Brownfield on Downtown's edge attracts commercial development

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January 9, 2006 // UPDATED 2:04 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

Master Development Group has plans for a new 60,000-square-foot commercial development on the edge of the North Loop.

The Minneapolis-based developer is negotiating with the city’s Community Planning and Economic Development department (CPED) on the sale of a the brownfield site at 1300 N. 2nd St.

Charlie Nestor, Master’s vice president and director of real estate, said the company was the only developer that responded to the city’s request for proposals (RFP) for the site.

The 74,000-square-foot parcel near the Star Tribune’s commercial printing plant has undergone pollution remediation.

If Master’s agreement with the city is approved, the developer plans to break ground on the multitenant building this spring. The project should be ready for tenants by spring 2007, Nestor said.

Master is in talks with potential tenants, but no leases have been finalized.

He said the tenant mix will be similar to other Master developments — a “funky collection” of creative companies, such as advertising agencies, performing arts groups and architects.

The property lies within the city’s North Washington Jobs Park, an area that has seen significant redevelopment in the past decade.

“We are excited to formalize the project with the city and get started,” Nestor said. “It will be a great addition to the Jobs Park, Warehouse District and will add another stable property to the rapidly improving Near North district.”

Tower Lofts developer Chuck Leer who serves on the North Washington Jobs Park steering committee called Master’s proposal an “ambitious project on a brownfield site that will begin to transform this gateway to the Jobs Park and the North Side.”

In the city’s RFP, the estimated price of the site was listed as “at least $6 a square foot” — about $440,000. The RFP also urged developers to come forward with a proposal that included plans for at least 30 new jobs.

Besides the proposal for 1300 N. 2nd St., Master has plans to redevelop the North Loop’s Washington Avenue Business Center, 714-718 Washington Ave. N.

The developer has closed on a purchase agreement for the six-story building and expects to complete construction by late 2007.

A current tenant, Penco Graphic Supply Inc., plans to remain in the building and will occupy the first floor.

Master will renovate the second, third and fourth floors for additional office and studio spaces, leaving the top floors for 24 live-work studios. The studios will start at $165,000.