124-unit apartment building proposed for North Loop

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January 22, 2016 // UPDATED 3:26 pm – January 26, 2016
By: Eric Best
Eric Best

Developer Curt Gunsbury has his eyes on another parcel in the North Loop, this time across the street from his Soltvå apartment building.

Gunsbury’s Solhem Companies is proposing to build a eight-story apartment building with 124 apartments along 8th Avenue North between 1st and 2nd streets, according to submitted plans. The wood-frame and concrete building at 721 1st St. N. would have a roughly 5,000-square-foot, privately maintained public park on its southeastern side.

The proposed park, which could be built in lieu of paying a park dedication fee, is located above Bassett Creek. While the city encourages green space around Bassett Creek, Gunsbury said the North Loop could simply use more.

“We’re in the neighborhood. We believe in the neighborhood. It definitely needs green space,” he told The Journal.

Solhem is considering a formal public distinction for the park, which would need approval from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and the Minneapolis City Council. Even if they don’t pursure the distinction, Gunsbury said, the project will have the green space.

The proposed building, which would replace part of a surface parking lot, would have a mixture of market-rate one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, along with micro-units or studios similar to other Solhem properties. Gunsbury is currently constructing the seven-story Nolo Flats apartment building, which almost entirely focuses these smaller, amenity-laden units.

He said the neighborhood is lacking micro-units or studios, which range from about 400-550 square feet.

“We know how to build appealing units in that size range, so we’re naturally going to include them,” he said.

The project also features one and a half stories of above ground parking and one story of underground parking for a total of 224 spaces.

St. Paul-based Momentum Design Group is handling the project’s design. In the plans, Gunsbury described the project as being made from “traditional materials found throughout the neighborhood.”

The proposal is slated to go before the City Planning Commission’s Committee of the Whole Jan. 28. Because the site is within the St. Anthony Falls Historic District, it will also need Heritage Preservation Commission approval.

The developer expects to break ground this July and complete construction in the summer of 2017.


Solhem’s Nolo Flats apartment building recently launched its website at www.solhem.com/nolo-flats.