The Opus Group plans 32 story tower on Ritz Block

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News of another hi-rise tower broke today (thanks to Sam Black at the MSPBJ) this time planned for a site at 315 Nicollet Mall in Downtown East across the street from the Minneapolis Central Public Library.

We're not sure what to really begin identifying this particular five block area as but we're going to have to come up with a name pretty soon. Currently there are at least five hi-rise buildings either in construction or planned for the area and that's in addition to the almost 1,000 units that have been added to the surrounding blocks in recent years. It's a hot area development wise.

The Opus Group gave the public their first glimpse a new 32 story residential building planned for a portion of the Ritz Block in Downtown Minneapolis. The site currently is home to 2.5 acres of parking lot which sadly isn't a surprise if you're a person familiar with the area. So in advance, a huge thank you goes out to The Opus Group.

Phase one of the project will include a 32 story tower including 364 apartment units along with up to 12,000 square feet (the size of a small Walgreens) of street level retail. 430 parking spaces would also be included within the building which is one of the highest amounts of parking for any newly developed building in Downtown Minneapolis in quite a number of years.

The building's design is some what reminiscent of the design of The Nic on Fifth which is a mere block away and was also developed by Opus. Similar features include an amenity deck on top of a parking garage podium along with a balcony rich exterior. The deck amenity for the Ritz block looks to include an outdoor pool, dog walking area, grill stations and fire pits, among other features. All those features were also included with The Nic on Fifth, 

Opus Group has been working on plans for the site for over a year now originally proposing a 30 story building with office components for the site. The project was designed by Opus AE Group Inc and construction is set to begin before the end of the year with a projected opening in 2017.

Site Plan for the proposed development occurring on the Ritz Block | City of Minneapolis

But wait, there's more.

This is the FIRST phase of a planned two phase project for the Ritz block. The second phase which is still in the design phase will potentially include another tower that is almost identical to the one in the first phase which would also include an additional 364 units of housing. The other possibility is for a 20 story tower that would include 365,606 square feet of office space.

Which of the two plans currently presented will be chosen will ultimately be dependent on what the market calls for by the time of development.

This development will help in the fight to erase the sea of public parking lots from Downtown Minneapolis which we like to classify as an epidemic. We here at The Development Tracker | Minneapolis couldn't be more excited about this proposal and wish The Opus Group the best of luck as their project moves through the city processes.