FIRST DRAFT TAPROOM + KITCHEN PLANS LATE JULY OPENING

The interior of First Draft Taproom + Kitchen in Minneapolis | Image: First Draft | Mural by Amy Marie Art

The time has come, Minneapolites...the time of self-serve taps.

First Draft Taproom + Kitchen is nearly ready to open for business. The unique concept that gives customers "the power to pour their own beer, wine or cider" is opening their first Minnesota location on the ground floor of Variant, a brand new residential building in the North Loop just blocks from Target Field.

The opening date? This Saturday, July 14th.

OVER 5O TAPS

First Draft, which bills itself as a unique tasting experience, will be one of the first self pour taprooms to open within the city.

You'll find a HUGE variety of craft beer, wine, cider, kombucha, coffee, and cocktails. When we say huge, we're talking nearly 54 taps in total. One great thing is that these taps are always rotating, ensuring every visit is different from the last and that you'll be able to experience brews from Minnesota all the way to the Coasts.

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One of the best things about First Draft is that you can pour by the ounce, meaning no more wasted beer that you thought you'd like but can't drink more than one sip of. Fun fact? On average customers pour about 4.9 ounces of a beverage.

All that beer tasting might make it a wise choice to eat some food, but don't worry, they've got that too. A full kitchen within the space will serve small plates and some larger dishes for sharing. Dishes include everything from cheese plates and deviled eggs, to Mac and Cheese and Caesar Salad. 

THE SPACE

The first thing you might notice when walking into First Draft might not be the taps, but rather a large mural depicting Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox in front of the Minneapolis skyline. A little nod to Minnesota, eh?

Once you've unlocked your eyes from the mural you'll notice that directly in front of you are the 54 self serve taps, all perfectly laid out on the outside of a large cooler the size of a room (we're not kidding). It is pretty centralized, you can't miss it.

The ceilings within the space have been left open and long liner lighting has been added. Seating throughout the space comes in a variety of styles from long community tables, to bar seating, to luxurious couches for lounging. In addition, there will also be outdoor patio seating available.

ABOUT FIRST DRAFT

Originally from Denver, CO, First Draft Taproom + Kitchen is currently in the process of opening two new location, one in Downtown LA and the other right here in Minneapolis. The company is capitalizing on a new to market trend of self serve taps, something that is sweeping the nation by storm. 

Locations typically feature 50+ taps and serve beer, wine, cider, coffee, cocktails along with food. For more information, visit First Draft Taproom + Kitchen here.

 

NORTH LOOP'S DUFFY PAPER BUILDING COULD BECOME HOUSING

Domimium's proposal for 528 Washington Avenue N.

One of North Loop's last remaining large warehouses may soon see new life as housing.

The Duffy Paper building (528 Washington Avenue N) is one of the last remaining undeveloped properties located on Washington Avenue in the North Loop. The massive building once housed Duffy Paper's offices and production facilities, however in 2016 the business ceased operations within the building and since then it has sat largely vacant.

Plymouth based Dominium would be responsible for the new redevelopment of the building. Dubbed "Iron Store", that project would bring 200 affordable housing units to the North Loop. The project is unique in the fact that 100 percent units would be affordable units, something that the North Loop, one of the most expensive areas to live in Minneapolis, is greatly lacking.

THE PLANS

The large seven story building located at the corner of Washington Avenue and N 6th Avenue would have it's exterior restored and the interior converted into apartments. In addition, Dominium would renovate two additional 1916 warehouses located to the right of the Duffy Paper building into apartments with the grand total for apartments in all three buildings coming in around 140.

But wait, there's more.

Dominium also has plans for the vacant parking lot at the corner of the site at the intersection of Washington Avenue and N 5th Avenue. Plans for that site would include a new residential building that would also house affordable apartment units, about 60 in total, along with underground parking.

Dominium hopes to begin construction on the project in 2019 with an anticipated completion in 2021.

ABOUT DOMINIUM

Based out of Plymouth, MN, Dominium "is one of the nation’s largest and most innovative affordable housing development and management companies." They're no stranger to developing housing and affordable housing is one of their specialties. To top it off, they're skilled in restoring and reconfiguring historic buildings.

 A-Mill Artist Lofts

A-Mill Artist Lofts

Take for example the A-Mill Artist Lofts, one of Dominium's projects that is within the historic Pillsbury mills located along the Mississippi River. Dominium converted that massive building and a few surrounding buildings from run down warehouses into a thriving artist community of 251 lofts. Best part? 100% of the units are affordable. The total project cost came in around $175,000,000, a huge investment for the neighborhood.

 Schmidt Artist Lofts

Schmidt Artist Lofts

Another prime example of Dominium's expertise is the Schmidt Brewery. Completed in 2014, Dominium took that run down site and brought it back to it's former glory, converting the brewery into 247 loft apartments and 13 townhomes. The total investment? $130,000,000.

Those are just two local examples of Dominiums commitment to developing affordable housing. We can't wait to see what magic they work on the Duffy Paper building. 

 

800 WASHINGTON AVE S PROPOSALS REVEALED

Sherman's most recent proposal for a mixed-use project at 800 Washington Avenue S.

Round two. Here we go.

The City of Minneapolis issued a RFP (request for proposals) for a 0.56 acre site located at 800 Washington Avenue S back in April, today the proposals were revealed.

Before we start explaining the proposals let us tell you that it wasn't the first time the city was seeking development proposals for the site.

 Mortenson's original proposal

Mortenson's original proposal

In 2015 the city also submitted a RFP for 800 Washington Avenue S and it received a number of proposals for the site. In the end the city chose a 10 story proposal from Mortenson that would have included a 235 room Hyatt Centric hotel along with 15,000 square feet of office space for the adjacent American Academy of Neurology (AAN) to expand into. However, those plans never came to fruition and shortly after Mortenson was chosen the company walked away from the site.

That brings us to today, a day in which the city of Minneapolis reveals the four proposals it received during round two, one of those proposals being from one of the original developers seeking to build on the site. Let's start with that proposal.

SHERMAN ASSOCIATES (MIXED USE PROJECT)

Sherman's 2015 proposal.

In 2015 Sherman Associates submitted a proposal for a 9 story mixed-use building with a 140 room Kimpton Hotel, 15,700 sqf of office space on the third floor for Sherman Associates new headquarters, and a 25,000 sqf Pinstripes bowling alley on the first and second floor. 

Sherman's 2018 proposal.

The proposal submitted the second time around looks somewhat similar on paper, however a shift from hotel rooms to apartments has occurred while the exterior design has also been updated.

This time around Sherman Associate's proposal is for a 10 story mixed-use building. The first and second floor would still include a Pinstripes bowling alley, the third story would still be home to office space, this time around space for the AAN, and the remaining floors above would instead be devoted to 112 apartments. 20 percent of the housing units proposed would be affordable units for those making less than 60% of the area's median income.

The estimated cost for the project would be around $54 million.

AECOM (MIXED-USE PROJECT)

AECOM, a developer based out of LA, has proposed a mixed-use project that would be eight stories tall. Little was given on the details of the project, however the building would house 76 for sale condo units along with office space for AAN on the lower floors.

More information should be available in the coming weeks about this proposal.

OPPIDIAN INVESTMENT COMPANY (COMMERCIAL PROJECT)

Based out of Excelsior, MN, Oppidian Investment Company has pitched a six to eight story building that would be entirely commercial. The goal would be to attract a large office tenant that would lease a majority of the space within the project.

Developers state the the building would be perfect for a company who is "image conscious" and a company that "values a human-scale building — not one for 20 tenants in a 250,000-square-foot building." 

Overall the Oppidian's proposal is expected to cost somewhere between $40-$60 million.

Oppidian is also currently developing The Capp, a mixed-use project under construction off of Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis. That project made the headlines earlier this year as it will be home to Cub Foods first ever small-format store. In addition to the 46,000 square foot grocery store, there will also be 3,100 sqf of additional retail space, 148 apartment units located on five of the upper levels of the project, and a public plaza.

45 NORTH GROUP (COMMERCIAL PROJECT)

A local startup firm based out of St. Louis Park is proposing a five story, 72,000 square foot building with ground floor retail space and offices on the upper floors.

45 North Group has stated that the building would be energy efficient, even qualifying as "net zero," meaning that the project would generate as much energy as it uses. This would be achievable due to an expansive set of solar panels planned for the top of the building.

No overall price for the project was given.

We'll have more information for the proposals mentioned above in the coming weeks.


 

THRIVANT FINANCIAL DEBUTS PLANS FOR NEW DOWNTOWN HEADQUARTERS

Another full block surface parking lot is about to disappear in Downtown Minneapolis thanks to Thrivent Financial.

Tuesday evening the non-profit company made public the plans for their new headquarters that would be located at the corner of S 6th Street and 5th Avenue S on the northern half of the block. Now, don't fret because you think only half of the lot is getting filled, there's plans for the other half that we'll get to later.

The new 8 story headquarters would not simply be JUST a headquarters for Thrivent, it would also be a space for the community. Included in the project on the first floor would be a coffee shop, chapel, and an art gallery with the upper floors holding Thrivent's offices.

Outside of the building on the corner of Portland Avenue and S 6th Street would be a pocket park complete with public art. Located just a bit south of the pocket park would be a coffee shop and also a grab-and-go cafe, both which would be open to the public.

With Thrivant being a non-profit company, they like to give back to community and do so in many different ways. They see this new headquarters as another way to give back to the community of Minneapolis. Once constructed they hope that the new building will be seen as an welcoming and iconic entry way into Downtown Minneapolis and a place for all to enjoy.

THE DESIGN

Designed by Minnesota based HGA, the building is meant to really embrace the neighborhood. Large amounts of expansive glass are used to provide a transparent space connecting the interior of the building to the outside surrounding neighborhood.

As mentioned above, the first floor of the project would include a chapel along with a meditation room, both of which are currently found within Thrivent's 17 story headquarters a block away. In addition, there would be a company art gallery.

Located on the skyway level would be a full service Thrivent Federal Credit Union that would be open to the public, similar to how Wells Fargo structured their new headquarters. The skyway would connect the Thrivent's headquarters to a planned mixed-use development on the southern half of the site along with HCMC on the east side of the site. In the future, Thrivent's headquarters would link to the greater Downtown skyway system as projects are built on the neighboring blocks.

ADDITIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Now, what exactly is planned for the southern half of the site that we keep mentioning?

Local developer Sherman Associates has drafted up plans for a 12 story, 150 unit apartment building to be located along 5th Avenue S. In addition, on the Portland Avenue side of the site there would be a 9 story, 120 room suite-oriented hotel. The exact brand of hotel has yet to be disclosed as Sherman Associates is still in the negotiation process.

Lastly, positioned between these two projects would be a two story building with a day care and fitness center, both of which are sure to prove popular with the downtown crowd. 

When looking at both Thrivent Headquarters and the Sherman development as one piece you might have noticed something, Minneapolis is going to see ANOTHER entire block of surface parking redeveloped. Does this remind anyone of maybe a currently under construction project just down the block?

If you're thinking of the redevelopment of the Kraus Anderson headquarters then you're spot on.

That project, which is in its final stages, saw the redevelopment of not only the KA headquarters building, but also the entire surface parking lot surrounding it which ended up being an ENTIRE city block. Today, if you drive by you'll find the brand new 5 story Kraus Anderson headquarters, a 17 residential building called HQ that opened this month, a 4 story Finnegan's brewery that is set to open later this month, and lastly, an under construction, 8 story, 165 room boutique hotel that will be part of Marriott's Autograph Collection called Elliot Park Hotel.  If you haven't seen this project recently, check out the webcam here.

Comparing that development to Thrivent's development we get pretty similar projects. Both include the redevelopment of a surface parking lot, the addition of a headquarters, a hotel, and a residential building. The only major difference? Instead of a brewery like the KA project, we'll get a fitness center and day care. 

Now, this is some progressive development that we're glad to see happening in Minneapolis. Let's keep it going, there's a lot of surface parking lots left to be conquered.

Construction is expected to begin in Summer 2018 with a completion in mid 2020.

 

39 STORY MILL DISTRICT CONDO TOWER PLANNED BY WORLD-RENOWNED ARCHITECTURAL FIRM

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Minneapolis. We're not screaming with excitement, you're screaming with excitement.

Meet Eleven, an ambitious and arguably iconic 39 story residential tower designed by world-renowned architectural firm, Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA).

Planned for a site that is currently a surface parking lot on West River Parkway within the Mill District, the building would be one of the largest and most expensive residential projects to be constructed in Minneapolis post recession.

Local Twin Cities developer Luigi Bernardi has partnered with Ryan Companies to develop the project.

THE DESIGN

Designed in an Art Deco style, the 39 story tower would site atop of a low rise podium that would house parking, rentable guest suites and office space.

The 101 unit tower itself would feature no more than five residential units per floor with the smallest being 1,600 square feet in size. In addition, the tower residences would only feature two bedroom and larger units, something of a rarity within the Minneapolis condo market.

It takes quite a bit of work to design not only a building, but one that can be iconic and more importantly, age well. That's just what RAMSA did.

In the last couple of years, Paul Whalen, a lead design architect and partner at RAMSA, spent quite a bit of time in Minneapolis in order to understand the city and it's architecture. In crafting the design for Eleven, he drew inspiration, scale and details from other buildings found within Minneapolis' historic and notable neighborhoods such as the Mill District and North Loop. Paul's responsible for a number of other iconic RAMSA buildings within the world such as 15 Central Park West in NYC and One St. Thomas Street in Toronto.

This would be the RAMSA's first project in the Upper Midwest and their third project within the Midwest overall. Their latest project in Chicago is called One Bennett Park. Currently under construction, once completed the 69 story striking residential tower will feature 400 apartments and 100 condominium units.

MINNEAPOLIS' NEW CONDO INVENTORY

While Eleven is the newest condo project to emerge on the Minneapolis housing scene, it isn't the only one planned around the banks of the Mississippi River. 

The Legacy, a 374 unit condominium project that reaches 17 stories at its highest point, is in fact under construction as we write directly behind the proposed site for Eleven on the River. That project, which will be complete in Fall 2018, has already sold over a quarter of their units.

In addition, there is a 40 story condo tower called "200 Central" that currently is being planned by developer Alatus on the Northeast side of the river. The site has been cleared for the project but a few legal battles from concerned neighbors had postponed the construction start. With those matters being addressed Alatus plans to begin construction later this year.

Now, don't let the setbacks of that last project concern you when it comes to Eleven on the River as this project is planned in a completely different area with completely different zoning requirements. Therefore it is very unlikely to hit any major snags in the development process.

COULD THIS PROJECT BE A REINCARNATION? 

Some might say that Eleven is a direct response to another of Ryan Companies previous planned condo projects. The plan, for two art deco towers (not designed by the same firm) ranging in height from 22 to 26 stories, proposed for a site in Edina adjacent to Southdale Center. Ultimately, that project was not approved by the City of Edina due to height concerns (keep in mind there is a 18 story Westin pretty much across the street). At that point Ryan Companies told city officials they would take their plan elsewhere, likely combining those two planned buildings into one single structure. Could this be a new form of the project? Potentially.

But let's be honest, if it is a reincarnation of that project then this is Minneapolis' gain and Edina's loss. If it isn't, well, you go Minneapolis' for landing this one. It's about time another world-renowned architect puts their stamp on Minneapolis and we couldn't be more excited for it to be Robert A.M. Stern and his firm.

We'll keep you updated on this exciting project once it begins to go through the City of Minneapolis' planning review. Interested in a unit? Visit www.elevenontheriver.com

 

RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PLANNED FOR PROSPECT PARK

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Looking for housing within Prospect Park? We've got news for you in the form of another project being planned for the ever-growing neighborhood.

Located at 2813 4th Street SE, 4th Street Lofts will be located on a site that is currently a parking lot on the corner of the Green Line's Prospect Park station. The new 6 story building would include 169 residential units, the majority of which would be studios, along with one and two bedroom units.

Now, let's get specific when it comes to those units. This project is unique as so many of the units are studios, typically that style of unit would only be a small portion of the units within the overall project. The developer feels that these units are perfectly suited for the neighborhood as a large amount of its population is college students, many of which are looking for their own place. The 107 micro-units would average about 390 square feet. 

In addition to those studios there would 36 one bedrooms and 26 two bedrooms located within the building. 40 parking spaces and 144 bike storage spaces would be located on one level of underground parking within the building.

THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION

 An aerial showing other development projects happening within the area (The 4th Street Lofts project is located in the upper left corner).

An aerial showing other development projects happening within the area (The 4th Street Lofts project is located in the upper left corner).

Designed by Minneapolis based architectural firm ESG, the ground floor of the property would include over 7,100 square feet of residential amenities. Among those amenities would be a large lobby, clubroom, and fitness center. Those amenities wouldn't be the only thing located on the ground floor, there'd also be 11 residential units, mostly studios.

Floors 2-6 would include additional residential units with a mix studios, 1 bedroom units, and two bedroom units. The sixth floor would include a clubroom with a large outdoor deck and views of the Downtown Minneapolis skyline.

With the building being a L shape, the ground floor would also feature a large outdoor lawn area behind the building with lounge space and an outdoor parking area for 23 bikes.

The building would be clad in brick on the ground floor with the upper levels of the project being clad in white stucco with accents of wood composite and metal panels.

Previously this project received feedback from the City of Minneapolis' Planning Commission on June 28th, 2017, it has since been revised taking that feedback into consideration. It will go before that same committee at their February 20th meeting this month for approval.

 

THEATER EXPANSION PLANNED FOR NORTH MINNEAPOLIS

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A performing arts center in North Minneapolis is set to nearly double in size.

The Capri Theater filed documents with the city in December for an expansion of their current building located at 2027 West Broadway in North Minneapolis. The expansion would be constructed on an adjacent parking lot owned by the City of Minneapolis.

THE DESIGN

Currently the Capri Theater covers 13,000 square feet of space on two levels in a building that was constructed in the early 19th century. The expansion would see the addition of 19,000 square feet of space bringing the total square footage for the theater to 32,000 square feet.

On the ground floor of the new building would be a multi-purpose community hall and additional support space for the current theater. On the second floor would be rehearsal space and classroom space. In addition there would be a space for a teen tech center sponsored by Best Buy.

THE CONSTRUCTION

The exterior facade of the expansion would be clad in "glass, brick, natural stone, and an aluminum composite material" according to city documents.

Now what happens to the older Capri Theater? Not much except moving the marquee and main entrance of the theater to be more centered within the finished building and older theater.

In addition to the theater expansion and renovation, the project will include an outdoor plaza along West Broadway.

 

 

 

 

HISTORIC MIXED-USE PROJECT PLANNED FOR NORTH LOOP

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A new project is set to change the look, feel, and shopping scene in the North Loop.

Passed in a unanimous vote this week by the Minneapolis Planning Commission, the project will see the restoration, redevelopment, and new construction of a number of buildings within a city block.

The Commutator Foundry Development will be located at 121 and 125 N 1st Street, next door to Aria and behind another large mixed-use project. The mixed-use project will include 19,000 square feet of ground floor retail space and 5 stories of office space above. 

 The current state of the buildings that will be restored, the Roe Wolfe building is not pictured.

The current state of the buildings that will be restored, the Roe Wolfe building is not pictured.

The project will see the restoration of the existing Commutator Hotel, the adjacent Foundry Building, and a one story historic facade found at the back of the site located at 121 N 1st Street.

An interior courtyard will run through the south end of the site, it will be both landscaped and hardscaped for use by the general public and commercial tenants on the ground floor. Two levels of underground parking with a total of 54 spaces will be accessible through the alley adjacent to the courtyard.

That back historic facade is what is going to be one of the extremely interesting pieces of this project. In order to build the underground parking levels, the building will be stabilized structurally and moved off site temporarily. Once those lower levels are completed the facade will be moved back to its original location.

 The Commutator Foundry Development (highlighted) and the adjacent new mixed-use development.

The Commutator Foundry Development (highlighted) and the adjacent new mixed-use development.

A WHOLE LOT OF RETAIL

A month ago we reported of a project next door to this site that will include 22,000 square feet of retail space that could potentially be home to five retail spaces, one of which might just be West Elm.

The Commutator Foundry Development will see the addition of 19,000 square feet more of retail space added to the block, the project ultimately could be home to eight different retailers. Two of those retailers would be accessed from the back side of the building from within the interior courtyard, the rest of the retail spaces would have access from both the streetscape and interior of the building.

Now, if we look at this project and the neighboring project put together, we are looking at 41,000 square feet of new retail space and space that could be home to potentially 13 different retailers.

That is a whole lot of retail space for the North Loop and something that could really change the shopping and dining scene within the neighborhood as ground floor commercial space has become increasingly limited in the recent years.

No retailers or companies have been announced for the project yet.

THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION

While the historic Commutator Hotel and Roe Wolfe buildings will be renovated to nearly their  original forms, the new mixed-use structures will have a much more modern look as designed by Snow Kreilich Architects, a look that still fits perfectly into the neighborhood.

The existing 1 story building and 3 story Commutator Hotel facades will be cleaned, repaired, and patched to match the existing brick. All windows will be removed and stored offsite where they will be repaired and prepped to be replaced in their original locations. 

The exteriors of the new buildings will be clad in a light custom masonry. Floor to ceiling windows will be found on the ground floor while the upper floors will feature aluminum windows.

Construction will begin this summer and will take one year to complete with an expected completion in Mid 2019.

 

31 STORY SKYSCRAPER PLANNED FOR DOWNTOWN WEST

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The Hotel Ivy might soon be getting a new neighbor, one that might take a bit of its spotlight away.

Local real estate developer, Alatus, is planning a 31 story mixed-use building at 228 S 12th Street, a site that is directly next door to the Hotel Ivy. 

Previously the site was home to a church built in the 1950's that has sat vacant since 2006. Alatus would demolish that structure along with the adjacent parking lot, both of which have already been approved by the Heritage Preservation Commission.

The close proximity to Downtown businesses, such as the Target Headquarters, make this site an excellent location for residential units. The project would include 360 residential units (most likely apartments) that would be found within floors 3-29 along with 8,769 sqf of retail and restaurant space on the ground floor, and 4,800 sqf of office space on the second floor.

THE DESIGN

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The ground floor would include a large auto-court, bike storage, residential lobby and offices, and two retail spaces. On the first floor at the corner of 2nd Avenue S and 12th Street S would be a 5,031 sqf retail space. On the opposite corner at 3rd Avenue S and 12th Street S there would be another commercial space of 3,738 sqf of space. Both are perfect sites for a restaurant, something that the area is currently lacking and something that attendees to the convention center (which is across the street) often complain about.

The 380 residential units within the building would be a mix of studio/alcove units, 1-bedroom units, 1-bedroom plus den units, 2-bedroom units, 2-bedroom plus den units, and 3-bedroom+ units. Developers hope to provide accommodations for all types of lifestyles.

Floors 26-29 will hold larger penthouse units, the details of those exact units have yet to be revealed.

Amenities for residents will include "a pet spa, a hotel-like lobby/leasing center and Wi-Fi coffee lounge, fitness center, yoga studio, club room and resort-style courtyard" according to the documents filed with the city. The building will offer its residents on-site management, indoor parking, and private storage lockers.

The seventh floor will also feature an outdoor deck that will have a number of amenities for residents and perfect views of the downtown skyline.

An ample amount of parking will be included within the project for both residents and public use. 580 stalls, all enclosed within the building, will be located on one underground and six above levels.

THE CONSTRUCTION

Constructed with post-tensioned concrete, the building will feature a modern and contemporary design. Standing 407 feet tall at the roof line, one unique element will stand out; a back-lit frosted glass panel and decorative light feature at the top along with a LED color changing spire that would reach from the ground floor all the way to 108 feet above the roofline. The final building height would clock in at 515 feet tall. To put that in context, the neighboring Hotel Ivy is 26 stories and stands 301 feet tall.

The design of the facade of the building would include expansive windows that would allow ample natural daylight into the residential units. The exterior would be clad in pre-cast concrete, metal panels, and high-pressure laminated panels and glass. Outdoor recessed balconies will be found within many of the residential units layouts.

One element that we love about the construction of the building is that the fact that a long portion of the ground facade is recessed back from the first two floors, allowing the upper floors of the building, beginning at the third level, to jut out. The exposed columns within this area will be covered with a polished black granite.

A number of ground floor improvements will be made to the streetscape such as extensive landscaping along with an artistic sculpture within an outdoor plaza at the corner of 3rd Avenue S and 12th Street S.

We're keeping our fingers crossed that this one sails through as we think it's a phenomenal project. Way to go on the design, ESG!

This project will head to the Minneapolis Planning Commission's Committee of the Whole at their February 8th meeting.

 

FOOD HALL PLANNED FOR NORTH LOOP

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Food Halls are all the rage right now... North Loop is all the rage right now. Sounds like a perfect match? One company thinks so.

A long vacant site at the corner of 5th Avenue N and 4th Street N (next to Modist Brewing) could soon be home to a 17,236 sqf two story commercial building that would be the home of Graze | Provisions & Libations.

Now, the text within the planning document is so good at describing this place that we are not even going to take our chances in re-describing it to you. Just take a moment to read the text below on what Graze is meant to.

The entire space will be vibrant and tell a story within and outside of its four walls. Casual, dining, alive --- all words that describe the venue itself. Walk in, and grab a cup of coffee. Get some work done in the café/lounge area. Grab a bite to eat at lunch or after work in the communal dining areas. Head upstairs for the ambiance and beverages. Head outside to the green space on warmer days --- play and escape. All of this in one space with prominent music and artistic influences throughout the design of the space ... a food & beverage venue local Minnesotans will be proud to call theirs.

Gave you goose bumps, right?

THE DESIGN

The two story food hall would include "several, local chef-driven concepts" showcasing cuisine from some of the best chefs in Minnesota. Each level would have a full bar, the ground floor bar would even be accessible from the outside during the warmer months. That means you'll never have to leave the outdoor patio in order to get a drink.

On the ground floor there would be four kitchens, a cafe serving coffee and pastries (which would be accessible from both the interior and exterior via a window), a full bar, and restrooms. The second floor would include two additional kitchens, another full bar, restrooms, storage, and offices.

From within the building visitors will be able to dine within any of the indoor areas that features seating arrangements from intimate to communal. If you'd like to dine outside, a ground floor patio located to the left of the building next to an outdoor plaza that serves the adjacent Bookman Stacks residential building will be available. On the second floor of the building there will be a large, and we mean large is it totals over 3,000 sqf , patio with seating and beautiful views of the downtown skyline.

In addition to the patios, the ground floor will feature a large outdoor plaza with ample outdoor dining space, seating areas, and even a landscaped area that will be set up in an amphitheater style. 

THE CONSTRUCTION

Designed by ESG, the structure of the building would be created using two levels of steel-framing and be clad in brick, wood, cement board, metal panels, and glass.

Now before you begin the chant that something more dense, something taller, and something more residential should go in this space, let's keep in mind a few things. The current design for the building is 30' tall and there's a good reason for that. There's actually a 40' height restriction for this plot of land making a third level nearly impossible.

There's also quite a bit going on underneath the site at the moment making an underground garage, which would be necessary for anything residential, nearly impossible.

This project will be presented to the Minneapolis Planning Commission's Committee of the Whole at their February 8th meeting. We'll have more information for you after that!

 

CITY APPROVES SONS OF NORWAY REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT

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Ladies and gentlemen, it's moving forward. 

Located at 1455 W Lake Street near the corner of Lake Street and Hennepin Avenue, the project would see the demolition of the current four story Sons of Norway office building, a large surface parking lot, 6 residential lots, and an alley way and the construction of two much larger buildings.

While the project is technically four footprints at its base, it really is only made up of two buildings as those lower masses are connected above. The mixed-use building would be seven stories tall while the residential building would be five. Together the two buildings would include 319 residential units along with 23,000 square feet of commercial space.

Now, don't image just one huge building because that's not what the developer is planning. The project is meant to look as if it is composed of multiple buildings (technically it is) which helps break up the overall mass.

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THE DESIGN

In order to break up this large project, the buildings will be split into two separate masses that will be connected by a five story glass walkway. 

23,000 square feet of commercial space will be spread throughout the project. The rounded facade on the corner of Lake Street and Humboldt Avenue S will include 16,000 square feet of new office space for the Sons of Norway. An additional 7,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space will be available for retail and restaurant use on the W Lake Street side of the building. 

One five story residential building will begin on the corner W Lake Street and will stretch down the full block of Holmes Avenue S and turn the corner at 31st Street S for about half a block. The other residential portions will flank the curved tower at the corner of Humboldt and Lake and be seven stories tall. All together there will be 319 residential units, with some of those on the Holmes side being ground floor walk up units.

Parking won't be an issue for any residents, workers, or visitors to the project as there will be one level of underground parking that spans the entire project site and includes 323 spaces.

A RARITY: PUBLIC AMENITY SPACE

What is probably one of the most unique factors of the project is that the fact that it includes SO much public amenity space, something that isn't very common with redevelopment projects these days.

Accessible via W Lake Street, area residents can visit a pocket park located between the two buildings. In that space there will be a public plaza that features winding walkways, ample seating, a fire pit and water feature, and a even public skating rank during the winter months.

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Sounds like a great place to rest your feet after a day of shopping in Uptown. 

After a few minor changes requested by the City are made developers hope to begin construction on the project this Spring with completion expected in late 2019.

700+ RESIDENTIAL UNITS PLANNED FOR WEST CALHOUN

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In the design world, things are always better in threes.

Bader Development made plans public this week for two 22 story residential towers that would be located next to their current 22 story residential tower, Calhoun Towers. In addition, two 6 story residential buildings would be constructed in future phases. 

The grand total of new residential units proposed? 739. Yeah, that's a lot of housing.

THE DETAILS

The project is proposed at 3430 List Place, a site that currently is home to a surface parking lot behind a large retail development that includes Whole Foods off of Excelsior Blvd in the West Calhoun neighborhood. 

The original residential building, Calhoun Towers, is a 21 story building that was constructed in 1962 and is currently home to 113 residential units.  

The proposed plan would be developed in four different phases with the first phase being a 22 story residential tower would be home to 242 residential units. The second phase would be a mirrored version of the first building and be home to 258 residential units. 

During the third phase a 6 story building would be constructed on the northern end of the site and would include 124 units. The final phase of the project would be located on the southern end of the site and would include a 6 story residential building with 115 units.

And there you've got it, 739 new residential units.

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AMENITIES FOR DAYS

With the building of Phase 1 and Phase 2, two amenity decks would be created on the ground floor of the project. Adjacent to the original Calhoun Towers a pocket park, courtyard, and auto court would be modified/created with phase 3 surrounding this area . The final phase of the project would include an outdoor pool.

Now, these are just the amenities that are on the site plan, what's including within the buildings has yet to be made public. But, if this is what's on the outside... we can only imagine what's on the inside. 

This project went before the City of Minneapolis' Planning Commission Committee of the Whole last Thursday.

We'll be sure to provide an update on the decision and recommendations of the committee right here on our website when they are made public. 

10 STORY SENIOR LIVING PROJECT PLANNED FOR PROSPECT PARK

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Another mixed-use project is being planned for the Prospect Park neighborhood, this time around it won't be student housing, but rather Senior Living units.

Located at 22 Malcolm Avenue SE, "Prospect Park Senior Living" will be constructed on a site that is currently home to a day care center, industrial building, and multiple surface parking lots. The building itself will feature three varying building heights going from four stories, to six, and at its highest point, standing ten stories tall. The project will be home to 283 senior living residential units and 8,700 square feet of retail.

6,634 square feet of that retail space would be found within the four story section of the building fronting University Avenue and would be home to a child care center. Most likely the day care space will be home to Children's Village Montessori Day Care as their current home will be torn down in order to make way for the new project.

Another retail space of 2,144 square feet will be located at the back left corner of the building on the corner of 30th Avenue SE and 4th Street SE. Perfect home for a Starbuck's?

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SENIOR LIVING

This project will serve an underdeveloped area within the housing market; the senior citizen sector. All 283 residential units within the building will be devoted to senior citizen living, however not all them will be the same format or living situation.

In the six story section of the building that will front 4th Avenue SE (at the backside of the lot) there will be 118 individual living units. These units will be more like a traditional apartment, however they will still have access to the medical care and 24 hour monitoring that the other units within the project will have access to.

The 10 story section of the building, which will front Malcolm Avenue SE on the East side of the site, will be home to a total 177 additional residential units.

54 of those residential units will be Memory Care units and will be home to senior citizens with memory loss diseases such as Alzheimer's. The remaining 123 units will be Assisted Living units and will be home to senior citizens who need care and aid with everyday tasks.

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AN EXPLOSION OF GROWTH

This project is just the latest to surface in an area that is seeing an explosion of growth. 

Next door, The Link, will open in May. That project will offer over 325 residential units aimed at working professionals and students, along with 41,000 square feet of retail space. About 30,000 square feet of that space is already spoken for and will be home to a Fresh Thyme Farmers Market which will open this summer.

Behind that project another residential project, The Green on Fourth, is planned. That project will bring a six story residential building with 243 residential units. To its left, 4th Street Lofts is being planned, which will be another 6 story residential building that will be home to 163 units. If you go to the right side of the The Green on Fourth, ANOTHER residential building is being planned that will be 5 stories tall and be home to 70 residential units.

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To top it all off, the area behind all of these projects is also undergoing a redevelopment.

Malcolm Yards Market, a new food hall, is expected to open sometime this year in a historic building that is being restored and expanded. In addition, Midwest Climbing will be opening a new climbing facility in the area in a few years.

Lastly, a developer has recently proposed an additional mixed-use project off of Malcolm Avenue SE that would include over 50,000 square feet of retail space along with residential units and potentially office space. Do we really need to say it? This area is BOOMING.

If you're curious to see where all the projects mentioned above are located, take a look at our Development Map. It's packed with information and images.

Prospect Park Senior Living is expected to be completed in early 2019.

A WHOLE LOT OF NEW RETAIL SPACE IS COMING TO THE NORTH LOOP

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Work has begun on a new mixed-use project, part of a larger mixed-use project, in Minneapolis' North Loop neighborhood that will eventually bring 40,000 square feet of new retail space to the neighborhood.

Located at 128 Second Street N, the site of what was recently a block wide parking lot, the new six story building will consist of not only retail space, but also apartments on the upper floors. 

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THE NEXT SPOT FOR YOUR RETAIL OBSESSION

If you like to shop or eat, this place will most likely have you covered in the future.

On the ground floor of the building there will be five retail spaces totaling 22,670 sqf of space which is a little more than the amount of retail space found in the neighboring 222 Hennepin mixed-use project (which is home to Whole Foods).

One of the ground floor retail spaces is shown as a rather large space anchoring the corner of Second Street N and First Avenue N. Could that space be the future home of West Elm

While West Elm will be constructing a hotel down the block, the company specifically stated that the store would not be located within the hotel, but rather within close proximity to the hotel.

Now, we're not one to start rumors, however the amount of space included in that one retail space looks, along with it's neighboring retail space, to be around 12,000-15,000 square feet. News broke last year that West Elm is planning a location in the North Loop and if our research proves to be correct, the average West Elm location looks to be about 13,300 square feet... making this space a perfect candidate.

UNIQUE DESIGN

The overall design of the building, which was created by Snow Kreilich Architects, features a few unique things.

The first is a a central courtyard that serves as a unique entry point for the two underground parking levels that will hold 182 parking spaces. It will eventually tie into the courtyard of the other commercial project being built on this block. The courtyard will add another active use on the ground floor of the building, something that will be a perfect fit for the North Loop.

The exterior of the project will be entirely cladded in a dark grey brick. What will be unique about this cladding is the formations in which the brick will be run over the facade. In addition, the use brick for an entire cladding of a building will make this project fit right in to the history of the North Loop.

Another design aspect that is different for this building compared to others recently constructed in the neighborhood is that it will include inset balconies. This means that the entire front of the building will be on one seamless plane without anything architectural details jutting out besides the canopies of the retail spaces found on the ground floor.

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RESIDENTIAL ASPECT

In addition to the ground floor retail, the project will also be home to 156 apartments on floors two through six including studios, 1 bedroom apartments, 2 bedroom apartments, and a few two story lofts overlooking the shared courtyard.

Residential amenities will include multiple outdoor spaces, a fitness center, ground floor lobby, and more.

The project is expected to be completed in Fall 2019.

SEPHORA OPENING UPTOWN LOCATION

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Sephora will open their first Minneapolis location in the heart of Uptown come Spring 2018.

The new store will be located at Calhoun Square at 3001 Hennepin Avenue in a space that formerly housed an AT&T location. The ground floor retail space covers 4,411 square feet and has access from both the interior and exterior.

This marks a major land for Calhoun Square.

While the center underwent a renovation and relocation of its main entrance a few years ago when it was acquired by Ackerberg Group, it has still struggled to retain tenants within prime retail spaces on the corner of Hennepin and Lake Street along with some interior spaces.

However, recently the center seems to have struck gold, not only landing Sephora, but also Fig + Farro, a new restaurant that will open in January on the ground floor in the former Parella space. The center also became the new home for Roat Osha which took over the space on the second floor that was formerly home to Chang Mai Thai. 

While Sephora may be new to the neighborhood, it won't be the only beauty retailer that has set up shop. MAC has had a location for a number of years across the street at the corner of Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street, while the Urban Outfitters and Victoria's Secret locations directly across the street also carry beauty products.

Sephora currently has four freestanding locations within the Twin Cities, however there are 10 more locations found within various JCPenney locations in the metro.

Sephora plans to open in Spring 2018 at 3001 Hennepin Avenue in Calhoun Square.

225 APARTMENTS PLANNED FOR NORTH LOOP

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The housing supply continues to increase in the North Loop, this time around it's Opus Group that is bringing forward plans for 225 apartments.

The project is planned for the corner of Plymouth Avenue N and W River Parkway where currently there is a large plot of land that is owned by the Star Tribune. If Opus' plan gets approved by the City of Minneapolis, that land may soon sprout a 6 story apartment building.

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Designed by ESG, the six story residential building would be home to 225 apartment units ranging from 465 to 1139 square feet and would also include 270 enclosed parking stalls on two floors of lower level parking. The overall design of the building would follow an "E" shaped layout with large outdoor terraces on the ground floor, one being a "passive" terrace and the other an "active" terrace.

In addition to those two ground floor terraces, the building would also feature an indoor pool, a large fitness center, clubroom, and expansive lobby with work rooms, conference room, and more on the ground floor. On the sixth floor residents would find two private lounge rooms and an outdoor terrace with views of the North Loop, Mississippi River, and Downtown Minneapolis.

Every unit within the building would feature an outdoor amenity space of some sort, whether that be walkout terrace found on most of the ground floor and sixth floor units or a balcony for the rest of the units within the building.

The front of the building would face the Star Tribune Printing Plant and be located on a private drive. The ground floor of this side of the building would feature a number of walk-up units along with the building's entrance and the entrance to the underground parking garage.

If 800 1st Street N is approved by the City of Minneapolis, construction would most likely begin in Spring 2018.

FAIRGROUNDS COFFEE AND TEA LEASES SPACE FOR NORTH LOOP LOCATION

A new coffeehouse is coming to the North Loop, with love sent by Chicago.

Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea will open a new 2,420 square foot location at 120 3rd Avenue N in a historic building that is currently undergoing a complete renovation. This will be Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea first (or second) location outside of Chicago, they currently have two locations within Chicago. Another location is also under construction in Los Angeles.

Now, Fairgrounds is not just another coffeehouse. 

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What makes Fairgrounds different than other coffee houses is that they serve products from multiple coffeehouses and breweries. Most coffeehouses stick to a single brew, typically their own.

What Fairgrounds is classified as in the coffee world is a "brewery agnostic". This means they serve brews from a number of different breweries and coffeehouses, and not just any coffeehouses, but the nations BEST coffeehouses. We're proud to say that Minneapolis' very own Spyhouse is on their list.

The new cafe will service hot and cold brews along with espresso, matcha, tea, and a unique list of elixers (fancy coffee beverages). There will also be a food menu including breakfast items, sandwiches, soups, salads, and more.

Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea is expected to open in Summer 2018 at 120 3rd Avenue N.

 

WORK BEGINS ON NORTHEAST'S NEWEST HIGH RISE

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The heart of Northeast, it's about to get denser... and taller.

Construction has begun on 333 Hennepin, a new 26 story residential tower being constructed by M.A. Mortenson at the intersection of Hennepin Avenue and 4th Street NE. The new mixed-use tower will include 282 apartments along with 5,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.

In addition, the building will come with all those modern luxuries residents in Minneapolis are use to finding in new luxury apartment projects. A fitness room, clubroom and co-working space will be some of those amenities, residents will also have access to an outdoor roof deck that will be located on the seventh floor of the building.

While 333 Hennepin will be the next high rise to be built within the area, it won't be the last.

Nordhaus, a new mixed-use project across the street finished construction this fall and includes a 20 story residential tower... and there's already a second phase planned. In that second phase a 26 story residential building will rise, nearly identical in height to Mortenson's 333 Hennepin. A few blocks away Alatus is finishing the final preparations needed in order to begin construction on a even larger, 40 story residential building.

Word on the street is that even MORE high rises are being planned for the area.

333 Hennepin is expected to be completed in 2019.

NEW TAPROOM CONCEPT TO OPEN IN NORTH LOOP

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The North Loop just keeps getting cooler and better by the day. 

Not only is it a collection of historic buildings, mixed with new buildings that seem to be rising on each corner. The neighborhood is home to tons of great shops, restaurants, bars, and breweries and this spring a new taproom is coming to the neighborhood that will be the first of it's kind in Minnesota.

First Draft Taproom and Kitchen will open in April at Variant, a new 6 story residential building at the corner of 6th Avenue N and 4th Street N not far from Target Field. The new bar and kitchen will take up 4,500 square feet of corner retail space on the ground floor of the building, leaving about 10,000 square feet of additional retail and restaurant space.

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What sets First Draft apart from other taprooms, and let's be honest, they're going to have some competition as the area is home to a number, is that fact that it is self-serve. Now, it's not just a free for all so don't get too excited, here's how it works.

When customers enter First Draft they will receive a card, at the back of the space will be 40-50 taps serving craft beer, wine, cider, coffee and kombucha. Customers tap their card on their desired beverage and then are able to dispense as much as they like of it, as small as an ounce and as large as a full glass. It's a great way to taste test and discover something new... or maybe figure out what you don't like before you order a whole glass of it.

If this sounds daunting, don't worry, there will be designated employees to help you work the system (which will be the coveted iPour self-dispensing system) or to give you recommendations. In addition, there will be a menu with small places, sandwiches, salads, and more.

First Draft Taproom and Kitchen will open in April 2018 at 324 6th Avenue N.

DETAILS BEGIN TO EMERGE ON "THE DAYTON'S PROJECT"

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THE DAYTON'S PROJECT

There's a plan in store for the former Macy's flagship space located in Downtown Minneapolis on Nicollet Mall. Images of the planned project leaked a few weeks ago and now the developer, New York based 601W, plans to make those plans public tomorrow.

An article published by the Star Tribune Saturday evening gives a glimpse into what 601W and architecture firm, Gensler, have drafted up for the massive 1.3 million square feet of space. The redevelopment of the building will be spread across 12 different floors and will be located in three different buildings, the total of amount of space being just slightly less than the 57 story IDS Center across the street.


WHAT'S IN STORE

Plans for the project show the basement level and first floor of the building being devoted to public use, with the upper floors being devoted to office space.

The basement level would contain a large entertainment venue with a bowling alley (Dave and Buster's would be a perfect fit) along with a large food hall that would have space for over 20 vendors, some of which would rotate every few months, and a large retail space.

The ground floor is nearly entirely devoted to retail space with a few spaces for food and beverage service. A large retail space will anchor the corner of Nicollet Mall and Seventh Street and will be combinable with the retail space directly below on the basement level.

The upper levels would contain office space with single floors allowing for up to 90,000 square feet of continuous space, something that is rarely heard of in the office marketplace.

Amenity space will also be found on the upper levels of the building that will be available for use by the office tenants within the building. These spaces would include an outdoor rooftop park, a library, a nearly 10,000 square foot fitness center with locker rooms and showers, and more.


A DESTINATION FOR DOWNTOWN MINNEAPOLIS

Developers want to make The Dayton's Project a destination for Downtown Minneapolis.

They hope to bring people in not only by bringing in notable restaurants and retailers, but by also having the first food hall for Downtown Minneapolis, a trend that is sweeping the countries largest cities like New York, Miami, and Los Angeles, by storm.

In addition, there is a strong desire to keep the over century long life of the building alive. 601W plans salvage and preserve as much as possible of the most important and iconic pieces from the building's glory days as the Dayton's Department Store. In addition, the name itself of the project will help that legacy live on.

Plans for some of those iconic pieces, such the famous Oak Room, have yet to be solidified. The developers and architects for the project are working on multiple scenarios for that particular space, some of which would allow the Oak Room to be accessed by the public in its current location, others potentially deconstructing and reconstructing the room within a different space within the building. 

If all goes according to plan, The Dayton's Project's transformation from a vacant retail store to a vibrant downtown marketplace and destination could be complete by 2019.