Mixed-Use

17 STORY MIXED-USE PROJECT PLANNED FOR WASHINGTON AVE

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The construction boom on Washington Avenue in Downtown Minneapolis just keeps on going, and going, and going...but who's complaining? #notus

Today plan's were announced for a 17 story mixed-use project on what is currently a surface parking lot at 240 Park Avenue. The site has been owned by the Wilf family, also the owner's of the Viking's, since 2007. The Wilf family's company, Garden Communities, will be the developer for the project.

THE DESIGN

BKV Group is responsible for the design of the new building. The L shaped building will include 17 stories broken down into 6 stories of parking and 11 stories of housing with those upper floors will containing 201 market rate apartments. In addition, there will also be 5,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor fronting Washington Avenue.

The exterior of the project will be clad in brick with metal panel accents. The design was influenced by the neighborhood and the materials used on many of the historic buildings surrounding the site. What will be unique is the coloring of 240 Park's brick, it'll stray from the standard red brick which is commonly associated with historic structures and instead will be off-white with accents of grey brick.

ABOUT THE DEVELOPER

Garden Communities has developed similar projects across the country. Their projects are often designed with long-term tenants in mind and are known to include larger than average units along with unique amenities such as bowling allies and movie theaters. 

While exact details about what will be included in 240 Park have yet to be revealed it has been stated that there will be amenity deck on the 6th floor along with another amenity space on the 17th floor.

240 Park will go before the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association land use committee on Aug. 6 and will be presented to the city later this year. Developers hope to break ground next in Spring 2019 with a completion set for 2021.

 

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.

 

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.

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.