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.