Alatus proposes 40-story tower near riverfront

Share this:
July 29, 2014 // UPDATED 10:38 am - August 4, 2014
By: Sarah McKenzie
An illustration of Alatus' proposed residential high-rise. (Note: illustration is not to scale.)
Sarah McKenzie

Downtown-based developer Alatus has revised its plans for a new residential high-rise near the river's east bank and is seeking approval for 40 stories.

The developer's proposal  was reviewed by the Minneapolis Planning Commission's Committee of the Whole on July 31.

Earlier plans called for a 25- to 30-story tower at 200 Central Ave SE and 112 2nd St. SE. The block is now home to a Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapel and the St. Anthony Athletic Club. 

As part of the new proposal, the funeral chapel would be removed from the site to make way for the 325-unit development. The tower would rise on the western half of the site and townhouses would line the lower levels of the parking ramp at 201 2nd Ave. SE. The development would also include a 7,000-square-foot restaurant. 

Jon Fletcher, a general manager at Alatus, said the development team hasn't determined whether the tower will be home to condos or apartments at this point. They are conducting market analysis to determine what makes the most sense for the project.

A name for the project and estimated development costs haven't been determined yet, he said. 

He said the east side of the river is ripe for a project of this scale.

"A lot of very positive activity happening on that side of the river, Fletcher said. "We are excited to be bringing a best-in-class destination tower to the area."

Alatus was founded in 2005 by veteran real estate developer Bob Lux, who was involved in the Grant Park and Carlyle condominium developments. Alatus is also behind the renovations underway at Block E, which will be rebranded as Mayo Clinic Square, and Latitude 45, an apartment development under construction across from the Depot Minneapolis. 

Alatus is scheduled to meet with the Marcy Holmes and Nicollet Island/East Bank neighborhood boards on Aug. 19 and 21, respectively. The project requires approvals from the Planning Commission and Heritage Preservation Commission.

The zoning code height limit for the site is four stories, said senior city planner Janelle Widmeier. "Per the historic district guidelines, eight stories is called for," she said. "But again, considerations can be made to allow a taller building. In general, the adopted policies call for high density at this site."

Scott Parkin, owner of Verve Realty and an expert on the local real estate market, said he's a supporter of Alatus' proposal. 

"I say full speed ahead," he said. "There are no luxury apartments in Northeast Minneapolis and it's a wildly popular neighborhood.  I scratch my head why this neighborhood has eluded larger-scale development to date. Its one of only a handful of walking neighborhoods in the Twin Cities. ... As a condo tower, It would be aggressive, but, in my opinion, successful."

City Council Member Jacob Frey (Ward 3), who represents the area, said he's also eager to see the proposal move forward. 

"We have an excellent opportunity to add density, promote the pedestrian environment, and create a beautiful gateway to the Eastside," he said. "While final plans have not been released, I think we are moving in the right direction with this project."