8-story condo building proposed for North Loop

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July 29, 2014 // UPDATED 2:45 pm - August 1, 2014
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

Developers Curt Gunsbury and Robb Miller have proposed a new eight-story condo development for the North Loop at 602-606 1st St. N. — the block home to Acme Comedy Club and the Lab Theater.

Development plans submitted to the city show a building with 24 units ranging in size from about 2,500 square feet to 5,000 square feet for penthouse units. The Planning Commission's Committee of the Whole is scheduled to review the project on Thursday, July 31. 

Gunsbury said all of the condominiums would be corner units and feature spacious balconies. 

He said the site calls for condos given its prime location near the river and great skyline views. "It literally backs up to the river," he said. "The market is definitely there for something like this."

Gunsbury's development portfolio includes 750 apartments built within the past five years, including two North Loop buildings — Soltvå and Solhavn. He worked on three condo projects before the apartment developments.

The site is within the Warehouse Historic District and St. Anthony Falls Historic District, meaning it will also need approval from the city's Heritage Preservation Commission to move forward.

The proposed design is intended to blend in with buildings in the neighborhood to reflect the traditional warehouse look with large windows, allowing for lots of natural light to filter into the condos. 

If approved, Gunsbury's latest project would be the first condo development for the neighborhood in some time. As the economy has improved post-recession, apartment projects have dominated the downtown landscape. 

It's been a decade since other new condos have been built in the neighborhood, giving many a dated look, he said. 

Pending city approvals, he'd like to have the project ready for residents by spring 2016. He said it's too preliminary to reveal the unit's proposed price points. 

Joe Grunnet, owner of the North Loop-based real estate company Downtown Resource Group, said "it's about time" a developer proposes a new condo project."

"These guys know what they are doing and have a great concept," he said. "I'm very excited for them, the North Loop and the whole Minneapolis condo market."

Fritz Kroll, an agent with Edina Realty who specializes in the downtown market, also said he's excited about the project. 

"I think the concept and location are great," he said. "I also believe they have a good understanding of the North Loop and will deliver a design driven building. We really need more new condos downtown, and the North Loop is the first choice of many buyers."