Each issue the Development Tracker follows construction projects around downtown and Northeast Minneapolis.
Nicollet Mall reconstruction
City of Minneapolis
City officials recently announced that work on the Nicollet Mall reconstruction has reached a new phase that will see more work going on above ground. The $50-million overhaul of Nicollet Mall, which is on track for a substantial completion in November, has primarily focused on underground utility work since it began last year. Now crews will begin pouring cement, installing street lights and planting trees along the 12-block reconstruction. Streets and sidewalks are slated for completion in mid-October. In addition to the new construction phase, the Downtown Improvement District is rolling out a new messaging campaign under its Minneapolis Big Build initiative that features the statue of Mary Tyler Moore in order to support the project.
129 Plymouth Ave. S.
Lupe Development Partners is now planning a medical retail building in the North Loop where it had previously proposed a similarly sized retail and restaurant complex with a drive-thru. Steve Minn, the Minneapolis-based developer’s vice principal and CFO, said they’re looking to build a one-story building that will offer 10,000 square feet of space for medical retailers like a dentistry, veterinary or chiropractor’s office, though he did not disclose specific tenants. The site, located at 129 Plymouth Ave. N. near the corner of Plymouth Avenue North and 2nd Street North, is currently a vacant lot. Lupe could begin construction on the project as soon as this summer or fall. Preliminary plans went before the North Loop Neighborhood Association’s Planning + Zoning Committee in late March.
700 Nicollet Mall
Macy’s has closed its location on Nicollet Mall, a store that started as Dayton’s flagship department store more than a century ago. The retailer announced earlier this year its plan to close 68 stores across the country and that it has sold its downtown Minneapolis complex for $59 million to New York-based 601W Cos. The firm is planning to build out creative office space on the upper floors and retail on the street and skyway levels. The firm said in a press release that Bloomington-based United Properties will invest in the project, the Telos Group will serve as a redevelopment consultant and office marketing lead, global firm Gensler will be the lead architect and Transwestern will manage the building.
695, 699 Lowry Ave. NE
California Building Co.
The City of Minneapolis has received three proposals for the redevelopment of two Hennepin County-owned commercial buildings in Northeast Minneapolis. The vacant buildings offer more than 14,000 square feet for what the city envisions could add life to a stretch of Lowry Avenue. Staff have recommended California Building Co., which has offered to buy the property for the $150,000 asking price. The team is proposing to redevelop the buildings into a few artist studios for the owners and other artists, a retail space at Monroe & Lowry, a three-bedroom apartment and a leasable demonstration space for artists on Lowry. The owners would be Malcom Potek and Kara van Wyk of Potek Glass and Josh Blanc and Layl McDill of Clay Squared. City staff and the Holland Neighborhood Improvement Association will host community engagement sessions to refine the project’s design.
111 3rd Ave. S.
ICM Realty Group
Calgary, Alberta-based ICM Realty Group is proposing to rebrand the Mill Place building, which it purchased last year, into the Barrel House. Along with the rebrand, the firm is putting in interior and exterior updates to the building, including renovating its atrium and adding modern office amenities. ICM is slated to present plans to the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association’s Land Use Committee in early April. As part of the proposal, ICM plans to paint a five-foot-tall “Barrel House” sign on the rear of the building. The new name references the Mill Place’s building’s original tenant, barrel manufacturer Hall and Dann Barrel Co.
700-708 3rd St. S.
Sherman Associates is making progress on plans for the historic rehabilitation of the Advance Thresher building in Downtown East. The developer has proposed to build a 182-room Hilton Canopy hotel with some commercial space on the ground floor. Representatives on behalf of Sherman Associates are slated to go before the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association’s Land Use Committee in early April. The project is a piece of a full-block redevelopment that will also see the development of the East End Apartments and a Trader Joe’s grocery store. The 180-unit luxury apartment building is scheduled for completion this year.
205 Park Ave. S.
Sherman Associates plans to break ground this October on a mixed-use apartment, condo and retail project near the Mill District, a spokeswoman said in March. The developer presented updated plans that require several variances to the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association’s Land Use Committee in early April. The $36-million project calls for constructing a 127-unit apartment building on a formerly city-owned parcel. The developer is also planning four walk-up condominiums, a 500-square-foot police substation and 130 underground parking spaces for residents.
Thrivent parking lot
600, 610, 618 Portland Ave. S.
Thrivent Financial has purchased three properties totaling about a half-acre near its headquarters in downtown Minneapolis. The financial services company paid about $2.1 million for the properties, which are part of a full-block parking lot bounded by Portland and 5th avenues and 6th and 7th streets, according to a certificate of real estate value. Thrivent now owns the entire block, according to Hennepin County records. The site is across from the Minneapolis Armory, which is being transformed into an event center, the recently opened Portland Tower and the entire Downtown East development from Ryan Cos.
1101 3rd Ave. S.
Hennepin County is selling the full-block Century Plaza building in downtown Minneapolis. Proposals for the four-story building, originally built in 1932 as the Miller Vocational High School, are due next month after the county extended the deadline. The building, which was renovated into offices in the 1980s, offers nearly 300,000 square feet of useable space and includes about 360 parking spots. Hennepin County has already begun moving out employees from the nearly 3-acre site and expects it to be vacant in May. The county explored turning it into a hotel for conventions about a decade ago.
Nicollet Mall art
City of Minneapolis
A Public Art Committee has selected artists to bring public art to the reconstruction of Nicollet Mall. California-based artist Ned Kahn has designed “Prairie Tree, a tree-like structure with rotating veins that act like prairie grass and will be animated by gusts of wind. The city will install the work between 10th and 11th streets on the mall’s east side. Arizona-based Blessing Hancock was commissioned to design “Nicollet Lanterns,” which will be a part of the signature “light walk” between 6th and 8th streets. And Tristan Al-Haddad of Georgia has designed “Nimbus,” a sculpture that will be part of a new space near the Minneapolis Central Library.