Community notebook: Target planning new meeting center on Nicollet Mall

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April 23, 2012
By: Jeremy Zoss
Jeremy Zoss

Target Corp. has revealed plans for a new meeting center for employees at 10th & Nicollet. Designed by Julie Snow Architects and constructed by Ryan Cos., the meeting center combines three adjoining properties across from Target Headquarters on Nicollet Mall.

Two buildings, 1001 Nicollet Mall and 1013 Nicollet Mall, will be joined together into a single unit. The properties were the former homes of Let It Be Records and the Scientology Center, respectively. The third parcel, a currently empty lot at 81 10th St. S, will be incorporated into the meeting center primarily as outdoor space.

The new meeting center was inspired by a feature within Target headquarters known as “The Great Hall.” Target employees use the large open space for informal meetings and brainstorming sessions. The new meeting center will have a large open meeting space on the ground level for the same purpose. It will also feature workout areas, bicycle storage, showers, lockers and other amenities for Target employees. The fenced-in outdoor space behind the building will have a basketball court, bocce court, barbeque area and outdoor lounging space. 

The development requires a variance from the city, as all properties on Nicollet Mall are required to feature some retail element. While the center will only be open to Target employees and authorized visitors, the meeting center should still add energy to Nicollet Mall. Large windows will let the public see into the meeting space, as will the wrought iron fence around the outdoor section. The meeting center will not be connected to Target Headquarters via skyway, so Target employees traveling between the buildings will increase foot traffic on the Mall.

Target representative Molly Snyder said Target is continuing to talk to the city about the project and will share more details on the development as they are confirmed. 

Renovations set to begin on Orchestra Hall 

NICOLLET MALL — With the approval of the Orchestra Hall’s plans by the Minneapolis Planning Commission, the $50 million renovation of the venue should begin in late June. 

Mortenson Construction is handling the project along with planning and project management firm Nelson, Tietz & Hoye.

The renovation plans leave the shell of Orchestra Hall alone and call for only small changes in the auditorium itself. It will receive new seats, flooring and paint, and nothing else. 

“We’re very sensitive to the acoustics and don’t want to do anything that would be detrimental to the acoustics,” said Paul Johnson, senior associate at Nelson, Tietz & Hoye. 

The bulk of the upgrades will focus on Orchestra Hall’s common areas. The lobby area will be expanded and its multi-level layout will be simplified to make it friendlier to disabled patrons. New windows and floors will be added, and more restrooms and concessions areas will be added to the lobby. 

“There’s this joke about Orchestra Hall that usually during the intermission you have time to get a refreshment or use the restroom but not both,” said Johnson. 

A new common space, currently called the City Room, will serve as a space for events. While not large enough for full orchestra performances, it will be available for weddings, meetings and other large gatherings. The space, which will likely be renamed after a corporate sponsor, will feature a catering kitchen.

On the outside of the building, the current façade will be replaced with stone and glass to modernize its appearance. 

The expansion will push the building out toward 11th Street and into Peavey Plaza, and the existing drop-off area on 11th will be reduced and moved toward Nicollet to improve the pedestrian experience along the street.

While Peavey Plaza is also scheduled for renovation, it is a separate project from Orchestra Hall. Orchestra Hall’s project is fully funded and scheduled for completion on July 1, 2013. The Peavey Plaza renovation will likely not be completed until the fall of 2013.  

Kent Hrbek statue unveiled 

TARGET FIELD — On April 14, Kent Hrbek joined the ranks of the Twins legends who have been immortalized in bronze outside Target Field. The statue was revealed before the game against the Texas Rangers and stands outside Gate 14, the entrance named after Hrbek’s retired number.

Hrbek is the seventh veteran of the Twins organization to receive a statue, after Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew, Calvin Griffith, Tony Oliva, Kirby Puckett and Carl and Eloise Pohlad. All statues were created by Minnesota-based artist Bill Mack.

“It has been an honor to know Kent and his family, and to write his name on the lineup card almost every day,” said former Twins manager Tom Kelly during the statue’s unveiling. “Kent’s contributions to the ’87 and ’91 World Series teams will be everlasting memories in my life. This is a great moment for all of us here today.”

NE hoarder home will be demolished

SHERIDAN — A house discovered to be filled with debris and cats will be torn down, the City Council decided March 30.

A two-story duplex at 1126 6th St. NE caught the attention of city inspectors in May 2011 when the Fire Department responded to a possible gas leak. Once inside, they found the home vacant with myriad health hazards, numerous live and dead cats, and rotting material due to leaks in the roof. Initially, Animal Control officials were unable to remove the cats because of all the clutter.

In subsequent letters to the city, nearby residents complained that they avoided the outdoors in summer because of the smell emanating from the property.

The former resident of the home was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder related to hoarding. The resident’s family requested to rehabilitate the home, but city officials determined the house was unfit for occupancy, a nuisance to the neighborhood and potential detriment to nearby home values.

New NE local food hub

Northeast has a new “local food resource hub” this year that offers low-cost seeds and gardening classes to members.

Those who join can start growing plants like tomatoes, eggplant and okra through a seed distribution event May 19 at the Little Kitchen Food Shelf, 1500 6th St. NE.

“It increases access to fresh, healthy food,” said program director Nadja Berneche.

Gardening packages are available in three different sizes on a sliding fee scale. The hub also offers classes on topics like food preservation, organic pest control and cooking with fresh produce.

Registration is at gardeningmatters.org.

Forum on Central Avenue 

Five neighborhoods are banding together to ask “What’s Up With Central Avenue?” in an April 30 community forum.

The event is focused on Northeast’s “Main Street” district, and it’s scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Salvation Army Fellowship Hall, 2727 Central Ave. NE.

Michelle Bruch contributed to this report