Posts tagged North Loop
CHANGES MADE TO NORTH LOOP GREEN DESIGN
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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 PROJECT 

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.

THE CHANGES

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.

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THE GREEN

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.

 

 

 

NORTH LOOP'S FIRST DISTILLERY TO OPEN LATER THIS YEAR

The North Loop is about to get its first craft distillery and cocktail lounge.

STILHEART will occupy two levels of space within a building located at 124 N 3rd Avenue. The building was constructed in the 1880’s and was recently renovated and restored by Paster Properties and is now home to Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea and Lululemon

Designed by Little Box Inc, the interior of STILHEART will feature a historic, yet modern setting with tall ceilings, exposed wood columns and beams and a number of sleek and eclectic furniture pieces. The space will include not one, but two bars (one on each level) and multiple seating areas.  

16 unique tap cocktails will be offered including twists on classic cocktails and a number of modern cocktails. In addition, STILHEART will serve low and no-proof drinks along with a limited number of drinks that were created in partnership with Bittercube Bitters.

The new distillery concept is being developed in partnership with Bittercube Bitters and Lawless Distilling Co.

Kirsten Karnitz will be the individual heading up STILHEART, she previously was with Lawless Distilling Co. and earlier this year left to work on the new venture. Jeff Fricke will be brought on board as the Head Distiller while also continuing to lead distilling operations at Lawless Distilling Co. In 2020, Lawless will focus on growth initiatives that include a site expansion and, in the future, will collaborate with STILHEART.

B2 Builders has already begun construction on STILHEART with work anticipated to be complete before the year’s end.

 

 

 

IT'S OFFICIAL, WEST ELM IS OPENING IN THE NORTH LOOP.

Years after announcing their intent to open a store in the North Loop, West Elm has finally found a home.

The modern home furnishings retailer will open their second Minnesota location at 128 N 2nd Street on the ground floor of Second & Second, a new mixed-use project that will feature 156 apartments, 40,000 square feet of ground floor retail space and two levels of underground parking. Currently West Elm’s only Minnesota location is located on France Avenue in Edina.

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The North Loop store will be located on the SE side of Second & Second and will face Velo Apartments and the Maverick townhomes. In total, the store will cover 11,000 square feet of space which tends to be around the average new store size for West Elm stores.

The company announced that they were planning a North Loop store in 2017, shortly after they announced they were planning a West Elm Hotel within the North Loop. 

Originally that West Elm Hotel was intended to be constructed where “The Archive” apartments are currently being built. Later rumors emerged that the West Elm Hotel would be constructed as a part of the Foundry redevelopment which happens to sit right behind the Second & Second development. Right now, leasing documents state that that area is labeled as being home to a “boutique hotel” in the future. Whether that means it will be a West Elm Hotel or not is now largely in question.

The reason why? Unfortunately, earlier this year West Elm cancelled their plans for their first West Elm Hotel which was to be located in Indianapolis. Since then the West Elm Hotel website has been taken down and we have not heard any news on the future of the planned Minneapolis hotel.

Even with that uncertainty of Minneapolis getting a West Elm Hotel, at least we can confirm we are getting a West Elm store, right? Also, we kind of predicted this last year.

Construction bids for the new store are due on 09/11/2019 with construction expected to begin in October. West Elm is expected to officially open the doors to their brand new North Loop location in February 2020.

 
NORTH LOOP FOOD HALL ANNOUNCES FOOD VENDORS (AND AN OPENING DATE)
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Graze Provisions + Libations has officially released their lineup of food vendors (and an opening date) and we think you’re going to love what they have in store.

Graze will officially open the doors to their brand new, two-story 14,000 square foot food hall on Friday, September 6th. The food hall is located at 520 N 4th Street in the North Loop neighborhood and was built upon a site that had sat vacant since the Bookmen Stacks were built in 2005. You can find more information on the building and what it will include be visiting an earlier post of ours here

So, who exactly will the food vendors be? Here we go.


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Honey & Rye Bakehouse, the delicious bakehouse located in St Louis Park, will open their second location in Graze. Honey & Rye bakes artisan breads and pastries daily that are comprised of local ingredients that highlight the changing seasons. The “Everyday Menu” includes multiple types of bread, food such as quiche, sandwiches and salad, pastries like scones, croissants and monkey bread and desserts (think bars, cookies and pies). They also serve a number of delicious coffees and teas which has us guessing that they will be the vendor to fill the ground floor corner space that features a walk-up window. Talk about the perfect addition to your morning commute.


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The wildly successful Midnord Empanada Truck will open their first brick-and-mortar space within Graze. Their menu includes a number of different types of empanadas like chimichurri chicken, Cuban pork, rueben, buffalo chicken and even a mac and cheese empanada called the “Mac Attack.” MidNord also serves freshly made salsas and chips and word on the street is the Graze location will also serve churros. Are we in a food a coma already?


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Say hello to Soul Bowl. Chef Gerard Klass’ reimagined urban soul food is sure to be a hit at Graze. The menu consists of flavorful, healthy and eye-catching entrees that are pork free and also includes a number of vegetarian/vegan entrees. In many ways, think of the Soul Bowl as the soul food version of Chipotle. You start with a base (mash, mac & cheese, cornbread dressin’ or yellow rice), the choose a veggie (greens, sweet corn, black eye peas, candied yams) and last but not least you choose a meat (smoked chicken, friend chick, braised beef, veggie dinner roast). The menu also has things like a fried chicken sandwich, smoked deviled eggs, lemon pepper mahi mahi and more. We just drooled on our key board.


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Craving tacos? Flagsmash will have you covered. They’ll also be opening their first brick-and-mortar store within Graze next month. Flagsmash “is a celebration of tasty food from around the world, crammed into a tortilla.” Now don’t expect your typical tacos from this place. Owner Jaime Gonazales motto is “If it tastes good, put in a taco.”


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How does some delicious roast beef prepared over a charcoal fire sound? Well, that’s exactly what you’ll find at Carbon Coal-Fired Pit Beef. Now this vendor we don’t have a ton of information on at the moment but what we do know is that they are already serving some delicious meat around the city. We can’t wait to see what they have in-store for their brick-and-mortar location at Graze.


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In need of some Sushi and Ramen? Have no fear because you’re getting two food vendors for this category at Graze. FishBowl Poke and Ramen Kazama will share a single booth and will offer poke bowls during the spring and summer months and then in the fall and winter they’ll switch over to ramen. FishBowl Poke currently has a location on W 34th Street in Minneapolis while Ramen Kazama has two locations in Minneapolis with one being located on Nicollet Avenue and the other on Como Avenue.


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Last, but absolutely not least, is Minneapolis’ BEST sandwich shop (literally voted that by People Magazine this year) … Lu’s Sandwich. That’s right, they’ll be opening their FOURTH (if you count the food truck) Minneapolis location within Graze. The North Loop location will be a little different than the others though as instead of serving sandwiches… they’ll serve banh mi burgers and bowls along with spring rolls and eggs rolls. We can’t wait to try one of their burgers because let’s be honest, if they’re anything like the sandwiches we are going to be in banh mi heaven.  


Whew, we did it. We got through the list of amazing, LOCAL food vendors that will be setting up shop at Graze Provisions + Libations. Now, let the countdown to September 6th begin.

 
36-STORY TOWER PLANNED FOR THE NORTH LOOP

A parking lot adjacent to the Twins Stadium is set to become home to a large mixed-use development. 

Houston-based Hines has revealed that they are planning a new development called “North Loop Green” on the site located at 350 N Fifth Street in the North Loop neighborhood. The development would include a 36-story residential building and a 14-story office building.  

The 36-story building would be home to 450 rental apartments. Those units would be split into two different types with 360 of them being market-rate apartments and another 90 being short-term rental apartments. Each apartment type would have their own designated lobbies but both would share the same amenities.

The 14-story building would be home to 340,000 square feet of office space and has actually already landed a tenant for a portion of that space. ESG Architecture & Design, the firm who also designed the project, has committed to move their entire office of 175 employees from their current space on Washington Avenue to the new office tower once complete in late 2022.

ESG was selected by Hines after a national search due to their understanding of Minneapolis and the number of projects they have completed within the city. North Loop Green is ESG’s largest project that they have worked on to date.

When it comes to the design of North Loop Green it was designed with transit and density in mind. Hines hopes that the site can be an “urban oasis” for travelers coming from the Blue and Green light rail lines, the Northstar Commuter Rail and the Cedar Lake Trail

A new “grand staircase” along with pathways and plazas will be built within the site that will connect it to the Cedar Lake Trail below. A large plaza will be located in front of the two towers that will feature gathering space for the community. 15,000 square feet of retail space will be located off of this plaza on the ground floor of each building.

When it comes to the designs of the buildings Hines wanted to ensure that characteristics from both the North Loop and the Downtown Central Business District where both included. ESG therefore designed the buildings to feature clean and crisp silhouettes that draw from many of the designs of skyscrapers in the CBD while also featuring handmade design elements inspired by the North Loop. 

One unique design element of North Loop Green will be an “amenity bridge” that spans between the two buildings. Due to the taller floor-to-floor heights in the office building the bridge will connect on the 17th story of the residential building and the 14th story of the office building. Within the bridge there will be 5,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor space to house a restaurant and bar that will have stunning views of the downtown skyline.  

Hines has owned the site where North Loop Green will be constructed since 2012. The site is part of a 6 acre-parcel of land where Hines has already developed two phases with the first being Dock Street Flats and the second being the T3 office building. 

This also isn’t the first proposal that Hines has had in the works for 350 N Fifth Street. Back when The Development Tracker first began Hines was exploring another two-tower proposal that would have included two 20-story buildings. One of the buildings would have included office space while the other had not been determined at the time. You can see that proposal here.

Hines will submit their plans for North Loop Green to the city of Minneapolis and the North Loop neighborhood later this week. The project still will need to go through all of the formal city review processes which means construction most likely wouldn’t begin until Spring 2020 at the earliest.

We’ll be sure to post more information right here on our website about this exciting project as it becomes available.

 
WHAT DOES THE NORTH LOOP NOT HAVE? A WINERY... FOR NOW...

A new winery will be opening up in the heart of the North Loop next year. It’s ok, we’re squealing with excitement too.

Aaron and Ashley Schram have owned Schram Vineyards Winery & Brewery in Waconia for the last 13 years. They know the wine business well and have had tremendous amount success with their winery being packed week after week. The two felt that it was time to share their delicious wines with Minneapolis and have set their sights on the North Loop.

When their unnamed winery and production facility opens next spring, it will occupy 20,000 square feet of space within the Internet Exchange Building located at 411 N Washington Avenue. The building is just across the street from Crisp & Green in case you need something to reference.

Schram Vineyard Winery uses a French-hybrid grape that was developed by the University of Minnesota, which by the way has one of the top wine research programs in the country. The hardiness of the grape allows it to grow in cooler climates like the Midwest which has helped expand the somewhat unknown winery scene within the region.

The Schram’s are making an effort to ensure that their new winery isn’t like a typical wine bar. The environment will focus on the production of wine which means all those barrels and tanks used in the production process will be in plain sight. They’re even working on plans where you yourself might be able to help contribute to the production of their wine. Anyone up for crushing some grapes?

THE LOCATION

The building in which they will open is directly next door to CPM and Swervo Development’s 10 story commercial project that is currently under construction. In building that project they added a skyway connection on the third level of the Internet Exchange Building which will connect to the second level on the new building.

Sounds like a direct route to happy hour for those office workers, right?

When the Schram’s winery opens it’ll fill a large void within the North Loop neighborhood. The area is filled with a number of breweries, cideries and of course bars but no wineries. When it comes to hunting down a winery, you’ll have to travel to Urban Forage Winery & Cider House on East Lake Street as it’s the closest.

So, now that we’ve informed you of this great new winery coming, we understand that that Spring 2020 is practically a year away. Might we suggest a trip to Waconia to tide you over?  

Stop your wining (see what we did there?), it’s not that far. Fine, we can carpool.

Oh yeah, Happy National Wine Day. :)

 
MEET SABLE. THE NORTH LOOP'S NEWEST AND MOST UNIQUE CONDO PROJECT.

A brand-new residential project under construction in the North Loop has made the switch from apartments to condos.

Yes, you did in fact read that correctly. There are condos available in the North Loop.

Sable is a nine-story residential building currently under construction at 728 North Third Street. The project is being developed by United Properties and Greco and is a part of United Properties larger development, The Nordic.

When Sable opens next month (June 2019) there will be 57 condo units located within the building, 70% of which have already been reserved.

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A DIFFERENT TYPE OF CONDO

Sable is different than other condo properties not just because it’s an absolutely stunning building (shout out to BKV Group for their design work), but also because of the types of condos the building includes.

What makes these units so different? The condo units at Sable are geared towards buyers who have the option to use them for short-term rentals in addition to living there.

What does that actually mean? While you’d own the condo, you’d have the ability to decide to call the place home or to rent it out. That’s something that typically other condo properties don’t offer which makes buying a condo such a commitment. At Sable you can not only have a stunning place to live and own but you also have a chance to make an income.

When it comes to renting out your unit, owners at Sable will be able to do so on platforms like Airbnb and VRBO. MINNeSTAY, a Minnesota based company that manages vacation properties, will manage Sable once complete.

SO, WHY THE SWITCH? 

When Sable was announced by United Properties and Greco last year the building was planned to include 57 luxury apartment units. Just recently the co-developers decided to make a somewhat major change, switching the units from apartments to condos.

What prompted the change? The slight softening of the rental market.

There are a ton of apartments coming online (we’re talking thousands) not only this year but over the next few years. What are there far less of coming online? Condos. While there are a few condo projects in the works such as Alia and ELEVEN (those two projects ALONE will bring nearly 700 new condos to the city), the city is seeing mostly, if not almost entirely, apartments being built. 

The North Loop, one of the city’s most trendiest and affluent neighborhoods, isn’t any exception to the apartment trend. In the last few years a number of apartment buildings have been constructed in the area including Variant, The Paxon, Third North and more. The problem with that is that there are many individuals who live in the North Loop would truly rather own than rent if possible.

With that being said, while evaluating what the future might include for Sable United Properties and Greco decided that it would make more sense for them to sell the units they were developing rather than renting them.

BUILDING DETAILS

Units within Sable will range in price from $250,000 to $975,000.

The lower end of that price spectrum will get you a studio or alcove with around 450 or more square feet of space. One-bedroom units with around 650 square feet of space will be available from the upper $300,000s. The largest units within the building will go for the upper end of the price spectrum. Those units include a two level one-bedroom penthouse along with a large two-bedroom, two and a half bath penthouse that includes a large living room, gourmet kitchen, a private outdoor balcony and absolutely stunning views of the skyline. You can view the 11 different unit layout options at Sable here.

Amenities for those who decide to call Sable home will include a ground floor private member’s lounge and a fitness center. The building will also have a large outdoor rooftop area that will include fireplaces, an outdoor kitchen area, lounge areas and of course those stunning views of Downtown Minneapolis. 

Last but not least, when it comes to parking at Sable it couldn’t get more convenient. Being some of the units within the building wrap around the adjacent parking garage some owners will actually be able to park on the same floor of their unit. That makes unloading that car filled with groceries a whole lot easier.

HOW TO SECURE A UNIT AT SABLE?

With all this conversation on this amazing condo opportunity within the North Loop you’re probably wondering how in the world you can secure one of the units at Sable.

As we mentioned above, there are 57 units in total within the project and nearly 70 percent of them have already been reserved. But that’s not 100%, is it?

So, here’s how you can get your hands on a unit at Sable.

First, visit their website here to learn more. Then, contact Joe Grunnet of Downtown Resource Group (DRG) who is responsible for selling the units at Sable. He’s there to answer any and all of the questions you might have about securing one of the truly unique condos at Sable.

Sable is located at 728 North Third Street in the North Loop neighborhood. The project team includes United Properties, Greco, BKV Group, DRG, MINNeStay, RJM Construction, LHB and Gassen.

 
NORTH LOOP PROJECT RISES ABOVE STREET LEVEL
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As the first floor of concrete work nears completion, a new project within the North Loop prepares to ascend into the sky.

Second & Second is currently under construction at a site that was previously a surface parking lot at 128 N 2nd Street in the North Loop. The new mixed-use building will bring 158 apartments and 20,000 square feet of ground floor retail space to the neighborhood. Multiple levels of underground space will provide parking for both residents of the building and guests of the retail spaces.

Retail space and the residential lobby will be located on the ground floor of the building with the upper levels being home to apartments and resident amenities. A unique design element of this project is an outdoor plaza that will run centrally through the site. The “connector” will run at street level connecting N 2nd Street to what eventually will be the Foundry mixed-use project behind Second & Second.

Second & Second will sport a modern design and will stand six stories tall once complete. Snow Kreilich Architects designed the building, which will be clad in dark brick, metal accents and multiple illuminated elements. Weis Builders is the general contractor constructing the building and Colliers International is the broker marketing the retail space, which is available spaces between 1,100-14,000 square feet. 

Construction on Second & Second is anticipated to be complete in fall 2019.

 
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.

 
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.

 
FOOD HALL PLANNED FOR NORTH LOOP
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Food Halls are all the rage right now... North Loop is all the rage right now. Sounds like a perfect match? One company thinks so.

A long vacant site at the corner of 5th Avenue N and 4th Street N (next to Modist Brewing) could soon be home to a 17,236 sqf two story commercial building that would be the home of Graze | Provisions & Libations.

Now, the text within the planning document is so good at describing this place that we are not even going to take our chances in re-describing it to you. Just take a moment to read the text below on what Graze is meant to.

The entire space will be vibrant and tell a story within and outside of its four walls. Casual, dining, alive --- all words that describe the venue itself. Walk in, and grab a cup of coffee. Get some work done in the café/lounge area. Grab a bite to eat at lunch or after work in the communal dining areas. Head upstairs for the ambiance and beverages. Head outside to the green space on warmer days --- play and escape. All of this in one space with prominent music and artistic influences throughout the design of the space ... a food & beverage venue local Minnesotans will be proud to call theirs.

Gave you goose bumps, right?

THE DESIGN

The two story food hall would include "several, local chef-driven concepts" showcasing cuisine from some of the best chefs in Minnesota. Each level would have a full bar, the ground floor bar would even be accessible from the outside during the warmer months. That means you'll never have to leave the outdoor patio in order to get a drink.

On the ground floor there would be four kitchens, a cafe serving coffee and pastries (which would be accessible from both the interior and exterior via a window), a full bar, and restrooms. The second floor would include two additional kitchens, another full bar, restrooms, storage, and offices.

From within the building visitors will be able to dine within any of the indoor areas that features seating arrangements from intimate to communal. If you'd like to dine outside, a ground floor patio located to the left of the building next to an outdoor plaza that serves the adjacent Bookman Stacks residential building will be available. On the second floor of the building there will be a large, and we mean large is it totals over 3,000 sqf , patio with seating and beautiful views of the downtown skyline.

In addition to the patios, the ground floor will feature a large outdoor plaza with ample outdoor dining space, seating areas, and even a landscaped area that will be set up in an amphitheater style. 

THE CONSTRUCTION

Designed by ESG, the structure of the building would be created using two levels of steel-framing and be clad in brick, wood, cement board, metal panels, and glass.

Now before you begin the chant that something more dense, something taller, and something more residential should go in this space, let's keep in mind a few things. The current design for the building is 30' tall and there's a good reason for that. There's actually a 40' height restriction for this plot of land making a third level nearly impossible.

There's also quite a bit going on underneath the site at the moment making an underground garage, which would be necessary for anything residential, nearly impossible.

This project will be presented to the Minneapolis Planning Commission's Committee of the Whole at their February 8th meeting. We'll have more information for you after that!

 
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.

225 APARTMENTS PLANNED FOR NORTH LOOP
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The housing supply continues to increase in the North Loop, this time around it's Opus Group that is bringing forward plans for 225 apartments.

The project is planned for the corner of Plymouth Avenue N and W River Parkway where currently there is a large plot of land that is owned by the Star Tribune. If Opus' plan gets approved by the City of Minneapolis, that land may soon sprout a 6 story apartment building.

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Designed by ESG, the six story residential building would be home to 225 apartment units ranging from 465 to 1139 square feet and would also include 270 enclosed parking stalls on two floors of lower level parking. The overall design of the building would follow an "E" shaped layout with large outdoor terraces on the ground floor, one being a "passive" terrace and the other an "active" terrace.

In addition to those two ground floor terraces, the building would also feature an indoor pool, a large fitness center, clubroom, and expansive lobby with work rooms, conference room, and more on the ground floor. On the sixth floor residents would find two private lounge rooms and an outdoor terrace with views of the North Loop, Mississippi River, and Downtown Minneapolis.

Every unit within the building would feature an outdoor amenity space of some sort, whether that be walkout terrace found on most of the ground floor and sixth floor units or a balcony for the rest of the units within the building.

The front of the building would face the Star Tribune Printing Plant and be located on a private drive. The ground floor of this side of the building would feature a number of walk-up units along with the building's entrance and the entrance to the underground parking garage.

If 800 1st Street N is approved by the City of Minneapolis, construction would most likely begin in Spring 2018.

FAIRGROUNDS COFFEE AND TEA LEASES SPACE FOR NORTH LOOP LOCATION

A new coffeehouse is coming to the North Loop, with love sent by Chicago.

Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea will open a new 2,420 square foot location at 120 3rd Avenue N in a historic building that is currently undergoing a complete renovation. This will be Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea first (or second) location outside of Chicago, they currently have two locations within Chicago. Another location is also under construction in Los Angeles.

Now, Fairgrounds is not just another coffeehouse. 

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What makes Fairgrounds different than other coffee houses is that they serve products from multiple coffeehouses and breweries. Most coffeehouses stick to a single brew, typically their own.

What Fairgrounds is classified as in the coffee world is a "brewery agnostic". This means they serve brews from a number of different breweries and coffeehouses, and not just any coffeehouses, but the nations BEST coffeehouses. We're proud to say that Minneapolis' very own Spyhouse is on their list.

The new cafe will service hot and cold brews along with espresso, matcha, tea, and a unique list of elixers (fancy coffee beverages). There will also be a food menu including breakfast items, sandwiches, soups, salads, and more.

Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea is expected to open in Summer 2018 at 120 3rd Avenue N.

 
NEW TAPROOM CONCEPT TO OPEN IN NORTH LOOP
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The North Loop just keeps getting cooler and better by the day. 

Not only is it a collection of historic buildings, mixed with new buildings that seem to be rising on each corner. The neighborhood is home to tons of great shops, restaurants, bars, and breweries and this spring a new taproom is coming to the neighborhood that will be the first of it's kind in Minnesota.

First Draft Taproom and Kitchen will open in April at Variant, a new 6 story residential building at the corner of 6th Avenue N and 4th Street N not far from Target Field. The new bar and kitchen will take up 4,500 square feet of corner retail space on the ground floor of the building, leaving about 10,000 square feet of additional retail and restaurant space.

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What sets First Draft apart from other taprooms, and let's be honest, they're going to have some competition as the area is home to a number, is that fact that it is self-serve. Now, it's not just a free for all so don't get too excited, here's how it works.

When customers enter First Draft they will receive a card, at the back of the space will be 40-50 taps serving craft beer, wine, cider, coffee and kombucha. Customers tap their card on their desired beverage and then are able to dispense as much as they like of it, as small as an ounce and as large as a full glass. It's a great way to taste test and discover something new... or maybe figure out what you don't like before you order a whole glass of it.

If this sounds daunting, don't worry, there will be designated employees to help you work the system (which will be the coveted iPour self-dispensing system) or to give you recommendations. In addition, there will be a menu with small places, sandwiches, salads, and more.

First Draft Taproom and Kitchen will open in April 2018 at 324 6th Avenue N.

WEST ELM PLANS NORTH LOOP HOTEL

A mock-up of a potential design for West Elm's new hotel guest rooms | West Elm

A well known home retailer is planning to enter the boutique hotel market with one of their first properties being planned for Minneapolis' North Loop neighborhood.

West Elm, a company that is part of the William Sonoma and Pottery Barn family, opened its first retail store in New York City's Dumbo neighborhood in 2003. Since then the company has expanded to include over 100 locations across the United States and Canada including one right here in Edina, MN. 

Last week the Wall Street Journal reported that West Elm was venturing into a new area of business, the hospitality industry. The company isn't going to provide just the linens for hotel brands, rather they're creating an entirely new brand of boutique hotels.

A DIFFERENT BOUTIQUE HOTEL

It makes sense when you think about it. Why wouldn't a retailer that provides everything for the home enter the hotel business? 

That's what West Elm is looking to capitalize on. The company will be able to provide everything from the sheets on the bed to the nightstand and the glass that contains water sitting on top. West Elm will also be able to use their vendor relations in order to provide nicer furnishings for their guest rooms at significantly reduced rate on their end.

Guests who choose to stay at a West Elm Hotel will be able to purchase any of the items within their hotels room. And when we say any of the items, we literally mean ANYTHING.

Upon check-in guests will be prompted to download an app that will reveal more information about the furnishings within their room, even allowing guests to order furnishings at any point during or after their stay.

THE DETAILS

West Elm has been perfecting what will ultimately end up as their boutique hotels. In a Brooklyn warehouse they have been assembling mock hotel rooms, testing what works and what doesn't work in order to create a one of a kind boutique hotel.

Their new boutique hotels will be designed depending on their location, the same way West Elm retail stores are. That means each one will be different and unique, something that is a drawing factor to those business and leisurely travelers looking for something different than just the repetitive standard hotel chain.

Dimly lit hallways will grace West Elm hotels, a design feature that they've found encourages hotel guests to soften their voices and move about quietly in common spaces. Custom designed marine blue tiles will adorn the bathrooms, marble coffee tables will provide a space for your morning cup of coffee, and 280 thread count sheets will keep you warm and provide a good nights sleep.

THE FIRST LOCATIONS

In late 2018 the first West Elm Hotels will open in Detroit and Savannah. Following those first two initial openings three more hotels will open in Charlotte, Indianapolis, and right here in Minneapolis' North Loop neighborhood.

Details regarding where exactly West Elm will locate their hotel in the North Loop have yet to be revealed. The size of the hotel is expected to be between 100-250 rooms with room rates raning from $175 to $400 a night.

Inspiration for a West Elm Hotel guestroom | West Elm

10 story office project planned for Washington Ave N

Another empty lot in the North Loop may soon become a sprawling 10 story office building if one developer has their wish. The thing is, you probably won't even notice as that's how perfect this building will fit in to the surrounding area.

CPM Development this past fall purchased what currently is a mixed-use building along Washington Avenue North called the Internet Exchange Building. The property included a surface parking lot behind the building and from the day the purchase became public questions began to be asked on what CPM would do with the parking lot behind the building. As most know, parking lots these days in Downtown Minneapolis are limited and if they don't have a development planned on them now, they soon will.

THE PLAN

Northeast Elevation  |  Planning Commission

Northeast Elevation | Planning Commission

CPM will present plans to the Minneapolis Planning Commission on March 31st for a new 10 story building to be constructed on the surface parking lot at 419 Washington Avenue North. 77 parking spaces will be included in the project on one sub grade level along with the ground floor. The rest of the ground floor will be space devoted to 7021 square feet of retail while floors two through ten will feature 23,420 square feet of office space per floor.

The retail space is currently designed with two sets of doors from the streetscape which means the space could be subdivided. However when you think about how hot the North Loop area is recently when it comes to the restaurant scene it seems very likely that this perfectly sized retail space will be snatched up by another restaurant spearheaded by one of Minneapolis' finest chefs... and we're not complaining.

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE DESIGN

It's gorgeous and very well designed. To be honest, we don't know how quite to describe it... besides the text below.

The ten story (11 including the below grade parking level) structure features a design that is perfect for the North Loop. Clad in brick from head to toe, well...ground to cornice, the building gives off a strong vintage vibe that is sure to fit in with the surrounding buildings. 

Southeast Elevation | Planning Commission

DJR Architecture is responsible for the overall design which features large expansive "warehouse" styled windows along with numerous arched windows. Something we believe should be noted is the fact that DJR treated the front Northeast facade of the building along with the back Southeast facade (which faces the railway and is across from Dock Street Flats and T3, and office building which is currently under construction) as equal primary facades. This means that both are rich in detail, including full brick work and arched windows. It's an attention to detail that really is going to make a difference.

We here at The Development Tracker are extremely excited about this excellently designed building that is planned for an iconic Minneapolis neighborhood. We can't wait to see the shovels hit the ground!

 
11 story office building planned for North Loop

Proposal for 616 N. 5th Street | Schaefer Richardson

It's a development frenzy in the North Loop. This week another new project was announced for the ever growing and ever changing neighborhood BY Schaefer Richardson.

Located at 616 N. 5th Street on what currently is the site of a Weather-Rite warehouse, Schaefer Richardson plans to construct an 11 story, 200,000 square foot office building. One level of underground parking would be include, along with two above ground levels that would be wrapped in retail. The design for the overall structure is pretty iconic we'd say and to be honest, we absolutely love it.

The mid-rise features a dramatic use of light and dark tones. Designed by Minneapolis based UrbanWorks Architecture, the overall feel for the building plays off an "urban-industrial" design. 

The unique "saw-tooth" (three triangular peaks) in the roofline create an interesting and defining element to the project which is a good thing as it will arguably be the tallest structure within the neighborhood once completed. However it's not just for looks as the roofline design will allow more natural light to filtrate from the North to the surrounding areas while also allowing for solar panels to potentially be installed facing the south.

A BELIEF IN THE NORTH LOOP

Schaefer Richardson currently owns quite a number of office properties in the North Loop however none are as large as what the company is currently proposing on the Weather-Rite site. While the project is the most recent to be proposed, it's not the only large scale development planned for the neighborhood... or even the block.

Currently United Properties' has a 10 story building in the planning process that will be located directly next to the Target Field light rail stop. The company is looking for a number of lease assurances before construction begins. Overall the development will dramatically change the overall feel and look of the area, especially with Schaefer Richardson's proposed project just down the block.

Meanwhile, across the Interstate 94 exit/entrance roadway that somewhat divides a portion of the North Loop, Hines is currently developing T3, a seven story office building with retail on the first floor that will be the first and largest wood structure of it's type within the country.

While Schaefer Richardson has debuted the plans for their North Loop project they will wait until half of the the space is leased within the building before construction begins. 

AN ENTIRELY NEW BLOCK

As mentioned above, Schaefer Richardson's proposal comes on the heels of this particular block's redevelopment in the last five years. The area use to be filled with almost entirely office and industrial buildings... That was until a few housing developers took a chance and of course the Minnesota Twins selected the area for the new stadium.

Since the stadium opened this portion of Fifth Street has seen a number of new projects. Be The Match opened their brand new headquarters this past winter while last year Junction Flats, a new 6 story, 182 unit apartment building across the street from the Weather-Rite site, opened the year before.

Directly next to the site where Schaefer Richardson has proposed their office building District 600 opened this month, bringing a new 6 story building with ground floor retail and 78 apartment units to the neighborhood. 

What also is quite interesting is that the current proposal from Schaefer Richardson will develop roughly 1/3 of the Weather-Rite site. Depending on how successful the first building is, the company could proceed with two additional phases including more retail, office and potentially even residential space.

 

Wondering what else is being developed in Minneapolis? Check out our development map here.

Solhavn developer plans new North Loop apartment project

North Loop, how about another apartment project?

The developer behind a number of Minneapolis residential buildings including Solhaus, Solhem, Soltva, Solhavn, and more recently, Coze Flats near Dinkytown, is back at it again with a new residential project planned for the North Loop neighborhood.

Curt Gunsbury is proposing the new project at 721 North 1st Street, a site that currently is home to a surface parking lot. It's not far from Gunsbury's other projects, in fact Soltva and Solhavn lie directly behind the project on 2nd Street.

What's better yet is Solhem and TE Miller Development are also in the process of currently constructing another 8 story, 71 unit, apartment building literally down the block at 602 North 1st Street. It's clear the company loves the neighborhood and has found plenty of success in the North Loop.

Rendering of the planned project | Solhem

Plans for Solhem's newest project include another eight story building (seven above ground, one below) that would include 124 market-rate apartment units. Parking would be located on one underground level and one and half above ground levels bringing the total number of spaces provided to 224. Building amenities will be found on the first floor while the eighth (seventh above ground) floor will include a rooftop deck.

The exterior of the building will be covered with brick and metal accents, something a little different from past projects of Gunsbury which were largely clad in metal. The overall feel is meant to blend in with the surrounding warehouses and late 19th century buildings. 

One of the great things about this project is that it will result in the creation of a 5,000 square foot public park on the southeast side of the building. Even more exciting is the fact that the project will use a ton of sustainable materials and designs that will qualify it for LEED certification.

It'll be interesting to see what the name for this project ends up being. Gunsbury's other properties all sport Swedish names due to a good friend of Gunsbury living in Sweden. The Swedish theme also tends to translate into the finishes of the projects which are bright, clean, and very minimal. However the last project that was developed by Gunsbury and his team is called Coze Flats (which could potentially also be the name of the 602 N. 1st Street project).

If all goes according to plan with the city approval process construction is intended to begin in July 2016 with a completion set for Summer 2017.