Northstar village opens piece by piece |

Northstar village opens piece by piece

Jon Beckhardt

Amidst cranes, hustling workmen, and shrieking drills, the Village at Northstar has finally begun to open for commerce.Despite continuing delays, phase one of Northstar’s village is coming to completion piece by piece, as shops and restaurants open one at a time. Seven shops are now open, as well as four restaurants and the ice skating rink. Three more shops and five restaurants are scheduled to open in the coming months.”[Customers] are coming in full force,” said Brad Taylor, manager at True North, expressing an enthusiasm heard from village shop workers who said they were glad to have their stores open. “Because we opened so late, we are still stocked with limited edition gear.”Phase one of the village includes three buildings for shops and restaurants and other amenities, 72 condominiums, and the 9,000-square-foot ice skating rank. Nicole Klay, spokeswoman for the development, said this phase will be complete by summer. In fall 2005, East West Partners, the company managing the construction of the village, said the first phase of the village would be complete by the start of the ski season. Klay said both the early season rainfall and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina unexpectedly delayed work because there was a shortage of construction materials.The delays were not a result of a state order that stopped construction on the village in November 2004 due to repeated water quality violations, said village construction director Bob Gaus.Now, builders and retailers, like Oakley Icon manager Armando Enriquez, said they were looking forward to the coming months.”It should be a great year,” Enriquez said. “Business will increase as we open more and more [of the village].” Furthermore, tenants were placated with three months paid rent, and condominium owners were given a $250 gift certificate to Wild Goose, a restaurant operated by East West Partners, Klay said. Meanwhile, 70 percent of the retail spaces have been leased, she said. Construction for phase two of the project, which will include two buildings of condominiums and a village plaza, is underway. Klay said it should be complete by the start of next ski season. Now Open at NorthstarStores:Oakley IconThe North FaceTrue NorthButterboxMineHelly HansenElite FeetRestaurants:Grapes and Grounds (opening Feb. 2)Big Wave Burritos & WrapsTimbercreek RestaurantLuv Shack BarComing SoonStores:The Village Gallery at NorthstarDouble Diamond JewelryTripflixRestaurants:Earthly DelightsS’more’s KioskStarbucks CoffeeEuro Snack Timbercreek Restaurant