Each issue the Development Tracker follows construction projects around downtown and Northeast Minneapolis.
315 Nicollet Mall
Opus Group has begun site work on the Ritz Block where it will officially break ground on a 30-story luxury apartment tower later this fall. The project, tentatively called Ritz Residences and, on previous renderings, 365 Nicollet, will feature 369 units of apartments with “condo-level finishes” when it opens in the fall of 2018 on the north end of Nicollet Mall. Matt Rauenhorst, a vice president of development with Opus, said there is about 6,000 square feet of commercial space at Nicollet & 4th and 3,500 square feet on the Marquette Avenue side. He couldn’t disclose tenants, but said they’re looking for a restaurant. The building, built across from the developer’s Nic on Fifth apartment tower, will have a skyway connection to the new Xcel Energy headquarters, he said. Rauenhorst said he expects rents to be reflective of the top end of the city’s rental market.
Nicollet Mall between Grant and Washington
City of Minneapolis
In September the City of Minneapolis unveiled the first stenciled sidewalks of the $50-million Nicollet Mall reconstruction project. The concrete sidewalks, which feature tree branch, leaf and basket weave designs, replaced brick pavers after a construction bid came in $24 million over the city’s budget late last year. Once rebuilt, project manager Peter Brown told The Journal that the mall would feature six different shades and textures of concrete. Crews also removed eight city-owned public art pieces from the mall for construction. The city plans to restore and return six of the works by the end of next year, in addition to adding three new pieces.
Mill City Quarter
322 S. 2nd St.
Mill City Quarter, a 150-unit affordable housing project in the Mill District, opened in September, bringing the city’s first woonerf to the downtown Minneapolis riverfront. Under the city’s new parkland dedication ordinance, Lupe Development and other partners were able to dedicate the private land — now the newly opened woonerf, or a multi-modal, curbless area — for public use. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board plans to take advantage of the woonerf, which, once complete, will connect pedestrians and bikers to a riverfront area where it plans to build the new Water Works park. Steve Minn with Lupe told The Journal the building is 70-percent leased.
Abiitan Mill City
428 S. 2nd St.
Neighboring the recently opened Mill City Quarter development is Abiitan Mill City, a senior housing building with memory-care and independent-living units. A spokesman with Ecumen, the nonprofit developer behind the project, said they expect the first residents to begin moving in in late December. The building will be home to a G-Werx Fitness Training Studio and a PS Salon and Spa. Ecumen will also operate a café in Abiitan that will be open to the public. About 40 percent of the project’s 151 rental units are leased, the spokesman said in early September.
513 S. 3rd St.
Ryan Companies celebrated the topping-off of its new office project, dubbed the Millwright Building, in Downtown East at the beginning of September. The downtown-based developer plans to move about 250–300 of its employees from its current headquarters on Nicollet Mall to the 172,000-square-foot building, which is slated to open next spring. The four-story project will also feature office space for additional users, though no other tenants have been disclosed. Once complete, the Millwright Building will have a skyway connection, access to the newly opened Commons park and a rooftop terrace.
212 10th Ave. S.
Sherman Associates expects to begin moving residents into its 12-story Encore apartment building in the Mill District on Dec. 1. The Downtown East-based developer broke ground on the building, which will feature 11 stories of residences and a rooftop deck, in the spring of 2015. Inside, Encore will have 123 luxury apartments and townhomes, including three-bedroom penthouses and two-story townhome units with private entrances. The project is the developer’s final piece on the block after the Aloft Hotel and Zenith Condominiums.
116 E. Hennepin Ave.
Where two Nye’s Polonaise Room buildings stood just a couple months ago is now dirt. Schafer Richardson has demolished two of the beloved bar’s four structures in preparation for Montage, a 72-unit apartment project that will encompass the remaining historic buildings. The development is slated to open in late 2017 after about a 14-month construction period. The six-story project, named for the array of buildings on a site that has its own storied past, replaced earlier plans for a 29-story tower. The developer paid $1.9 million for the half-acre site.
2815 Johnson St. NE
Local developer and business owner Andrew Volna continues to rehabilitate the 80-year-old Hollywood Theater in Northeast Minneapolis for a new tenant. Volna said in an email that they are in talks with an “extremely viable” group looking to operate an event center out of the space, which has been largely vacant for more than 30 years. The landmark theater offers more than 10,000 square feet of space for a unique office user or other tenant. Apiary, Volna’s real estate company, is slated to wrap up the rehab this fall.
1601 37th Ave. NE
Northeast Investment Cooperative
The Northeast Investment Cooperative announced in August it has signed a letter of intent to purchase a second property just outside of Northeast Minneapolis in Columbia Heights. The investment co-op, which owns the building at 2506 Central Ave. NE now home to Fair State Brewing Cooperative and Aki’s BreadHaus, is purchasing the building on 37th Avenue Northeast for $125,000, according to an announcement sent to members. The 2,100-square-foot building will likely fetch rents between $12 and $15 per square foot, NEIC said. NEIC, which has more than 240 members, has already started marketing the space and is targeting “community-oriented” small businesses.
701 2nd Ave. S.
Morning Calm Management, Axar Capital Management
A join venture of New York-based Axar Capital Management and Florida-based Morning Calm Management has acquired the Ameriprise Financial Center in downtown Minneapolis for $200 million, according to a release. The 31-story office building is home to 847,667 square feet of office space. CBRE Capital Markets brokered the sale, which translates to $236 per square foot. The building, built in 2000, serves as the global headquarters for Ameriprise Financial.