Each issue the Development Tracker follows construction projects around downtown and Northeast Minneapolis.
Upper Harbor Terminal
3360 1st St. N.
City of Minneapolis
A City Council committee has named a master development team to overhaul nearly 50 acres of former industrial property along the North Minneapolis riverfront. United Properties of Bloomington will lead the team, which also includes Thor Development and First Avenue Productions. The team, the only respondent to a request for qualifications from the city and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, has already presented a preliminary plan for the city-owned site that includes up to 1,000 units of housing, a 10,000-person amphitheater and 18 acres of parkland. The Upper Harbor Terminal, a former shipping terminal, is located just north of the North Loop neighborhood and just across the Mississippi River from Northeast Minneapolis. City and park staff will now complete an exclusive rights agreement by May.
Sibley Street Northeast between 8th and 10th avenues
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
No developers stepped up last month when the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board began a search for a partner to develop a piece of riverfront land in Northeast Minneapolis. For nearly two years the board has been working to find a developer for the Scherer site, a riverfront parcel just north of the Plymouth Avenue where the board intends to build a destination park and recreate Hall’s Island. A piece of the land is slated for private development. While the board said no fewer than three development teams had expressed initial interest in developing the site, none responded to a recent request for proposals. The board said its next step is to evaluate adjustments to its plans for the parcel and to strategize other methods of partnering with a development team.
Downtown East Commons
425 Portland Ave. S.
City of Minneapolis
The City of Minneapolis is preparing to hand over operations of the Downtown East Commons to Green Minneapolis, a non-profit conservancy formed by the Minneapolis Downtown Council. The Commons, the two-block park in front of U.S. Bank Stadium on the east side of downtown Minneapolis, fully opened last August and has been maintained by the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District. A nearly $1.4-million interim operating agreement with Green Minneapolis would last through the end of the year, pending City Council approval. As part of the agreement, the group will take on the city’s goal of fundraising $22 million for designing and constructing a completed park. The city revealed in a recent memo that initial fundraising for the park did not cover the $15.3-million cost of opening the Commons despite putting on hold two buildings, a wet plaza and other design features. Ryan Cos., the developer of the park and surrounding development, agreed to bridge the approximately $1.2 million budget shortfall through a short-term loan. It’s unclear how much planners have raised beyond the approximately $14 million.
30 3rd St. S.
United Properties has asked the City of Minneapolis for more time to finalize financing for The Gateway, a luxury hotel and apartment tower proposed for the high-profile Nicollet Hotel Block on the north end of Nicollet Mall. The Bloomington-based developer has asked for an extension of its exclusive development rights through February, according to a city planning memo. The approximately 35-story tower would include a Four Seasons Hotel, some of the city’s highest-end apartments and potentially condo units as well. Several setbacks have delayed the project and have made a January 2018 closing unlikely, planning staff said, which would call for a modified timeline.
City office building
415 S. 5th St.
City of Minneapolis
Last month the City Council approved a $500,000 contract with design firm Perkins + Will for predesign work for a new downtown office building for city workers. The city is looking to build an approximately 250,000-square-foot building in place of the city-owned Government Center parking ramp on 5th Street. The multi-purpose office and public safety building would primarily house employees who currently work in leased and owned space outside City Hall, according to a request for proposals. The city expects construction to begin early next year. Staff could relocate by 2020.
Guthrie Liner Parcel
800 S. Washington Ave.
Mortenson Development has asked for more time to finance a 10-story hotel and office project near the Mill District in downtown Minneapolis. The Golden Valley-based developer has entered into an exclusive development rights agreement with the City of Minneapolis for a thin parcel of land along Washington Avenue known as the Guthrie Line Parcel. Mortenson is proposing to build a 235-room Hyatt Centric hotel on the first nine floors and office space for the American Academy of Neurology on the tenth floor. Mortenson’s third request for more time gives the developer an additional six months to finalize a redevelopment contract. The purchase price of the property remains at $3.8 million, or about $155 per square foot.
225 3rd Ave. S.
The owners of the Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot are proposing to expand the hotel’s event space by enclosing the remaining eastern portion of its train shed. CSM Corp. wants an even larger banquet space allowing it to host two large events simultaneously, a phase of construction that has been planned for several years, a spokesman told the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association. The Depot added more than 100 guest rooms last year by removing its water park.
1321 5th Ave. S.
St. Paul Development Corp.
St. Paul Development Corp. went back to the City Planning Commission in early January with updated plans for a 50-unit apartment building in the Elliot Park neighborhood. The five-story Aberdeen would consist of 40 smaller micro units and studios, nine one-bedrooms units and a single two-bedroom apartment. The building, which has received support from Elliot Park Neighborhood Inc., would have underground parking spaces for 15 cars and include amenities like a common area and kitchen, a fitness room and a rooftop terrace. The current site is a surface parking lot.
729 Washington Ave. N.
Ovative Group, a North Loop-based digital marketing and analytics firm, won’t move far when it expands into a new space next year. The company recently announced it is planning to move from 701 Washington Ave. N. to a new 10-story office project from United Properties that will be on the same block at 729 Washington Ave. N. Ovative will take about 30,000 square feet in the building, giving it room to add an estimated 100 jobs over the next few years. The proposed mixed-use building would have 184,000 square feet of office space, 15,000 square feet of retail space and 408 parking spaces, according to plans submitted to the Heritage Preservation Commission late last year.
700 Nicollet Mall
The Nicollet Mall Macy’s store is slated to be redeveloped into creative office space on the upper floors and retail space on the street and skyway levels under new ownership. The company announced in early January that it has agreed to sell its three-building complex, also known as the original home of Dayton’s department store, to New York-based 601W Cos. City officials expect the early 20th-century buildings to house “targeted, specialty retail” that will survive in a changing retail landscape in downtown Minneapolis. The store is expected to close this March.