Proposal would convert Suburban World Theater into more Uptown retail space

Proposal would convert Suburban World Theater into more Uptown retail space

The dormant Suburban World Theater may become the latest historic Uptown property to follow the Uptown Bar and be converted into retail space.

POUR ONE OUT: Uptown Bar demolition photos

But unlike the Uptown Bar, the developer who wants to convert Suburban World (it was known as the Granada Theater before 1954) isn't planning to tear it down and start from scratch.

As first reported by the Star Tribune, the following item is on a Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission agenda early next month:

Renovation and Partial Restoration of Granada Theater. The project proposes to renovate the Granada Theater into a retail store and would include restoration of the exterior, removal of the kitchen area, restoration of the existing theater space walls and perimeter circulation, and introduction of a flat floor to facilitate retail store experience and center entry to the theater for visual connectedness.

At this point, it's unclear exactly what sort of retail realtor Jesse Olson has in mind for the building, which was first constructed in 1927.

But the plan certainly sounds like a significant renovation, and since Suburban World is an official Minneapolis historical landmark, any redevelopment of it has to first be approved by the Preservation Commission. As is explained nicely by the Our Uptown blog in this post, securing the commission's approval can drive up redevelopment costs.

Still, after more than a year of the theater sitting vacant, it's fair to ask -- is using the space for something, even if it ends up being a Microsoft Store, better than leaving it in its current pleasing-to-the-eye but unused state?

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at

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