A Bloomington company plans to turn a former Sam’s Club in St. Louis Park into its new corporate headquarters.
Loffler Cos. announced Feb. 17 that the imaging and information technology business would consolidate employees from three buildings in Bloomington at the former discount retail store at 3745 Louisiana Ave. S. by the end of this year.
The large building has been empty since Sam’s Club closed in early 2018. The St. Louis Park City Council later approved a moratorium while members created a vision for the site, which is near a planned Southwest Light Rail Transit station. The moratorium lifted after the study, during which council members advocated for reuse of the building and multifamily housing on the 13-acre site.
“It wasn’t our intention to keep it on any longer than needed to get through the planning process,” St. Louis Park Community Development Coordinator Karen Barton said of the moratorium. “It’s really unusual to find a site that large in St. Louis Park – and right adjacent to the light rail line. That’s why we needed to take a moment to step back and really look at what the community wanted to see happen with that property in the long-term.”
She spoke highly of Loffler’s plans, which would lead to more than 500 employees working in the facility.
“It’s a fairly new building and it would be kind of a waste to tear it down,” Barton said. “This was ideal that someone would come in and rescue it and extend the life.”
Representatives of Loffler Cos. indicated they plan to work with a developer to build multifamily housing in the current parking lot in two or three years, Barton said.
Last year, Excelsior-based Oppidan proposed a plan to work with an unnamed high-tech company that would consolidate its offices into a headquarters at the site. The developer at that time had discussed the possibility of a five-story apartment building.
Loffler leaders plan to remodel the building to serve as office and warehouse space, with a new exterior planned. The plan does not entail significantly expanding the building other than potentially adding a mezzanine level in a section for administrative offices, according to Barton. The current plans for the building already meet the city’s zoning code, she said, so council approval would not be necessary. Loffler Cos. did not request any city assistance for the project.
The new employees in the city should help nearby restaurants and retail stores, such as in the Historic Walker-Lake district, Barton said.
Loffler Cos. began in St. Louis Park 35 years ago.
“Loffler’s return to St. Louis Park brings them full circle and moves this site into the future as a creative, mixed-use site,” said St. Louis Park Mayor Jake Spano in a statement. “We are excited to work with Loffler on developing creative housing solutions that will bring the area to even greater promise.”
The company provides IT services along with business security systems, copiers, printers, print services, software related to documents and other products and services. Although the corporate headquarters is moving, it will continue to use its Loffler Business Center site in Bloomington.
The search for a new headquarters began because Loffler Cos. outgrew its warehouse needs, according to founder and CEO Jim Loffler.
“This allows our entire team to work better together, and improve collaboration and efficiency to better serve our clients, employees partners and community,” Loffler said in a statement. “The modern and vibrant facility will help us showcase our advanced capabilities, highlight our incredible employees, and have a little fun while we are at it. What a great way to transition into the next 35 years, with our entire team of professionals under one roof.”
Danielle Loffler, corporate real estate manager for the business, cited access to outdoor space and public transportation among attractions in St. Louis Park. However, she said, “The City of Bloomington and the community have been great partners of ours and will continue to be an important part of our success. We appreciate our long relationship with the city and their role in helping Loffler Companies be an Upper Midwest business success story.”
In St. Louis Park, Barton said, “We’re super excited to have Loffler coming home. It’s just a perfect site, and I think it’s a win for Loffler and a win for the city.”
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