Construction Zone: AutoZone on Central Entrance
What: AutoZone Where: 224 E. Central Entrance, Duluth Project: Renovate the former Blockbuster Video store into an AutoZone store, which sells automotive and light truck parts, chemicals and accessories. Size: The one-story building, built in 199...
Where: 224 E. Central Entrance, Duluth
Project: Renovate the former Blockbuster Video store into an AutoZone store, which sells automotive and light truck parts, chemicals and accessories.
Size: The one-story building, built in 1991, is 6,500 square feet.
Owner: According to city property records, the property owner is the Nancy A. Freund Life Trust.
General contractor: Van Tassel-Proctor Construction of Little Rock, Ark. The company has served as contractor for more than 500 new AutoZone stores.
"We do them all over the country," said David Armstrong, the Duluth project coordinator. "We build a lot of ground-up new stores as well. A lot of times they go into Blockbusters and other former video stores."
Timeline: Construction work began in early June and should finish in late July. The retailer is scheduled to move in on July 30.
Project status: The concrete building has been gutted, with windows and doors removed and a new roof installed. New utility systems are going in, sealing work being done and a loading dock will be added. Sheetrock and other interior work remain, as well as installing new windows and doors and AutoZone's signature red/orange/gray and white storefront.
Project cost: About $350,000.
About AutoZone: The auto parts retail chain, founded in 1979, has more than 480 stores in 48 states, Puerto Rico and Mexico. The closest store to Duluth is in Cloquet.
Store sites: The new AutoZone store is opening next to Advance Auto Parts, another auto parts store.
"That's typical," Armstrong says of the proximity. "You can almost always see one if you look out the door of an AutoZone store. I've never understood it."
Construction Jobs: About eight subcontractors are working on the Duluth project, creating about 40 jobs. The general contractor uses both local and outside contractors on their projects, Armstrong said.
Of special note: Last week, the construction site was picketed by local union trades people.
"We're a nonunion company," Armstrong said. "If we're in an area we know is union, we try to get all union people. We do use union in areas highly unionized. We just didn't know about this. We didn't realize this was going to be a union area."