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East Town is now open

Updated: August 3, 2016 - 12:37 pm

Each issue the Development Tracker follows construction projects around downtown and Northeast Minneapolis.

Block One

700 S. 4th St.

Ryan Cos.

Ryan Companies has released renderings for its latest development in Downtown East, a 17-story office tower. The building, planned for a lot just east of the two Wells Fargo towers Ryan also built, would be approximately 460,000 square feet and would be connected to the skyway system, according to preliminary plans submitted for the City Planning Commission Committee of the Whole. Concept images of the project reveal a glossy tower at 4th & Park, in front of the large parking ramp that the developer built for the use of Minnesota Vikings fans. Ryan has not released information regarding a schedule for the project or if it has an anchor tenant yet.

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File image


116 E. Hennepin Ave.

Schafer Richardson

Maureen Michalski, director of development with Schafer Richardson, said the North Loop-based developer expects to begin work soon — approximately Aug. 1 — on its Montage project, a six-story apartment complex to replace much of the legendary Nye’s Polonaise Room bar and restaurant buildings. The 72-unit Montage will preserve some of the Nicollet Island-East Bank landmark while adding new construction and infill along Hennepin Avenue and Lourdes Place. For nearly 18 months, the developer has been working to develop the site, scrapping earlier plans for a 29-story apartment tower. Schafer Richardson is planning a roughly a 14-month construction.

Image courtesy of CBRE
Image courtesy of CBRE


315 1st Ave. NE

Lennar Multifamily Communities

Lennar Multifamily has moved forward with construction on its project on the Superior Plating site in Northeast Minneapolis. Peter Chmielewski, vice president of development, told The Journal that Lennar has closed on financing and has given its general contractor word to begin work on the 280-unit apartment complex. An official groundbreaking is being tentatively planned toward the end of August. The developer is building NordHaus, a 20-story tower surrounded by a low-rise podium with more than 22,000 square feet of retail space, which is being marketed by CBRE. Months of soil pollution remediation and site work have prepared the lot along 1st Avenue for development.

Xcel Energy CEO Ben Fowke and Mayor Betsy Hodges cut the ribbon at celebration for Xcel's new HQ on Nicollet Mall. Photo by Sarah McKenzie
Xcel Energy CEO Ben Fowke and Mayor Betsy Hodges cut the ribbon at celebration for Xcel’s new HQ on Nicollet Mall. Photo by Sarah McKenzie

Xcel headquarters

401 Nicollet Mall

Opus Group

Xcel Energy has officially opened its new headquarters on Nicollet Mall. The nine-story building, situated on the northern end of the mall across from the utility company’s former headquarters, has already started seeing employees move in, with approximately 750 slated to work out of the building. The 222,000-square-foot project, one of many new developments near the Gateway District of downtown Minneapolis, connects to the skyway system through Opus’ fairly new Nic on Fifth luxury apartment building and Xcel’s other office building. Approximately 1,500 Xcel employees work downtown.

Submitted to the City of Minneapolis
Submitted to the City of Minneapolis

Holiday rebuild

620 Central Ave. NE

Holiday Stationstores

White Castle and Holiday Stationstores are proposing to rebuild the companies’ Northeast Minneapolis locations on a larger footprint. The companies are proposing to demolish their existing buildings, in addition to two other low-rise buildings on the site at Central & 7th, and build a new 2,865-square-foot White Castle restaurant and a nearly 6,000-square-foot Holiday store. Holiday, one of the largest convenience and gas station companies in the country, and the fast food chain recently submitted preliminary plans to the City Planning Commission’s Committee of the Whole. They also presented very preliminary plans to the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association late last year. The joint project features a car wash, a rain garden and roughly 30 surface parking spaces combined.

Photo by Eric Best
Photo by Eric Best

Portland Tower

740 Portland Ave. S.

Shamrock Development

After months of construction, Portland Tower is ready for occupancy. The first residents of Jim Stanton’s latest condo development will be moving into their units in August. Staff with the sales team said half of the 112 units have been sold. Portland Tower features views of the newly opened U.S. Bank Stadium as well as amenities like a deck looking out to downtown, a fitness center and a large party room. Stanton is already at work with his next project, the approximately 374-unit Legacy condo building. That development is bring proposed across the east side of downtown Minneapolis at the corner of 2nd Street and 13th Avenue near the Mill District.

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File image

314 6th

314 6th Ave. N.

Opus Group, Greco Properties

Opus Group and Greco Properties have begun demolishing the ABC Industrial Storage Building in the North Loop to make way for a new six-story apartment building, said Greco President Josh Brandsted. The two Twin Cities-based developers proposed to build a 143-unit building last year that will feature some walk-up units and guest suites. The project will have about 16,700 square feet of retail space, which the developers have said could be for fitness and restaurant tenants, though they haven’t released any tenant information. The white brick-clad building will have two levels of underground parking with about 156 stalls.

Submitted to City of Minneapolis
Submitted to City of Minneapolis

Red Rabbit

201 Washington Ave N.

Luke Shimp

Red Cow restaurateur Luke Shimp has submitted plans to the Heritage Preservation Commission to construct an addition to a former auto shop to prepare it for his new North Loop concept, Red Rabbit. Shimp announced in June his plan to open the Italian eatery focused on pizza, pasta and oysters at the corner of Washington & 2nd. As part of the project, Shimp is proposing to build a nearly 1,000-square-foot, one-story addition behind the existing building, which will see new windows, new signs and a fresh coat of paint. Red Rabbit will also have an accompanying patio called The Greenhouse featuring an outdoor cocktail garden.

The new Wells Fargo towers in Downtown East total more than 1 million square feet of space. Photo by Eric Best
Photo by Eric Best

East Town towers

550, 600 S. 4th St.

Ryan Cos.

Wells Fargo officially opened its new towers in Downtown East as part of a July 20 ceremony. The two 17-story towers, a $300 million project, represent the largest office project in downtown Minneapolis since the Capella Tower in 1992. The buildings’ will be home to about 5,000 employees, though they’ve already welcomed hundreds over the course of the year. The two buildings have drawn a couple commercial tenants, including a 6,000-square-foot restaurant from O’Donovan’s Irish Pub owner Dermot Cowley and a co-branded Coffee & Bagels location from Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels.

Photo by Eric Best
Photo by Eric Best

The Commons

424 4th St. S.

Ryan Cos., City of Minneapolis

The signature two-block Commons park is finally open, just in time to welcome the area’s fresh mix of Minnesota Vikings fans, Wells Fargo employees and Downtown East residents. The City of Minneapolis officially bought the 4.2-acre park earlier this summer for nearly $20 million. Green Minneapolis’ fundraising effort to build out and maintain the park continues with the Downtown Improvement District preparing to manage the Commons as part of $600,000 agreement. Ryan Companies’ newly finished three boutique apartment buildings, dubbed Edition, flank the park’s western and northern sides.