Submitted to the City of Minneapolis

Planning Commission approves larger tower from Doran, CSM

Updated: January 19, 2018 - 4:19 pm

The Development Tracker follows construction projects around downtown and Northeast Minneapolis

The Expo

200 University Ave. SE

Doran Cos.

the expo web 1Marcy-Holmes would get a 26-story apartment tower, rather than a smaller 20-story building, with a whopping 372 units — up from 359 — under the latest plans from CSM and Doran. Last year, the two partners announced a plan to develop a vacant block formerly owned by General Mills on University Avenue into a large-scale residential tower. The team submitted plans to the City Planning Commission, which approved them, that call for a high-rise on one corner of the block and a six-story apartment and townhome complex wrapping the rest of the site. They’re proposing 400 parking stalls and recently added 3,000–4,000 square feet of retail space for two tenants at the request of the neighborhood association and residents. Concept renderings reveal branding for the project as the Expo. Amenities would include a top-floor skydeck, a putting green, an outdoor pool, a DIY craft space and a golf and sports simulator.

Commissioners added a condition to the developers’ application to increase the maximum floor area ratio requiring 10 units of affordable housing.

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

408 4th

408 4th St. SE

William Wells

408 4th web 2More micro units are slated for the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood near the University of Minnesota. Wells & Co. has submitted plans to the City Planning Commission for a four-story apartment building with two two-bedroom units and 25 micro units or studio apartments, which measure approximately 360–400 square feet. Plans call for nine parking spaces within the building envelope and amenities like a 24-hour fitness center. The lot, which has been vacant since 2009, has served as surface parking lot for neighbors. The developer has indicated that a second phase is possible through a renovation project at the adjacent parcel, 412 4th St. SE. The project sits on the same block as Go Gopher Rentals’ five-story apartment proposal that plans indicate will be built this spring. Minneapolis-based Solhem Cos. built a similar building with tiny residential units on University Avenue in the neighborhood, though it has since been sold.

The City Planning Commission voted to continue plans to a meeting next month to give the ownership group time to address neighborhood feedback.

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

Hook and Ladder

2212 Jefferson St. NE

Newport Midwest

Newport Midwest is proposing a two-part affordable housing project that would bring a total of 118 units to Northeast Minneapolis just south of Lowry & Washington. A three-story building would be built within Green Communities requirements, which promote conservation and lower energy use, and feature 59 parking stalls. The other, a five-story building, would be built with Passive House standards for a highly insulated, ultra-tight construction for better air quality, according to plans submitted for the City Planning Commission’s Jan. 8 meeting. That would have 15 covered and 44 uncovered parking stalls, bringing the project to 118 spaces. Between the two buildings would be a courtyard and an outdoor play space for children. The projects would be restricted to people with incomes at or below 60 percent of area median income. LHB is designing the project. The CPC approved the plans.

Photo by Eric Best
Photo by Eric Best

Grain Belt sign

4 W. Island Ave.

August Schell Brewing Co.

Another famous sign has been relit along the downtown Minneapolis riverfront. The well-known Grain Belt Beer sign was back on along the Hennepin Avenue Bridge on Dec. 30 thanks to a renovation from its owner, beer producer August Schell Brewing Co. The New Ulm-based company, which acquired the Grain Belt Beer brand in 2002, purchased the 76-year-old sign in 2016. Over the past year, the sign has seen updated fixtures and more efficient LED lighting that can change colors.

Photo by Andrea Rugg
Photo by Andrea Rugg

Westminster expansion

1200 S. Marquette Ave.

Westminster Presbyterian Church

Westminster Presbyterian Church is preparing to open a two-story addition to its historic Nicollet Mall campus this month. The project is part of an $81.5 million Open Doors Open Future campaign, which includes nearly $34 million for buying the site and demolishing two buildings on it, and nearly $38 million to design and build the new wing. The church, which will host a ribbon cutting ceremony in mid-January, will get several flexible event, classrooms and worship spaces, as well as several spaces for other partners like St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development.

Chem/Serv site

715 8th St. SE

DJR Architecture

Preliminary plans from DJR Architecture that were shared with the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association, show developers are looking to redevelop the Chem/Serv site located between the Ry-Krisp building renovation and the Spectrum student apartment building, two projects developed by Dan Oberpriller. Several low-rise buildings, including an apartment building and a hotel, are being proposed.

Submitted image
Submitted image


721 N. 1st St.

Solhem Cos.

The latest Solhem apartment building in the North Loop is slated to open March 1. Borealis is nearing completion on what was once a surface parking lot across from the Itasca Lofts and a Star Tribune printing plant. The building, whose name means “that which pertains to the North” according to its website, will feature 124 one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. It joins the developer’s other projects in the neighborhood, including Soltva, Solhavn and Nolo Flats.

Quincy renovation

712 15th Ave. NE

Collage Architects

Across from Indeed Brewing Co., Collage Architects are renovating several buildings for office, restaurant and now residential uses. The firm has applied for a conditional use permit to add a 741-square-foot studio, according to an application that went before the City Planning Commission on Jan. 8. The firm learned that a building on the northwest corner of the block at 15th & Quincy, across the street from the Solar Arts building, was a remnant of the neighborhood’s history, the firm said in a memo. The one-story wood frame building is set back from the corner and fronts 15th Avenue.

The Broadway

945 Broadway St. NE

Northpond Partners

Chicago-based Northpond Partners has purchased the Broadway building in Northeast Minneapolis for $10.7 million, according to a certificate of real estate value filed in Hennepin County. First & First was the seller of the two-story building at Broadway & Central. The building was 98 percent leased at the time of the sale and is home to Spyhouse Coffee, a BuzzFeed office, 612Brew, CorePower Yoga and Snap Fitness, among other tenants. The 1922 building was last renovated in 2013. Northpond also purchased First & First’s Icehouse Plaza, a commercial building in South Minneapolis that’s home to Icehouse and Vertical Endeavors.

SPS Tower

333 S. 7th St.

SPS Commerce

Texas-based Hines has sold the 50 South Sixth office tower in downtown Minneapolis for $285.5 million, according to a certificate of real estate value filed last month in Hennepin County. South Sixth Office, an LLC associated with Singapore-based Mapletree, was the buyer. The 29-story office tower offers nearly 700,000 square feet of Class A office space right on Nicollet Mall. The 2001 building is home to law firm Dorsey & Whitney and Stinson Leonard Street and is known for the Oceanaire restaurant. Hennepin County estimates its market value at $145 million.