Reality show entertainment venue being proposed for old Sears store in St. Paul

Rickey Johnson, creator of Brix Entertainment, hopes to attract chefs and musicians from across the country to compete.

ST PAUL, Minn. — What once served as an east metro shopping destination, now sits boarded up and vacant in St. Paul, after the old Sears store off Rice Steet closed in January of 2019.

“Right now, we just want to secure this location,” said Rickey Johnson, creator of Brix Entertainment.

But that could all change if Johnson could have his way with the future of the property.

“This is a brand new business concept, never been done,” explained Johnson.

He’s proposing a reality show entertainment venue, which he’s been dreaming up over the last 10 years.

“We’re going to have two live shows…a culinary arts show and music show,” said Johnson.

Which he hopes will draw chefs and musicians from across the country here to the Twin Cities to compete while also serving as an entertainment destination.

“You get to test the food, we could figure out a way that we could duplicate the food that’s being judged by the culinary arts judges while the food is being served, on the music side you’ll be able to vote,” Explained Johnson .

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He went on to say, “some of our winners, we hope to have contracts with American Idol, America’s Got Talent, The Voice, some of the cooking competitions, our winners will go from this show to those shows to compete again.”

Right now, Johnson is working with private investors like the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA), and architects.

“I’m working with an architect Peter Vallard and he’s designing a diagram to fit that outside that’s going to fit the stage area, because we’re going to have a stage outside for live music in the summer.”

Johnson says he’s also in talks with Seritage Growth Properties, who currently owns the 17.5-acre property, but it’s unknown to what extent.

“At this point I cant really talk about that due to the fact that I kind of have a nondisclosure agreement with Seritage involved with it,” he said.

“One of the biggest things I wanted to do within the Twin Cities area, especially St. Paul, is start to see businesses come back, restaurants of all different types of cultural backgrounds, music, more music events.”

Johnson says he hopes to see this dream come to fruition within the next two to three years.

For anyone interested in investing in the project, or for more information you can email Rickey Johnson at johnson55016@comcast.net.

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