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Skyway bar, napping pods come with Fifth Street Towers renovation

Updated: December 4, 2017 - 8:33 am

A bike hub, napping pods and a swanky lounge are among the new amenities at Fifth Street Towers where a multi-million-dollar renovation has just culminated after two years of construction.

Very little hasn’t been touched inside the 1.1 million-square-foot office towers in downtown Minneapolis where large screens and wood line the skyway level and an amenity floor offers the latest office comforts.

The teams behind the renovation say the office towers have been primed to attract a lot of interest from potential tenants.

“We will be the ‘it’ building of 2018. I have no doubt we will do more deals in Fifth Street Towers than any building in downtown Minneapolis. It’s because nobody has seen anything like this. It’s brand new,” said Erin Wendorf of Transwestern, a Houston-based company handling leasing in the buildings.

150_south_fifth_14 webNew touches are immediately visible on the first two floors where a fitness center has been replaced with a bike hub, repair shop and locker room capable of housing hundreds of bikes. The redesign from Shea Design and ESG Architects juxtaposes screens with new wood detailing and public seating.

On the third floor, tenants have more than 20,000 square feet of lounge space with a rentable bar, conference rooms and a wellness center with napping pods. A new, roughly 5,000-square-foot deck offers more communal seating, TVs and skyline views. Tenants have a staffed workout room with machines and a weight room. Vending machines offer the buildings’ daytime population, which could reach up to 4,000 people when fully leased, heathy grab-and-go items instead of chips and candy.

“We are supporting a massive amount of people throughout the day. You need to think about what people need throughout the day to be happy, healthy and productive,” Wendorf said.

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The next ‘it’ building

Jim Durda, executive vice president of Zeller Realty Group, the buildings’ owner, said they “ambitious” leasing goals for the office complex.

150_south_fifth_03 webSince beginning the renovation, several new tenants have signed leases inside the 25 and 36-story buildings, including Northland Securities, Collabera, KPMG, Ford & Harrison, Burns & Wilcox, Newmark Knight Frank, WPP and Manitoba Harvest.

By the end of the year, Durda said they estimate the buildings will be 60-percent leased. By the end of next year, he said that number will be closer to 90 percent.

“Everybody who is just thinking about a renewal wants to come and look to see the exciting things at Fifth Street [Towers],” Durda said.

About eight spec suites have attracted several national and global corporations, Wendorf said, which offer furnished offices that ready to move into immediately.

Some of the largest tenants in the buildings are Martin Williams Advertising, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance, Moss & Barnett and Bowman & Brooke LLP.

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A new skyway bar

Capping off the renovation is Sphere Kitchen + Bar, a new lounge on the skyway level.

150_south_fifth_24 webThe bar is a new concept from Hemisphere Restaurant Partners, which operates three Tavern Grill locations, the IDS Center’s Mission American Kitchen, U.S. Bank Plaza’s skyway-level eatery Good to Go and ground-floor restaurant Atlas Grill & Clubroom.

Sphere, which is named for the circular skylight above the bar, occupies a newly built out 3,000-square-foot space that The Simple Sandwich had partially occupied.

The restaurant offers lunch, dinner and a full bar with beer, wine and cocktails. The menu features small plates, kebabs, salads and fresh vegetables spiced with curry and turmeric that co-owner Hadi Anbar said aren’t often seen in the skyway,

“Nobody has that kind of stuff… It’s kind of a great, worldly [concept],” he said.

Sphere, at 100 S. 5th St., is open 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Monday through Friday with lunch served from 11 a.m.–3 p.m.

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