Park

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.

 

Official design for "The Commons" debuts

Minneapolis finally has it's first glimpse at what will officially become it's tree filled, activity bursting, and sun bathing park. Oh yes, and it's right Downtown we might add. We're referring to "The Commons", a new $22 million dollar park that will be constructed right in front of the Minnesota Vikings brand new $1 billion (plus) stadium.

Hargreaves Associates presented their plans to the city of Minneapolis and its residents last night at a public meeting. The 4.2 acre site is an outdoor gathering space that Minneapolis can truly be proud of. 

The latest plans show quite a bit going on in the two full blocks of park space. The space closest to the stadium itself includes a multitude of things. The largest area is called "The Great" lawn and features just that, a large grassy open area. There is a 40x40 stage along with a shade structure located next to the Great Lawn along Park Avenue. The Great Lawn area can hold up to 6,000 people for events and gatherings.

Two major promenades will run along side the park in its entirety. One will be on 4th Street, the other on 5th. Along the 4th Street promenade there is space for kiosks and outdoor tables (think Bryant Park in NYC). Portland Avenue will remain open but will be reduced down to two single traffic lanes and a bike lane. 

The second block running towards the core of downtown Minneapolis will feature a smaller grassy area called the "Good Lawn". There is also a large water feature that stretches across a good portion of the site and a bit of the of the other block. Renderings show the water feature producing mist from the cracks in the surface. It'll be a popular site for cooling down when the summer heat is at its worst.

A pavilion along with a play landscape are also part of the plans for this block. This part of The Commons also features a park like site with trails that meander through groves of trees. This second block will abut right up to a new six story 200 unit residential building that will begin construction soon. 

The Commons will function a bit like Bryant Park in New York City. During the summer there will be space for many activities like bocce ball, chess, and of course the summer time favorite of Frisbee throwing. In the winter space will be available for an ice rink and of course plenty of space for snowman building.

Now that the design is in place the race to raise the $22 million needed in order to actually build the park begins. No public money will be given towards the development of the park meaning all will come from private donations. 

Construction of the park could begin next year.