More information has emerged about the new construction projects near Victor Gardens’ main entrance. The following is a Star-Tribune article from the Business Section dated August 13, 2007, written by Don Jacobsen:
VICTOR GARDENS MEDICAL OFFICE PROJECT
Southwest corner of County Road 8 and Victor Hugo Blvd., Hugo
Area: 15,000 square feet
Developer: Mondo Management
Details: Commercial development in fast-growing Hugo is continuing apace this summer, as the housing slowdown that has affected many suburbs isn't hitting as hard in this northern Washington County town.
The intersection of Victor Hugo Boulevard and County Road 8 (also known as Frenchman Road) is only a few hundred yards east of an Interstate 35E exit. A county road construction project has also made it more accessible from Hwy. 61, just a half-mile farther east. This juxtaposition has proved beneficial for Victor Gardens, a master-planned residential community, which, according to its developers, is still seeing brisk home-buying activity for its planned 650 housing units.
And that, in turn, has meant sufficient demand for commercial buildings at the Victor Hugo and County Road 8 intersection to spur construction activity in three of its quadrants. The latest groundbreaking was held last month in the southeast quadrant for a 15,000-square-foot commercial building owned by Northern Lights Holdings LLC, an entity controlled by White Bear Lake-based Northern Lights Pediatrics, a health care firm that will be the new building's main occupant.
Additional tenants in the new building will probably include other types of health care providers, says Jeff Wallis, a principal with Mondo Management, the codeveloper and leasing agent for the building.
"We're looking at a December opening for this building, with tenants possibly moving in by January," he said, adding that a similarly sized retail building in the southwest quadrant, developed by St. Paul-based Positive Companies and anchored by a Northeast Eye Care clinic, is also under construction; it is set for an opening within 90 days.
"We're also managing that building, and it's 70 percent leased," Wallis said. "It will include a Fantastic Sam's, a Guys and Dolls salon and a USA Karate studio in addition to the eye clinic."
Last year, the intersection's northeast corner got a retail jump-start with a project spearheaded by United Properties called Victor Marketplace, including a Festival Foods store operated by Knowlan's Super Markets Inc. Also slated for the center was a 5,000-square-foot liquor store, operated by Knowlan's, called On the Rocks Wine and Spirits, and 15,000 square feet of additional retail.
Victor Gardens is being codeveloped by Contractors Property Developers Co. and Pratt Homes. Shelley Tompkins, a vice president and marketing director for Contractors, said that about two-thirds of the development's townhomes and about half of its single-family houses have been sold, and that the retail portion has been scrupulously designed to mesh with them.
"It's unlike many other suburban retail centers in that it's just as easy to walk to as drive to," she said. "It has French European design features and really fits in with the whole idea of making Frenchman Road the front door to Hugo."
Reprinted from Star Tribune, August 13, 2007