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August 1, 2011
By: Sarah McKenzie and Jeremy Zoss
Sarah McKenzie and Jeremy Zoss
While many new development projects are moving ahead in Journal land, some projects have been paralyzed for years — left in limbo for a variety of reasons. We did some digging to see what’s going on with some of the stalled projects and vacant buildings. Go to to see an interactive map.

Curious about a vacant building in your neighborhood? Send an e-mail to We’ll do some research to see what’s going on with the property and add it to the interactive map. What would you like to see happen with these stalled project or vacant buildings? Let us know. We’ll print your ideas in a future edition or on our Tumblr blog at

A. The Reserve site 360 N. 1st St.

A prime corner in the North Loop has been home to a paralyzed construction site for eight years.

It was going to be home to a condo project called The Reserve, but construction on the 100-unit project stalled in 2003 after litigation sparked between the developer and lender.

In early 2009, Northeast-based Hillcrest Development had tentative plans to purchase the site for new development, but the deal never went through.

Scott Tankenoff, managing partner at Hillcrest, said the real estate company is still interested in the site, but acknowledged it remains a complicated project to tackle.  

B. The Nicollet site 10th & Nicollet

One of the most exciting projects planned for Downtown during the condo boom was the Nicollet — a 56-story condo tower at 10th & Nicollet. Those plans never took root. Pratt Ordway Properties has been working on a redevelopment plan for the site for some time, but nothing is imminent. The site includes four parcels on 10th between Nicollet Mall and Marquette. The historic Handicraft Guild Building is one of those properties.

Len Pratt, a principal with Pratt Ordway, did not return requests for comment on the status of The Nicollet project.

C. The New French Bar 4th Street N. & 2nd Ave. N.

The large property that once housed The New French Bar and Urban Wildlife is owned by Peter Hafiz, who also owns bars like Sneaky Pete’s and adult entertainment venues such as the Gay 90’s, Déjà Vu, The Brass Rail and others. He initially planned to demolish the building and replace it with a three-level nightclub, but the Heritage Preservation Commission denied the request. Last summer, Hafiz discussed opening a club next to the building, but those plans are reportedly on hold.

D. Trocaderos 107 3rd Ave. N.

The building formerly home to the North Loop night club Trocaderos has been closed for two years. The owners of the property could not be reached for information about the building. It was once home to a two-story restaurant, 8,000-square foot dance floor, private party rooms and several bars.

E. Former Chevys space 701 Hennepin Ave. S.

The spot formerly home to Chevys Fresh Mex has been vacant since May 2007. Tom Hoch, president and CEO of the Hennepin Theatre Trust, said he’d love to see the spot become home to an authentic Jewish deli. “The floors above could be incredible office space or work space for a smaller cultural, environmental or tourism organization,” he said.

F . Shinder’s 8th & Hennepin Ave.

As much as we’d love to share some good news about the long-vacant Shinder’s site at 8th and Hennepin, we’ve got nothing to share. Developer NAI Welsh made no comment about the fate of the site, which appears as if it will continue to stand empty for the immediate future. Reports in 2008 indicated that the space was being eyed for a restaurant development, but that never came to pass.