St. Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority has granted two Minneapolis-based development firms, Opus and Greco, preliminary developer status on the Seven Corners Gateway site.
Opus Development Co. and Greco Development have been greenlighted to flesh out its plans for the site, which is currently used as a surface parking lot.
HRA owns the highly visible 2.4-acre parcel that sits across 7th Street from Xcel Energy Center and has established an 18-month timeline with benchmarks for Opus and Greco. If the developers reach all of them by April 2016, which the city expects, the two parties will negotiate for final developer status.
Opus and Greco's preliminary proposal beat out M.A. Mortenson Co. with its mixed-use plan.
While the details will come to light over the next year and a half, Opus and Greco are proposing a hotel, luxury apartments and retail space in the building. But the proposal suggests that the public plaza will be its centerpiece, opening up toward the arena.
Anytime Fitness will break ground Thursday on its new corporate headquarters that aims to practice what it preaches by offering a wellness-oriented campus experience for its employees.
The new 80,000 square feet building in Woodbury will give the company room to expand up to 250 people. It's current space in Hastings houses 150 employees.
Its new facility will mimic a national trend in office space development that caters to employee amenities. The 36-acre plot of land will be built out in two phases. Phase I will offer indoor and outdoor activities, such as biking and hiking trails, and both indoor and outdoor exercise areas. Phase II will add zip lines, an obstacle course and climbing walls.
Anytime Fitness has hired architect firm BWBR and lanscape architect Coen + Partners to design the spaces.
“The high-profile site will allow us to create a corporate campus that is iconic for both Anytime Fitness and the east metropolitan region," said Shane Coen, CEO and principal landscape architect of Coen + Partners, in a news release. "With the rolling terrain and adjacent wetlands, we have the opportunity to imagine a comprehensive design that fosters activity and allows people to experience why Anytime Fitness has become a global leader in fitness and wellness.”
The soil work will begin late next week and the company's leadership hopes to move to the new campus in the spring of 2016.
From the latest AIA Architecture Billings Index:
"Architecture Billings Index shows robust conditions ahead for construction industry. With all geographic regions and building project sectors showing positive conditions, there continues to be a heightened level of demand for design services. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the September ABI score was 55.2, up from a mark of 53.0 in August. This score reflects an increase in design activity (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 64.8, following a mark of 62.6 the previous month. The AIA has added a new indicator measuring the trends in new design contracts at architecture firms that can provide a strong signal of the direction of future architecture billings. The score for design contracts in August was 56.8."
“Strong demand for apartment buildings and condominiums has been one of the main drivers in helping to keep the design and construction market afloat in recent years,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “There continues to be a healthy market for those types of design projects, but the recently resurgent Institutional sector is leading to broader growth for the entire construction industry.”
Here's a breakdown of activity by region:
South (55.3), Midwest (55.1), West (54.2), Northeast (51.0)
By sector index breakdown:
Multi-family residential (55.3), institutional (54.9), mixed practice (53.8), commercial / industrial (50.8)
Meridian Land Company and Capstone Homes Inc. are partnering of Oak Cove, an eight-acre housing development that will have 12 single-family lots at the intersection of Burr Oak Avenue and 74th Street South in Cottage Grove. Meridian Land, a subsidiary of United Properties, will act as developer and will oversee infrastructure improvements on the site. When the lots are ready in late October, Capstone Homes will purchase them from Meridian and start building two-story, single-family homes that will priced from $360,000 to $450,000. A model will be ready in time for the spring 2015 Parade of Homes tour. Previously, Meridian Land partnered with Capstone on 29 single-family lots at Mississippi Dunes, also in Cottage Grove.
It's as much about the tone of a tenant as it is about the size of one, says Scott Tankenoff of Hillcrest Development.
And that's why the developer is thrilled that Sport Ngin is the first business to sign a lease in Hillcrest's renovation project at 807 Broadway in Northeast Minneapolis, the former site of the Minneapolis School District headquarters.
"It’s not about who is going to be paying the most money but who brings the right synergy,” said Tankenoff, Hillcrest's managing partner. "I think this is a tenant that could set the tone and tenor of this building and the direction it goes.”
Sport Ngin is a sports-league software company currently occupying space in the same neighborhood. The business is entering the space planning phase for its 30,000 square foot unit on the third floor. June 2015 is Sport Ngin's targeted move-in date.
But, Tankenoff says, Sport Ngin won't even fill 20 percent of the building, which was originally a light bulb factory.
“I’m not worried about the size of the tenants. I’m looking for the right ones. That building will fill,” he said. "What they are doing is looking for a place that reflects their culture, but also helps attract and retain employees."
This emphasis on amenities and community is at the heart of Hillcrest's own vision.
“Our core competency is to find something that’s broken and solve the puzzle,” Tankenoff said.
The Salvation Army is proposing a new 107,000 square foot residential rehab center in Coon Rapids that would replace its deterioating facility in Minneapolis' trendy North Loop neighborhood.
The religious organization has provided rehabilitation services to residents at its current location, 900 N. 4th St., since 1964.
But as Maj. Graham Allan and Maj. Gerald O’Neil of The Salvation Army explain in a letter to the City of Coon Rapids:
"Due to deteriorating structural conditions and functional obsolescence of many aspects of The ARC’s current facility, the replacement and move to Coon Rapids is proposed. In addition to evaluating the option of redevelopment and reuse of the existing ARC site, a search for a replacement facility has been underway for approximately 5 years. Site and building condition, size, layout and location are but several of the factors that have been part of this relocation evaluation process. The property under consideration in Coon Rapids has adequate land area and access to accommodate the differing uses required for the program."
The organization's existing facility site has watched its neighborhood transform over the years with a boom in North Loop real estate, particularly residential. But Salvation Army's move remains uncertain until all the appropriate approvals -- including rezoning -- are given by the City of Coon Rapids.