7500 EXCELSIOR BLVD.

COAST TO COAST

Coast to Coast Stores built a $3 million, 21 acre warehouse at 7500 Excelsior Blvd. in 1956. A grand opening was held on February 8-9, 1957, with special guest Governor Orville Freeman. 200 people struck the facility in 1961.  In 1964 there were 400 employees.  Coast to Coast occupied the building until about 1977.

1960
1960

 


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1962 aerial by Vincent H. Mart, courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

 

Coast to Coast had a retail store in St. Louis Park, located in the Lilac Way Shopping Center.


PICKWICK/MUSICLAND

In 1977 the building was home to Pickwick International, the folks who brought us all those record offers on TV.

 


JAPS-OLSON

Japs-Olson is a printing company started in 1907 by Barney Japs and G.F. Olson. Some background from Hennepin History:

Bernard W. Japs was born in 1882 in Watertown, Minnesota, to a Prrussian immigrant father and a first-generation American mother.  While president of Minneapolis Ruling and Bookbinding, he patented his loose-leaf binders that held custom-printed ruled paper used in accounting ledgers.

Gustav F. Olson was born in Sweden in 1873.  At the age of eight, he immigrated to the U.S., eventually opening a print shop in downtown Minneapolis in the 1930s.  Olson printed business letterheads, inventory slips, sales receipts, and forms used by traders at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, allby using hand-set letterpress type.

Frank Beddor was a 13-year-old boy from Buffalo, Minnesota, when he started working for Olson in 1906.  When he was drafted for WW I, Olson told him his job would be waiting for him.  While he was in France, Japs and Olson merged.  When Beddor returned to his job in 1919, the sign on the door said Japs-Olson.

 

japsolson1928
Ad from 1928, Courtesy Manny Camilon

 

Japs sold his partnership to Olson in 1929.  Beddor became company president in 1937, and when Olson died in 1946, Beddor owned the company.  Today Beddor’s third generation continues to run this privately-held family business.

 

The company moved to North Minneapolis in the 1970s.

 

In August 1996 the Japs-Olson Company purchased the building at 7500 Excelsior Blvd. from Musicland and moved in in January 1998 after major renovation of the 410,000 sq. ft. site.

In 2005 it employed 650 people and is one of the top 10 commercial printing and direct mail production companies in the country. The company prints, personalizes and mails about a billion pieces of mail a year.  Clients include Charles Schwab, Sprint, and Thrivent Financial.  The building features its own on-site postal substation.  Presses run 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, and the company is the biggest employer in St. Louis Park.

The front lobby features a display case filled with the company’s promotional items, such as wood rulers, paperweights, playing cards, and golf tees.

 

eb7500japs2000
2000


In 2016-2017 the company significantly expanded its facility at the northeast quadrant of Excelsior Blvd. and Meadowbrook Road. The company added 192,000 sq. ft. of production and warehouse space to its existing 513,000 sq. ft. building, which is expected to result in approximately 150 new jobs. Since the expansion site bisected property located in St. Louis Park and Hopkins, the two cities completed a land swap to facilitate the project.  Japs-Olson also partnered with the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District to create a trailhead on Excelsior Blvd. to connect to the boardwalk trail system located adjacent and east of the property.

 

June 2017 – Expansion Completed