Plans have changed slightly for a large mixed-use project planned for what is currently a surface parking lot in the North Loop.
Developer Hines is planning a “vibrant, high-density, transit-oriented, mixed-use development” they’re calling North Loop Green for a site located at 520 N 4th Street . The project will be the third and final phase of Hine’s Rail Yards Area redevelopment and is being designed by ESG Architecture and Design.
The 3.4 acre site that Hines is developing is unique not only due to the fact that it is right across the street from the Twins stadium or for the fact that it is wedged between two elevated roadways, but it’s also unique as the site physically runs beneath those two roadways.
In total, North Loop Green will include 450 residential units, 340,000 square feet of class A office space (some of that space will become ESG’s new headquarters), 20,200 square feet of retail space and approximately 590 enclosed parking spaces on four underground levels.
The 20,500 square feet of retail space will all be located within the office building. 14,000 square feet of retail space will be located on the first two floors and another 6,200 square feet of retail space will be located on the 14th floor where the two buildings are linked via a skydeck.
The residential units within the project will include 354 market-rate apartments and 96 short-term rental units. The exact sizes of the units have yet to be revealed but are anticipated to include studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units.
The first round of designs for the project went to the Minneapolis Planning Commission Committee of the Whole in late July (if you want to see those plans click here) and now the developer is back with updated plans.
There have been a series of changes to the original plans that you may notice… or you may not.
One large change to the residential building are that the height has been lowered to 35 stories (one story less) as one more unit was able to be fit onto each floor. The exterior cladding and composition of the residential building has also been updated to create a stronger connection to the surrounding North Loop architecture. The exterior will now include a much more solid façade which is planned to be clad in either precast or metal panels. More openings have also been added to the north and south sides of the building while the east and west sides have had their exterior cladding lightened and more transparency added.
When it comes to the office building the height has remained the same however the building’s floorplates were simplified, removing some exterior jogs on the western side of the building. In addition, the exterior of the office building was slightly updated and the ground floor retail space that is planned to be a restaurant was brought space closer to the 5th Street.
Last but not least, there were some changes to the public park area after stakeholder feedback was received. We have more information on what that part of the project will include below.
Remember that area we discussed earlier that will run beneath the two roadways? Hines has plans to construct a new public park there called “The Green.”
The Green will be located partially under the 3rd Street viaduct and partially under the 4th Street viaduct. The park will feature “community green space, a dog park, easy access to/from the Cedar Lake Trail for bicyclists and pedestrians, an area for food trucks” and more. The park will also include a nod to the historic past of the rail yards.
Before you begin to question if this park will see light of day due to its location under those viaducts, let us inform you that it park also covers the area between the two viaducts which is open to the sky. That area will be a flexible space for low-intensity activities and organized events. “A movable stage structure, with a railroad platform motif” will also be included and programmed for musical or theatrical events.
On the north side of the site there will be a small plaza with exhibits and artifacts relating to the history of the rail yards along with a small outdoor fitness plaza that will include outdoor exercise equipment. The developers plan to clad the area beneath the viaducts with “interesting and creative lighting and color.”
Now, let’s talk about that dog park.
The dog park will be located beneath the 4th street viaduct and will be available for use by residents and tenants of the buildings along with the general public (wahoooo). It’ll be fenced on all sides and will feature topographic features, seating for dog owners, equipment for cleaning and features that encourage dog amusement.
Being The Green will sit below street level there will need to be a way to get there from the area where the light rail is. In order to do so individuals will traverse a large plaza on 5th Street that winds through the site and eventually meets a “grand staircase.” That staircase extends from the upper level of the project that is at grade with 5th Street down the lower level where The Green will be located.
Work on North Loop Green is anticipated to begin in 2020 and be complete in 2022.
Plans for North Loop Green will be presented to the Minneapolis Planning Commission Committee of the Whole this Thursday, September 26th at 4:30pm.