Sexton conversion adds ramp, more condos

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January 17, 2005 // UPDATED 1:48 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Scott Russell
Scott Russell

The conversion of the Sexton Building, 521 7th St. S., into condominiums will include a new five-story-tall mixed-use building next door.

The developers plan to build the 67-foot-high building at 516 8th St. S. on what is now a surface parking lot immediately south of the Sexton building and east of the House of Charity, according to a city staff report.

The second through fifth floors will have 157 parking stalls that will serve both buildings. The new building will feature an as-yet-to-be-named restaurant at the corner of 8th Street & Portland Avenue, said Coldwell Banker Burnet's Mike Roess, the development's marketing partner. Cars will enter off Portland.

Live/work units would line the first floor of the new building. (Live/work units give the buyer the option to live in the space, work in the space or both.)

The developers plan to add two stories to the 1925-vintage Sexton Building to create nine penthouse units. The building height will increase from 80 feet to 105 feet.

The live/work units would be about 900 to 1,200 square feet each, Roess said. The Sexton's upper floors would have traditional condos. Sale prices will range from $160,000 for a smaller live/work unit to $700,000 for a 2,100-plus-square-foot penthouse unit, he said. Half of the units are presold.

Initial buyers include an attorney's office, a graphic designer and a janitorial service.

The Sexton is a few blocks from the Metrodome, a half-block from a skyway entrance and two blocks from the LRT line on South 5th Street.

The Planning Commission approved the site plan, conditional-use permit and sign variances Jan. 10. If no one appeals by Jan. 20, the approvals are final. The development is expected to open in late 2005, Roess said, with a March groundbreaking.

The Elliot Park Neighborhood Association supports the project, according to the city's report. Roess said at the request of the neighborhood and city representatives, the developers altered their initial plans. Instead of putting the new building up to the property line, they added a 13-foot-wide green space along Portland Avenue. The area also will provide outdoor seating for the restaurant.

The project is a joint venture of Swervo Development and JJT Development, Roess said.

Swervo is also behind The Lenox, 24 flat-style lofts in a three-story brownstone at 9th & Portland, among other Downtown projects.