by Dennis Dalman
Two businesses, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Starbucks Coffee, are expected to be built at Sartell River Crossings, a development area near the bridge in south Sartell.
Chipotle serves Mexican-style fast foods such as burritos, tacos and quesadillas. The franchise was founded in Colorado in 1993 and now has more than 2,000 locations in the United States, Britain, Canada, France and Germany. Chipotle is the Mexican name for a smoked-and-dried jalapeno chili pepper.
Starbucks Coffee, founded in Seattle in 1971, is the largest coffee-shop chain business in the world. It now has more than 34,000 locations in 80 countries.
A timeline for the opening of the two new businesses will be announced once the required reviews are done by city staff, said Nikki Sweeter, Sartell’s engagement director.
Earlier this year, it was announced a Mister Carwash will be constructed at that same site, River Crossings, which was a former residential neighborhood area. Part of that area is in LeSauk Township. The developer bought most of those lots from residents, but six declined to sell. That resulted in controversy when two of the residents, Jim and Diane Braegelman, repeatedly raised concerns to the city council about noise and traffic. Mister Carwash will be built just a stone’s throw from the home they’ve lived in for nearly 50 years.
Up to four more commercial properties, as yet unnamed, could be built on that area near the river near Highway 15.
The developer of River Crossings is Paul Tucci, who is vice president of development for the Twin Cities-based Oppidan, a national property-development firm. Tucci earned a degree in business accounting from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in finance from the University of St. Thomas.
According to its website, Oppidan “creates unique opportunities for industry-leading retailers and investors. Passionate and client-driven, we pinpoint their wants and needs efficiently, then develop and deliver well-designed and well-built properties in the best possible locations, at the lowest possible cost, in record time.”