The rumors are true: Trader Joe's will open in downtown Minneapolis

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Trader Joe's has plans to open in downtown Minneapolis in the first half of 2017.

Nearly a year after rumors began swirling about the grocery chain opening in the city, Trader Joe's confirmed to BringMeTheNews Tuesday it signed a lease at 21 Washington Ave. S., near the new Vikings stadium in the city's Downtown East neighborhood.

The store will include a separate wine shop next door at 260 Chicago Ave. S., and 72 parking spots dedicated to customers, Trader Joe's says.

It will be part of The East End, a development by Minneapolis-based Sherman Associates, the Star Tribune reports.

Earlier this year, the Business Journal reported on the developer's plans for The East End project, which include renovating three existing buildings and constructing a seven-story apartment building with 180 units, plus a grocery store on the main level.

But Sherman Associates wouldn't confirm rumors that the planned grocery store would be a Trader Joe's.

Once open, it will become the third grocery store in downtown Minneapolis, but the first in the eastern half of the downtown area, the Star Tribune reports. Lunds and Byerlys opened in 2012, with Whole Foods opening the following year, the Business Journal said.

Trader Joe's is known for its imported and domestic foods, with many under its own label, and beverages at lower prices compared to other retailers. The grocery chain began in 1958 in California, and has since expanded to 440 stores in 4o states, including several in Minnesota, its website says.

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