Several members of the Uptown neighborhood fought the creation of Calhoun Square in the early 80's, fearing it would alter the primarily residential quality of their neighborhood. Well they were correct-Calhoun Square did drastically change the face of the Uptown area. But two decades later, the jury is still out on whether this was a positive or negative change.
Calhoun Square's popularity has waxed and waned over the past two decades-most noticeably with regards to the second floor. In the early 90's, virtually every second floor retail space was filled. Today, nearly all of those spaces are empty, with the exception of a few restaurants.
Fortunately for Calhoun Square management, the first floor has fared much better. Figlios restaurant has been there since the late 80's, and Borders books, the Kitchen Window and other, smaller first floor shops have done quite well also.
This Uptown "mini-mall" has only gone through a few slight modifications since its intial construction--most noticeably in the recent addition of garish, Block-E style signage on the rooftop. But drastic new changes are coming. The plans call for expanding the mall across the entire city block (and, unfortunately, taking out several successful shops such as Orr Books, and red lure red with it), and the addtion of three or four floors of upper story condos.
While increased housing density in urban areas is almost always good in my opinion (the condos), I worry that the new Calhoun Square will further destroy boutique shopping opportunities in the area-with the addition of big, national retailers in the mall, and a diminished number of storefront shops (with the removal of Orr books, etc) along Hennepin Avenue.