The new Wells Fargo towers and adjacent Commons park. Photo by Eric Best

New development rises in East Town

Updated: July 13, 2016 - 11:16 am

This issue the Development Tracker focuses on the many projects rising in Minneapolis' East Town

The rise of East Town

Wells Fargo towers

Portland & 4th

Ryan Cos.

Over the past few months, Wells Fargo has started moving the first of some 5,000 employees into the two 17-story towers in Downtown East. The buildings are already fielding new tenants, including the now-open co-branded Coffee & Bagels location from Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels and the upcoming McKinney Roe restaurant from Dermot Cowley of O’Donovan’s. The bank will also have a tech-focused branch in the skyway level of the towers. The skyway connects Ryan’s Downtown East development to the skyway system. A new, approximately 164-room Radisson Red hotel is under construction in a site abutting the towers.

File photo
File photo

Minneapolis Armory

5th and 6th Streets South and 5th Avenue South and Portland Avenue South

Swervo Development

Ned Abdul’s Swervo Development acquired the Minneapolis Armory for $6 million last summer with plans to turn the landmark into an event venue. The building, which has served as a parking garage since a failed redevelopment effort, has so far received infrastructure improvements with no hard completion date in sight, a spokesman with the developer said. Swervo has not yet actively marketed the space for events, but has received inquiries. Minneapolis-based Shea Design is designing the project and has been drafting redevelopment solutions for the Armory for more than a decade. Armory Development II sold the property to Swervo.

Submitted rendering
Submitted rendering

Kraus-Anderson block

525 S. 8th St.


Kraus-Anderson is well underway on a full-block development in Elliot Park that will consist of its new five-story headquarters, a 17-story apartment building with 307 units and an eight-story hotel with 158 rooms. Construction will move to installing the office building’s structural steel by the end of August or early September. The project, a collaboration with Finnegans, will also includes a brewery, a restaurant, and event and office spaces for the non-profit brewing company and a FINNovation Lab. The headquarters is expected to open in the fall of 2017 and, in the meantime, Kraus-Anderson, which has been headquartered downtown since 1897, has temporarily relocated to 3433 Broadway St. NE during construction.

East End TJ Render

The East End

700 3rd St. S.

Sherman Associates

Sherman Associates is beginning utility work in mid-July on two existing buildings, the Thresher Square and Old Spaghetti Factory buildings, as part of its long-anticipated Thresher Square project. The developer is set to break ground around Sept. 1 on a new approximately seven-story apartment building, dubbed The East End Apartments, that will be home to 180 apartments, a Trader Joe’s grocery and liquor store, and a Jimmy John’s restaurant. Shane LaFave, a senior developer with Sherman Associates, said major renovation work on the Thresher Square building this October will turn it into a 180-room hotel, though a hotel partner has yet to be disclosed. Sherman Associates plans to have the renovated hotel open by the Super Bowl in February 2018. The Old Spaghetti Factory building, where the developer has offices, will largely remain the same during the project and the restaurant will remain open during construction.

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

Iron Clad

811 Washington Ave.

Graves Hospitality

Minneapolis-based Graves Hospitality intends to break ground around the end of the year on a hotel and apartment project, dubbed Iron Clad for the iron-clad grain silo that was once on the site, in Downtown East near U.S. Bank Stadium. Preliminary plans, submitted in the spring, showed a 153-room Marriott Moxy hotel and 166 market-rate apartments. The mixed-use project, consisting of an eight-story hotel, a 15-story apartment and a four-story office building, would also have roughly 30,000 square feet of office space and 15,000 square feet of retail space. COO Ben Graves said they haven’t signed anchor tenants to the office and retail portions.

Ryan Cos. Edition 1 web

Edition Apartments

511 4th St. S.

Ryan Cos.

Ryan Companies is wrapping up construction this month on all three Edition boutique apartment buildings. The low-rise apartment complex consists of two five-story apartment buildings abutting the new 17-story Wells Fargo towers and a six-story building lining one block of The Commons park, for a total of 195 apartments. Edition, named for the former Star Tribune building that was once on the park site, includes amenities like a sky deck, club room and a fitness club. Construction in the last building will be completed in mid-July, Tony Barranco, Ryan’s vice president of development, said, with resident move-ins shortly after.

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

First Covenant housing

815-827 6th St. S.

Ryan Cos.

First Covenant Church, Ryan Companies and Community Housing Development Corp. (CHDC) have been working for more than a year to build a six-story affordable housing project on a downtown surface parking lot near U.S. Bank Stadium. The development team submitted preliminary plans in the spring that called for a six-story building of affordable housing with 154 units and approximately 12,500 square feet of commercial space. The church has done the preliminary work for a land swap with Hubert’s Café and Sports Bar, which will give it control of the entire block, said Tony Barranco, Ryan’s vice president of development. The proposed project would have 135 underground stalls for paid commercial parking and 53 surface spots for accessory parking for the church and retail tenants.

Rendering courtesy of Ryan Companies
Rendering courtesy of Ryan Companies

Millwright Building

513 S. 3rd St.

Ryan Cos.

Ryan has begun work on its new headquarters building, dubbed the Millwright Building, in Downtown East. About 250-300 employees from the developer’s current headquarters on Nicollet Mall will move into 55,000 square feet in the new building when it opens around April 1 next year, said Tony Barranco, Ryan’s vice president of development. About 100,000 square feet of the 172,000-square-foot office building is being marketed to other tenants, with no currently announced yet, he added.

 Credit: File photo

HCMC expansion

Between 8th and 9th streets between Park and Chicago avenues

Hennepin County Medical Center

Hennepin County Medical Center broke ground on a $221 million expansion last fall that will consolidate about 40 clinics across nine existing buildings into one. The 377,0000-square-foot building, six stories of clinics and specialty centers, will have primary care, specialty care and physical therapy. HCMC Senior Director Nicholas Balagurchik said the project is roughly 30 percent complete with a substantial completion anticipated in January or February of 2018. The expansion will be home to a cafe, a pocket park and 220 underground parking spaces when it opens to patients soon after in in early 2018. St. Paul-based BWBR handled the project’s design. The new building will also feature an oral health center as part of an agreement between the Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation and Hennepin Healthcare Systems.

Photo courtesy of The Encore Facebook page
Photo courtesy of The Encore Facebook page


212 10th Ave. S.

Sherman Associates

Sherman Associates’ 123-unit luxury apartment building, the Encore, is nearing a late November completion near the Downtown East riverfront. The $36 million project, slated to open around Thanksgiving, includes two-story townhome units with private entrances, three-bedroom penthouses and several amenities, from a club room and rooftop deck to a fitness center and a sauna. The 12-story Encore fills the block now home to Sherman’s other projects, the Aloft Hotel and the Zenith Condominiums. The site saw a proposal for a 103-unit condominium building on the site a decade ago.