From 1987 through last fall, 12 E. Superior St. belonged to the Duluth’s Electric Fetus. Its closure was “a total loss to the community,” local radio DJ Walter “Walt Dizzo” Raschick told the Duluth News Tribune.
Loyal customers had the opportunity to snag relics from the shop, including a flashy neon sign that simply reads “JAZZ,” at a liquidation auction in September. As of last week, the whole damn building is available for $1.5 million.
“The heart of Duluth… the iconic Electric Fetus building,” reads the property listing. “Sitting on the corner of Lake Avenue and Superior Street, you could not find a more visible location. This building has been meticulously maintained and is ready for its new vision.”
Among the 125-year-old structure’s perks: updated mechanicals, towering ceilings, lake views, and 60% of the space already leased. (Photography and website design companies currently rent offices.) The delightful term “fully sprinkled” is deployed, which we imagine means the sprinkler system works throughout the 12,729 square feet.
“The biggest thing for me to impress upon people would be that the property is fully restored and well cared for, along with the potential of great supplemental income, and such a visible property,” listing agent Greg Fullmer tells Racket. “Side note: It’s got great lake views off the upper rare space as well, and the city allows short term rentals in the commercial space.
Capital-deficient daydreamers on social media are batting around ideas like music venue, café, taproom, etc. It wouldn’t be advised, given the commercial death of tactile music, but a romantic rich person could live out their High Fidelity fantasies and restore the space as a record shop.
The seller is Electric Fetus owner Keith Covart. His company leased the Duluth location until around 2005, when Covart purchased and rehabbed the building. Shortly thereafter, daughter Stephanie Covart Meyerring took over the enterprise with her husband, Aaron. A Fetus rep told the Duluth News Tribune last May that ownership “is open to suggestions and ideas from the community and the city regarding the Duluth building, as the next chapter for the space is currently undetermined.” Now, it seems, anyone with proper financing can write the next chapter for one of Duluth’s most prime retail locations.
Just 22 at the time, Covart opened the original Electric Fetus in Minneapolis’s Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in 1968; the flagship shop moved to its current 2000 4th Ave. S. location in 1972. The Fetus’s St. Cloud outpost closed in 2014 after 27 years in business.
Let’s take a photo tour of the ol’ Duluth Fetus, courtesy of Follmer Commercial Real Estate.