Marquette Plaza, the former home of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis that is known for its “smile” glass arch, has been transformed into the Marq after a $7 million renovation by its new owner.
The Marq, which is located on Marquette Avenue between Washington Avenue and 3rd Street in downtown Minneapolis, hadn’t offered any tenant amenities since its construction in the 1970s and conversion into a multitenant building when the Federal Reserve moved out in 1997.
But after its $88.4 million purchase of the 13-story property last March, California-based KBS Capital Advisors decided to reposition the building with tenant upgrades similar to what other office skyscrapers have added in recent years.
“All of these office projects have really raised the bar,” said Ann Rinde, a broker with CBRE Minneapolis, who is helping to represent KBS in marketing and leasing of the Marq. “The big stuff was all there. It was just adding the comforts. We have got a phenomenal location and green space with the park and now we’ve added the amenities”
As part of the renovation, about 10,000 square feet of leasable space was converted into shared amenities such as a skyway-level lounge with fireplace, meeting area, micro market and a staffed gym. Tenants can begin to use the amenity spaces this week.
Finishes were also improved in the lobbies where new lighting, white tile and a media wall were added. Plus, 50 parking stalls have been added to the building’s garage of about 240 spaces thanks to the conversion of some underground loading docks used when the building was the home of the Federal Reserve.
A tiered patio will be built soon from the Marq’s new lounge to Cancer Survivors Park, the 1.5-acre green space that acts as the building’s front door on Nicollet Mall. The park will become more heavily programmed with regularly scheduled yoga classes, lawn games, concerts and other outdoor events.
Marketers had also tried to change the official address of the building from 250 Marquette Av. to a Nicollet Mall address, but the idea was met with resistance from the city.
“The Marq renovations uniquely combine the distinct architecture and quality original materials with the amazing park exclusive to this location,” said Shep Wainwright, KBS senior vice president, in a statement. “With this work, we are creating an enhanced workplace experience you won’t find anywhere else in the Twin Cities.”
KBS has been in discussions with developer United Properties about a possible skyway that could connect the Marq with the yet-to-be-built Gateway mixed-use tower across Nicollet Mall from the park. Nothing has been finalized. If built, the skyway would stretch across the southern portion of the park.
Similarly to other office rehabs, property owners have also added several speculative suites or partly furnished and built-out offices.
The Marq, which traditionally had been well leased, is about 70 percent occupied after the departure of visitors bureau Meet Minneapolis last year. Major tenants include law firm Foley & Mansfield and IT company Atomic Data.
ESG Architecture & Design designed the new Marq and Gardner Builders worked as the general contractor on the project. Rinde, Mark McCary and Larissa Bodine of CBRE represent KBS.