Minneapolis Public Schools Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson has recommended the School Board select Northeast-based Hillcrest Development to purchase and redevelop the district’s former headquarters at 807 Broadway St. NE.
Hillcrest is one of seven developers bidding on the chance to redevelop the building, which was built in 1914 to house a light bulb factory. The School Board is scheduled to vote on the superintendent’s recommendation May 28.
The 807 Broadway Task Force — a group affiliated with the Logan Park Neighborhood Association — is supportive of Hillcrest’s proposal, which calls for a commercial use for the building. Two other developers — Kremer & Young and First & First — also proposed commercial redevelopment plans for the building.
Scott Tankenoff, managing partner of Hillcrest Development, said he’s honored the company has been recommended by the superintendent.
“It’s a neat project,” he said. “We can make the building relevant again. I know we can make it a winner.”
The 5.8 acre-site includes the former schools headquarters — a 187,000-square-foot building, several smaller buildings and a parking lot.
Hillcrest has not developed a specific site plan for the building. Pending approvals, it would do environmental testing on the site and continue working with the 807 Task Force and city officials to formalize a plan, Tankenoff said.
If the sale could be finalized by year’s end, Tankenoff predicts the redevelopment of the building could be completed in five to six months with office space ready for new tenants by spring of 2014.
Hillcrest has redeveloped five other buildings within six blocks of the 807 Broadway building — all for commercial tenants. The newest one it has added to its portfolio is the 1515 Central Ave. NE building — a 100,000-square-foot property the developer just celebrated with a groundbreaking on May 13.
The buildings have attracted creative companies looking for unique office spaces, and Tankenoff predicts the 807 Broadway project will attract similar tenants.
Pat Vogel, a co-chair of the 807 Broadway Task Force, said neighborhood leaders are eager to continue working with Hillcrest on a new vision for the building.
She said the task force was very happy with all three of the proposals that suggested a commercial use for the building since it will translate to more jobs in the neighborhood.
Hillcrest also has a good track record of cleaning up old buildings in the area for new uses, she said.