Remodel begins on River City Center
River City Center is bringing a new look to its Second Street location with work planned to the facade of the building, as well as its lower level space.
Owner Brian Zeller has been planning the remodel of the 100,000-square foot building with nine local partners.
The center will keep all of its existing tenants, with some such as Riverfront Athletic Club and AG Parts expanding into lower level spaces, and also bring in additional tenants.
Crews will start to take down the facade next week. Businesses will remain open and accessible during construction work.
"From the tenants' perspective, they're excited about getting a new facelift and the city's excited, and obviously the developing group wanted to make some changes and make it look aesthetically pleasing," said Managing Partner Lynn Robson.
The old building front will be replaced with a new look designed to fit in more with the feel of downtown Hudson, Robson said.
"Especially since it's one of the first businesses welcoming people to our community," Robson said.
Owner Brian Zeller spent time digging through archives at the Hudson Area Public Library. The new design is based off several historic Hudson buildings.
Zeller bought the building two years ago. Born and raised in the St. Croix Valley, he's done a lot of projects on the hill in Hudson. He'd long felt that the River City Center building could be improved.
"I always thought this building had a lot of potential," Zeller said.
The location required approvals from several regulatory bodies along with the city because of its location in a floodplain. Robson said many were hesitant to get involved due to the process and scale.
The approvals process finally wrapped up in December.
Now Zeller said the work on the building is set to be finished in 6 months.
Work will also include remodeling the lower level of the building that overlooks First Street and the St. Croix River. That 45,000 square-foot space used to be warehouse.
"It was really underutilized," Zeller said.
The floor has been raised by 2 feet, so it rests a foot above the highest water level.
The space will be opened up with windows overlooking the river, Robson said.
"It's just going to look welcoming and beautiful," she said.
They expect all their parking will be taken up by tenants, and will begin enforcing it. Zeller said the project is adding new public parking spaces on First Street. The building will also have a boardwalk to ensure businesses are accessible even during flooding.
Zeller said he is looking forward to the project's completion.
"It's something we're proud of," he said.