Two new condo projects for North Loop

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October 13, 2003 // UPDATED 11:05 am - April 30, 2007
By: Scott Russell
Scott Russell

Bookmen Stacks, 212 Lofts will be new construction

Two new North Loop condo developments will go before the city Planning Commission Oct. 20, a 55-unit project called the 212 Lofts on the 200 block of 1st Street North and a 43-unit project called the Bookmen Stacks on the 500 block of 4th Street North.

The eight-story Bookmen Stacks will be new construction, a companion development to the renovated Bookmen Lofts, said Steve Frenz of JAS Apartments, the developer. He is rehabilitating the old Bookmen Publishing building on the corner of 6th Avenue North and 3rd Street into 57 loft units. He has already sold 39 units and it should open in April or May.

The Stacks -- located northwest of the Designers Guild Building, 401 N. 3rd St. and I-94 access ramps -- will have a completely different look, "a minimalist and open type of feel," Frenz said. "It is more akin to what you would see on Lake Michigan in downtown Chicago than what we have seen in Minneapolis before."

The project includes a plaza serving residents in both condos, underground parking and a separate one-story restaurant with a surface parking lot, he said. If all goes well, excavation for the parking will begin in November and Bookmen Stacks will open in late 2004.

The engineering for Bookmen Stacks -- what Frenz called precast joists with slabs -- will reduce load-bearing structures and allow more open views end-to-end, he said. The building will have a translucent curtain wall on the southwest side to block the residents' view of the incinerator and I-94.

The design will allow people outside the building to see the structural elements inside, similar to how people can see through the side of the Hennepin County Government Center and see the trusses, he said.

"It is that type of deal, but you will be seeing it through translucent glass and those [structural elements] will actually be standing in people's living room," Frenz said.

A typical Bookmen Lofts unit is 1,300 square feet and sells for between $350,000 and $380,000, Frenz said. Units in the Bookmen Stacks would have similar size and sell for slightly less because they are near the freeway and because people tend to prefer more of an authentic loft feel.

Presale on Bookmen Stacks would likely start in November, he said.

Shamrock Development will go before the Planning Commission Oct. 20 for permits for the 212 Lofts. The land is currently surface parking, located near the Federal Reserve Bank, 90 Hennepin Ave. S., and Rubnick Furs & Leather 224 1 St. N.

Sue Makredes of Shamrock Development said the units would average 1,600 square feet and sell in the $300,000s. The building would have underground parking, an exercise room, roof decks and first floor retail.

"The buildings in that area are of smaller scale with nice detail," she said. "The building we are designing will fit in very nicely."

The building's design made it appear as three separate buildings, with a six-story section in the middle, flanked by a five-story section and a four-story section, Makredes said.

She expected construction to take 16 months, with the opening at spring or summer, 2005, she said. Shamrock would not begin preselling until early 2004.