when Metro Transit removed and demolished their service garage at the corner of St. Anthony and Snelling.

This quote didn’t connect with me at all:

But [Brian] McMahon said a home improvement store doesn’t fit with the sort of transit-oriented development the city has sought for the area. “You’re not going to carry plywood and two-by-fours on a light-rail line or a bus,” he said.

I’ve owned a home for going on three years now, shop at Home Depot on a regular basis (usually the Quarry location because they have hot dogs), and have NEVER carried a piece of plywood or a two-by-four. But I do buy plenty of spray paint, light fixtures, cabinet knobs, house plant, and seeds, which can very easily be carried on a bus or LRT. In fact, Home Depot has a store in Manhattan, where you can be sure nobody is pulling up in SUVs so they can stock up on 2×4’s. Home Depot simply changes their product mix to meet the demands of the local market.

It’s a good fit. Get it done.

7 thoughts on “Home Depot in Midway area of St. Paul?”

  1. The parking on the roof bit seems a little odd to me. It seems in order to support all that weight, you are really going to need a lot of structural support members in the store, taking away its wide open feel.

    Has anyone ever seem something like this done?

  2. There is a Menard’s, as you probably know, at Prior and University. I go there all the time, especially on Sundays when our local hardware store is closed. You know good dman well Home Depot is not going to let Menard’s go uncontested in that area. They’ll find a way to get it done.

  3. Jeff, I was wondering about the roof parking too. Why not put the parking UNDER the building like the Eden Prairie Best Buy location?

    Fritts, control yourself.

    Mike, Menard’s sucks and should only be visited in a pinch.

  4. Why you gotta hate on Menard’s? Is there truly a difference between Home Depot and Menards? I fail to see it. Is there some symbolic subculutural battle going on here? Is this like Ford vs. Chevy? Budweiser vs. Miller? Pop vs. Coke? Blue vs. Grey? ATVs vs. cross country skiiers? Rap vs. country? I think you get the idea.

  5. Here’s some Menard’s history for you. When the CEO is personally dumping chemicals illegally, there’s a problem. Fish rot from the head:

    JS Online: Menard tangles with DNR

    That history includes a 1997 plea agreement in which Menard and founder John R. Menard Jr. agreed to pay $1.7 million in penalties on charges that they violated state hazardous waste laws. The case included allegations that John Menard, a billionaire and one of Wisconsin’s richest people, used his own pickup truck to haul bags of chromium-contaminated incinerator ash produced by the company and dump it into his trash at home.

    Any company in the hardware business could have environmental issues due to the nature of the products they sell, but Menard’s has shown a knack for sticking it to the Earth.

  6. Gee, I used to only use Menards as a last resort because they stocked lower quality products…I always had to sort through 10 sheets of plywood or twenty 2x4s to find one that was not warped, but now I have an even better reason to avoid them.

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