Standing too tall? Developers say neighbors were told about condo building height

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May 7, 2002 // UPDATED 1:19 pm - April 30, 2007
By: Ellen Nigon
Ellen Nigon

The developers of a proposed 100-foot-tall North Loop condo development say they have properly informed the neighborhood of their plans. Warehouse District-North Loop Association board members complainted that they were not consulted about a project that may exceed area height restrictions.

A spokesperson from BEJCO Development Corp., which hopes to develop The Reserve, 360 1st St. N., said that they met with neighbors two years ago and no longer need their approval.

The confusion may arise from a recent neighborhood split. In 2000, when developers would have approached the neighborhood, North Loop was within the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association. Last fall, North Loop formed its own group.

However, DMNA chair Mark Moller said that he does not recall developers coming before his board. He conceded that the developer held meetings with some neighbors -- but not with DMNA, the city-chartered public-participation group.

North Loop board members complain that the city Planning Commission has approved The Reserve's 100-foot height, even though it sits in the Downtown Height Overlay

District, which has an 84-foot height restriction. Going above 84 feet may allow future buildings to do so, North Loop board members say.

And The Reserve's 100 feet may be an understatement. The height rule measures from the floor to the roof deck -- and in the Reserve's case, doesn't include a penthouse and elevator shaft. Those structures bring the overall height to 123 feet.

The Reserve must still gain approval from the city Heritage Preservation Commission May 14.

The HPC's decision will almost certainly be appealed to the City Council. If the HPC upholds the 84-foot restriction, the developer can appeal; if not, North Loop can.

The area's councilmember, Natalie Johnson Lee, said that she would support the neighborhood group.