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Demolition to start next week on KDLH building

The buildings on the upper side of West Superior Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues will be razed in the coming weeks to make way for the new $70 million Maurices corporate headquarters, seen here in an artists' rendering. (Submitted image)

The old KDLH-TV and Palladio buildings in downtown Duluth are coming down.

Demolition of the KDLH building is scheduled to begin May 5, with the Palladio Building next door to follow in early June.

The buildings, on the upper side of West Superior Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues, are being razed to make way for the new $70 million Maurices corporate headquarters.

Officials are calling the planned 11-story complex the largest downtown commercial development in the city’s history. At 200,000 square feet, it will take up the entire upper side of the street. With a contemporary design that fits in well with downtown’s older architecture, it’s expected to present an iconic image for people entering downtown from West Superior Street.

Preparation for the start of demolition will move into high gear this week when chain-link fences go up around the site, barricades close off the sidewalks and street parking immediately bordering the site is prohibited, according to Laura Sieger, a Maurices spokeswoman.

The bus stops on both sides of the 400 block of West Superior Street will be removed. Some street parking on the lower side will be lost as well, according to the city of Duluth’s plans.

The setup for demolition is to begin Tuesday with heavy equipment moving in during the week, according to the city and Maurices.

“Superior Street will remain open for two-way traffic,” Sieger said. “But the city will have to turn the traffic signals off at Fifth Avenue West and replace them with four-way stop signs. We’re encouraging people to use alternate routes.”

To get to Interstate 35, drivers will be asked to use First or Third streets and Mesaba Avenue during the heavy construction period.

The demolition of the KDLH and Palladio buildings as well as construction of the new complex, which could take two years, will be overseen by project manager McGough Construction of St. Paul.

Four skywalks that directly connect to the KDLH and Palladio buildings, including one that runs under Fifth Avenue West from the Radisson Hotel, also will close starting this week. They later will be restored.

Construction of the new Maurices Headquarters, which will include a 500-car public parking ramp, is set to start in July and is to be ready for occupancy in spring 2016.

The Maurices clothing chain, which has about 900 women’s clothing stores in the U.S. and Canada, has been based in downtown Duluth since its beginnings in 1931.