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Tour through East Town’s new development

Updated: July 20, 2016 - 8:59 am

The rise of East Town 

The Wells Fargo towers

IMG_4214“I can’t wait for it to be done. … They’re really making it come alive,” said Jennifer Rusert, watching nearby construction during her first week at Wells Fargo’s new East Town office. “It’s going to be beautiful.”

Two 17-story Wells Fargo towers are part of the extensive development taking shape in “East Town” near the new Vikings stadium. Ryan Companies projects include a Radisson RED hotel, a brick office building, three apartment buildings called Edition (built in partnership with The Excelsior Group), a parking ramp, and a new proposal for an office tower over the ramp anticipated to rise between 15 and 20 stories.

Another Wells Fargo employee said the East Town area feels less congested than her former office at 7th & Marquette.

“I like the openness of this area,” she said. “We have really nice views from our floor.”

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She said she’s anxiously awaiting more food options on the east side of Downtown. Einstein Bros. Bagels and Caribou Coffee are open in the skyway (one area staffer said the morning lines are always long), and D. Brian’s and the restaurant McKinney Roe are under construction. A Wells Fargo branch is also open, and additional restaurant space and skyway retail space are still available.

A view from the top of a new parking ramp near U.S. Bank stadium. Photo by Michelle Bruch

Giant images in the skyway show the progression of development in Minneapolis, from its 18 flour mills along the river in 1879; to the 1929 completion of the Foshay Tower, the tallest building thru the 1950s; to the Dome’s pending demolition in 2013.

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Location: The buildings stand along 4th Street between Park and 5th avenues

Formerly: Surface parking and a Star Tribune building

Status: Open

Radisson RED Hotel

The five-story, 164-room Radisson RED is a hotel designed with a bar and no front desk. A smartphone app will help guests check in, receive keyless room access, order food, or ask other hotel guests to grab a drink. Staff called “creatives” will circulate with iPads to offer additional help.

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“There is a big DIY component to Radisson RED,” said Rich Flores, Radisson’s vice president of global branding. “We built a brand centered around the Millennial mindset.”

The Minneapolis location is one of the first to roll out in the Americas, along with locations in Colombia and Brazil, and 60 more locations are anticipated by 2020.

Ryan Cos. hotel 1Local muralist Adam Turman is commissioned to paint a large mural in the hotel’s “OUIBAR and KTCHN,” which features a patio at the corner of 3rd & Portland.

“When you walk in, you get a sense of walking in to an art gallery,” Flores said. “Part of the brand DNA is to infuse art, music and fashion into the guest experience.”

Location: Located on the northern portion of the block bounded by 3rd and 4th streets and Portland and Park avenues.

Formerly: Surface parking lot

Status: Under construction, slated to open in late 2016


The Millwright building

Ryan Cos. Millwright 1The future headquarters of Ryan Companies is slated for this four-story, 174,000-square-foot brick building that’s designed to evoke “Minneapolis’ warehouse history.”

“We’re making a statement by moving our corporate headquarters there,” said Tony Barranco, Ryan Cos. vice president of development.

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Location: corner of Portland Avenue & 3rd Street

Formerly: Surface parking lot

Status: Under construction, opens Spring 2017


Edition Apartments
Ryan Cos. Edition 1Amenities include an off-leash dog run and dog wash station, espresso bar, demonstration kitchen, bike repair station, 24-hour concierge service, a club with fitness on-demand, and skyway connections in two of the three buildings.

The luxury apartments have rates ranging from $1,130 for a 490-square-foot micro studio to $4,935 for a three-bedroom apartment. The units have 77 different floor plans, with features that include granite and quartz countertops, walk-in closets, stainless steel appliances and plank wood floors.

Ryan Cos. Edition 2

Location: Three buildings front 4th Street and 5th Avenue bordering the new Commons park

Formerly: Surface parking and a Star Tribune building

Status: Two buildings opened in March and May, with the third slated to open in mid-July