WaHu Student Apartments near the University of Minnesota will open at the beginning of August to both student and non-student renters, but the retail spaces below the complex won’t be filled until the start of the semester.
The new Stadium Village apartment complex will house six businesses, including a pizza restaurant, a salad bar and a bank. Though the exact incoming businesses aren’t set in stone, surrounding companies say they aren’t worried about the potential competition.
The incoming businesses are meant to bring more traffic to the area, said Danielle Buoniconti, general manager of Campus Apartments, the more than 50-year-old company that owns WaHu, along with the 700 on Washington and Radius at 15th. She said she feels students usually spend their free time in Dinkytown.
The salad bar opening in the space will be the first of its kind in Stadium Village, Buoniconti said.
And despite the several pizzerias already around the University, Stadium Village Punch Pizza general manager AJ Niemiec said he’s not concerned that another pizza restaurant will drive traffic away from the Neapolitan-style eatery, which he said attracts fewer undergraduate customers than others.
“Our customers are mostly professionals, graduate students and doctors from the hospital,” Niemiec said.
Still, some businesses can’t withstand more competition, Niemiec said, pointing to Stadium Village’s Campus Pizza, which closed in March.
Stadium Village Dairy Queen owner Chris Ferguson said he thinks the new businesses may attract more customers to the area.
“The more you add to the area, the more vibrant it is,” he said.
Buoniconti said the businesses are expected to open in early September.