Commercial

MAJOR CHANGE FOR PROPOSED DOWNTOWN TOWER

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The Gateway Project has had another design revision, this time removing the hotel and residential components entirely.

United Properties has submitted new documents to the City of Minneapolis now showing a entirely commercial project. The revised plans show a 30 story 458’ building with the overall exterior design remaining largely unchanged.

Three levels of underground parking would include 500 spaces with an entrance off of S 3rd Street. The first two levels above ground would be devoted to 23,000 sqf of retail/restaurant space, some of that space being devoted to a bank branch for RBC. In addition, the lower two levels would also include 14,000 sqf of conference space, a 5,000 sqf fitness center, along with a lobby for the office space within the upper floors of the project.

The office part is where we are seeing a huge change from previous proposals. Now totaling 28 stories in height and 790,000 square feet in space the total office space within the project has nearly doubled. RBC would still occupy 310,000 sqf of office space, remaining the anchor tenant for the building. 

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Other details about the project include skyway access (potentially in two places) and also a public plaza located at the corner of Nicollet Mall and S Washington Avenue. That plaza would be built so that in the future it could accommodate a streetcar line passing through if the city decides to moves forward with the streetcar line. 

United Properties will be responsible for the development of the overall project while Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates out of Atlanta, Georgia is responsible for the design. 

Construction is expected to begin in 2019 with a completion in 2021.

 

FIRST DRAFT TAPROOM + KITCHEN PLANS 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.

 

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.

 

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.