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Kenwood Village mixed-use development unveiled in Duluth

The Kenwood Village mixed-use development, located at the intersection of Kenwood Avenue and Arrowhead Road in Duluth, officially opened Friday. Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com1 / 3
Visitors to the new mixed-use Kenwood Village development stop to talk in the entryway to the apartments during the building's ribbon-cutting and open house Friday. Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com2 / 3
Visitors tour a three-bedroom apartment at the new Kenwood Village development on Friday afternoon. Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com3 / 3

The arms of Duluth's newest mixed-use development reach out to nearby homes, not the busy cross-streets, as if the apartments and shops are offering a warm embrace to the Kenwood neighborhood.

"This project kept the neighborhood in mind," Mayor Emily Larson said. "It takes a development partner who wants to do things in concert with the neighborhood."

Officials cut the ribbon on Kenwood Village at Arrowhead Road and Kenwood Avenue on Friday afternoon, with a few dozen neighbors and others touring the freshly finished complex.

"This project started three years ago," said Rick McKelvey, vice president of United Properties, the Twin Cities firm that developed Kenwood Village. "I think we were able to add to the community in several ways."

The $20 million development boasts 83 market-rate apartments and 14,500 square feet of commercial space. So far about 28 residential leases are signed, and just one commercial space remains.

A combination Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bagels was the first to open Friday, and as per tradition gave out free coffee and bagels for a year for the first few through the doors. There reportedly were students and others camping out before 4:30 a.m. for the freebies.

Also on tap on the ground floor of Kenwood Village is Crooked Pint Ale House, a Minnesota-based bar and restaurant franchise set to open later this spring. This summer a Duluth Teachers Credit Union branch will open as well; McKelvey said there may be an announcement on another tenant "in a few weeks."

United wasn't the first group to approach the city about a development on the corner of Arrowhead and Kenwood, and the soil and rock on the site, as often happens, were a part of what kept others away.

"When we learned we were not the first developer to approach the city with this plan ... we knew we needed more than just commercial space," McKelvey said.

Apartments are on four floors and run from $1,135 for a studio to $1,995 for a three-bedroom unit; the complex has a fitness center, recreation room and self-service car wash, and allows pets.

Kenwood Village joins the recently opened Endi on London Road and 21st Avenue as a blended residential/commercial development. Developers are increasingly pitching such projects as they are in demand from younger and retiring renters alike.

Larson said Kenwood Village, and all the 460 new housing units that came online in the past year, goes a long way toward addressing the lack of housing in a city that wants to grow.

"We have a wondrous and vibrant community that has these needs," she said.

Brooks Johnson

Brooks covers business and the economy for the Duluth News Tribune.

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