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Members Cooperative Credit Union to build new branch

The long discussion of when and where Members Cooperative Credit Union will build their new branch in the Miller Hill Mall area is finally being solidified this week. Plans are going forward to the Duluth Planning Commission for the rezoning of a site in order to make way for a new branch to be constructed at 609 West Central Entrance. That's the site located in front of Cub Foods that currently houses a shuttered Midas Auto Repair shop. Midas had been in search for a new franchisee to take over the location for over a year now, with those plans never being fulfilled the site was up for grabs for new development.

It has been reported for a few years now that Members Cooperative was in search for a site to build a new branch near the Miller Hill mall. Currently they have a small location in the building in front of the Miller Hill Mall that also houses Firestone. Their location is so hidden it in fact often goes unnoticed to general public as it is tucked to the rear portion of the building.

The Midas building will be razed to make way for a new 4,900 square foot, one story branch to be constructed on site. The design of the building will be far different from the location in Duluth's Spirit Valley. It will however feature three drive through lanes for the ease of access for it's customers, a convenience not found at their current Miller Hill area location. 19 parking spots will be included on site, 12 for customers, seven for their employees. The site redevelopment will also include a sidewalk to the front and left side of the site which will be in compliance with the future sidewalk to city plans to install on Central Entrance.

It was long rumored that the new branch was to be constructed in the parking lot in front of Shopko, an outlot site had been marketed for development for many years, a site that Members Cooperative had apparently been in negotiations for for quite some time. The Midas site however features much better exposure and far easier access for Member Cooperative's customers as it is tucked right up next to Central Entrance.

Our view. This will do wonders for this area. Residence Inn really set a momentum of new development in a portion of Central Entrance that had remained stagnant development wise for much of the last decade. The Midas building itself was beginning to look run down and did not attract much business with it's direct competitor, Tires Plus, located next door. We think that this branch hopefully will continue to solidify greater development in this sector of the Miller Hill Mall area. There still is an out lot available ideally for a retail store/center or restaurant to be developed to the right of the Residence Inn project, along with a few acres of land directly across the road available for commercial development. The city's future plans for this area see a live,work, play community that features a combination of retail space and residential dwellings in buildings directly abutting Central Entrance. The hope is to make a walkable community. If that plan can come to fruition it would create quite the entrance to Duluth's largest and most successful retail district.

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