DEVELOPER EXPLORING PLAN FOR 25-STORY MIXED-USE PROJECT IN DINKYTOWN

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Planning work is underway on what could become a 25-story building in the heart of Dinkytown

Developer CA Ventures is currently exploring two different development options for what today is four parcels of land located at the corner of 4th Street SE and 15th Avenue SE. The site where the new tower would be built is currently home to six different businesses including Five Guys, Himalayan, Pagoda, McDonald’s and Dinkytown Wine and Spirits.

We do want to mention before you students begin to freak out over the loss of not only McDonald’s, but also Dinkytown Wine and Spirits, that it is very likely that many of the displaced businesses would find a new home within the ground floor retail space of the new building.

Now let’s get on to the details. 

TWO OPTIONS

The first option (option A) that developer CA Ventures is exploring is a 25-story building that would feature a slender design. The small floorplates, many of which would only be 13,000 square feet, would allow for the building to take up less of the full site as it rises which also means that it would also be less visible from the street level.

The second option being explored (option B) would be for a 16-story building that would feature a mezzanine and larger floorplates. Due to the fewer number of floors, the floorplates within this option would need to be around 26,000 square feet each in order to make the project feasible. This would result in a building that would need more articulation and relief along its facades (just think of a more complex facade) in order to break up the overall mass.

Long story short, option A would be a slender, taller tower with a smooth facade and option B would be a shorter, chubbier tower with a varied facade.

THE DESIGN

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CA Ventures is working with Minneapolis-based ESG Architecture and Design to design the new building. They’re presenting their schematic plans to the Minneapolis Planning Commission Committee of the Whole at their August 22nd meeting for feedback. Once that meeting occurs ESG will continue to refine the design of the project further.

When design work continues on the project it will be quite interesting to see what the final design for the project ends up actually being. The reason why is that all four sites that are to be redeveloped as a part of the project are not part of the DInkytown Historic District, hence why the tower could stand 25 stories to begin with. However, even with the project not having to abide by the strict design guidelines it likely will still draw inspiration from the historic buildings surrounding the site.

When it comes to the size of the project, ESG and CA Ventures have pulled together a large amount of data from the following plans in order to influence the decision to go taller rather than the standard six stories found elsewhere in the neighborhood.

  • Marcy Holmes Neighborhood Master Plan (Small Area Plan), 2014

  • 15th Avenue Southeast Urban Design Plan, 2008

  • Dinkytown Commercial Historic District Design Guidelines

  • Granary Corridor Study

  • The Minneapolis Plan for Sustainable Growth

  • Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

The data pulled from these plan studies state that an “iconic sense of arrival and entry point to Dinkytown” has been desired to be created for a number of years. In addition, a need for density has been mentioned multiple times due to the decrease in available land parcels in the surrounding area and the proximity of the neighborhood to the University of Minnesota campus. Lastly, the area where the project has been proposed has been mentioned numerous times within the plans as an area that should support a high-rise mixed-use tower.

CA Ventures is using these findings to further back their plans for a large mixed-use project on what today is a site filled with multiple low-rise buildings.

NEXT STEPS 

Preliminary plans for the two redevelopment options for 407 15th Street SE will be presented for feedback to the Minneapolis Planning Commission Committee of the Whole at their meeting this Thursday, August 22nd at 4:30pm.

We’ll be sure to post more information on what option is recommended right here on our website once it becomes available and of course we will also be sure to post the final design once it becomes available.

Check out our Instagram story today (08.20.2019) to vote on which option you think should move forward.