Wednesday, January 13, 2010
St. Cloud State University President Earl Potter III today announced that the new student housing, retail space and university welcome center under construction on the site of the former Coborn’s grocery store on Fifth Avenue South downtown, will be named Coborn Plaza in recognition of the family’s long-time dedication to community improvement.
“There are few in St. Cloud who can match the Coborn family’s commitment and generosity to St. Cloud and surrounding communities,” said Potter. “We are pleased to name this innovative new structure as a permanent means of recognizing the Coborn family’s extraordinary dedication to community stewardship.”
Coborn Plaza consists of two, four-story buildings of high quality apartments for up to 455 students, 19,000 square feet of retail space and a 12,000-square-foot St. Cloud State Welcome Center. The buildings represent the first phase of the $100 million “Fifth Avenue Live!” redevelopment of the Fifth Avenue corridor between St. Cloud State and downtown.
“We are deeply honored to have this outstanding new set of facilities named for our family,” said Coborn’s President and CEO, Chris Coborn. “We are confident the entire 5th Avenue Live redevelopment will be a positive catalyst for neighborhood renewal and downtown revitalization.”
Coborn Plaza and Fifth Avenue Live! stem from the efforts of Fifth Avenue LLC, a partnership including the Coborn family, Cornerstone Construction of St. Cloud, and local attorney and St. Cloud State alumnus, Brian Schoenborn.
Minneapolis-based Dunbar Development Corporation is managing construction of Coborn Plaza. Dunbar has built student apartments with the non-profit J.A. Wedum Foundation at the University of Minnesota, and with the Winona State University Foundation at Winona State.
The J.A. Wedum Foundation will lease the welcome center space and student apartments to the University. The Minneapolis-based non-profit foundation was founded 50 years ago in Alexandria, Minn. and has helped develop senior and student housing in Buffalo, Rochester, Minneapolis, Fridley and Mankato. St. Cloud State’s Residential Life staff will manage the student-housing portion of Coborn Plaza.
St. Cloud-based and employee-owned Coborn’s Inc. has served central Minnesota for 89 years, and is recognized for its outstanding commitment to the communities it serves. The company annually donates more than $2.3 million and thousands of volunteer hours for local organizations and non-profit agencies. In 2008, the Coborn family donated $2 million to St. Cloud Hospital to fund expansion and enhancement of a cancer center that now bears their name. The Coborn Cancer Center is central Minnesota's first specialty center dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.