The city's Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) has approved design plans for the proposed 39-story Bridge Place condo tower near Downtown's central riverfront.
The proposal has sparked debate among neighborhood activists. Proponents laud Bridge Place for attracting more Downtown residents and bolstering the city's tax base. Opponents say it's too tall and out of scale with neighboring buildings that max out at 20 stories.
The panel, which advises the City Council on development in historic districts, approved a "certificate of appropriateness" Oct. 21 for the project pitched by St. Louis Park-based developer, Apex Asset Management.
The HPC rejected earlier project designs, labeling them too "ornate" and "exuberant."
Earlier plans, which called for "reskinning" the exterior of the HUD building at 220 S. 2nd St., have been scrapped. Instead, the developer will demolish the HUD building, which was built in 1979.
In its place, the developer would erect a 443-foot tower with metal finials that rise to 473 feet above ground. Finials are crowning ornaments, often found in Gothic architecture.
Design plans also call for partially projecting balconies on the north, south and east sides of the tower. There would be recessed balconies on the west side of the building, facing the Rivergate Apartments, which will share the block with Bridge Place.
Plans call for a grayish limestone at the building's base. The tower's exterior would be tan-colored concrete with limestone trim, according to an HPC staff report.
The condo tower would go up on the north half of the site. There are plans for a five-story parking ramp with two-story townhouses atop the ramp on the south side.
Apex Asset Management did not return calls for comment. A project manager told Skyway News this summer that the tower would have 285 units with eight condos on each floor.
On average, the condos would cost $300,000 to $400,000.
Groundbreaking would not start until half of the condo units are sold.
The Minneapolis Planning Commission has approved a conditional-use permit for the project.
However, there's a pending appeal before the City Council that objects to the project. The council's Zoning and Planning Committee is scheduled to consider the appeal Nov. 13, said Greg Mathis, an HPC preservation planner.