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CAMBRIDGE, MN-Opus Northwest LLC has broken ground on the $50 million Spirit River Crossings Power Center here at the corner of Balsam and Third avenues. The 250,000-sf project is expected to have Lowe’s and Kohl’s as anchors.

The center is going on top of 40 acres of former parkland, including softball and soccer fields. The city sold the land to the developers, and bought 155 acres across town for a new, larger park. Spirit River was announced in May by Opus, along with three other retail centers in Wisconsin, Montana and Georgia. The company has 35 million sf in planning and in development.

Cambridge, 45 miles north of Minneapolis and the Isanti County seat, has become a regional hub for retail, with Target, Cub Foods, Wal-Mart and Menards all in the area. “A lot of retailers have been looking at this city for a while, and this development fit their bill,” John Gelderman with Opus tells GlobeSt.com. “The market’s been kind of tough, but tenants want to come here, there’s not another store for many companies for 30 to 40 miles.”

The Lowe’s will be 136,000 sf total, and the Kohl’s is also expected to be a large store. The rest will be junior box retailers, smaller shops, restaurants and banks, though Gelderman says tenants haven’t been courted yet. “We really haven’t started a lot of the marketing, that will begin next year around ICSC time,” he says. Peter Armbrust and Stefanie Mayer from NorthMarq will be the leasing agents. The project should be complete in three-to-four years, Gelderman says.

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