The Blair Boutique Apartments/Blair Arcade
Location: St. Paul
Completion Year: 2018
Description: 91 apartment units, 66,000 SF office/retail
Project Partners: Kaas Wilson Architects, RoehrSchmitt Architecture
Blair Arcade and The Blair Boutique Apartments is a mixed-use property located on the corner of Western and Selby Avenues in the historic Cathedral Hill area of St. Paul. Blair Arcade includes 67,000 SF of office/retail and is spread over two connected buildings, Blair East and Blair West. The east portion includes the ground floor and lower level of a historic 1887 stone building, with privately-owned condominiums above, and is home to well-known retailers Nina’s Coffee, Estetica Salon and The Coven. The west portion was built in 1983 and is home to Yumi Sushi and numerous neighborhood service businesses as well as the 91-unit The Blair Apartments.
The Excelsior Group purchased the project in 2017 and invested heavily in deferred maintenance as well as redesigning the interior spaces which were dreary and worn and stood in opposition to the vibrancy of the surrounding neighborhood. The resulting dynamic new building fuses the historic elements of Blair East with modern function and design in order to retain and attract the residents and business that are critical to the area’s vitality. Blair Arcade has become an incubator for local business and entrepreneurs. There are 22 businesses in Blair Arcade, all are locally owned and more than half of them are women-owned businesses.