(submitted site proposal)
The West End development in St. Louis Park may soon undergo a significant growth spurt if a five-building proposal by Florida-based DLC Residential is approved.
The developer is presenting its plans for two 11-story office buildings, a hotel, parking ramp and two multi-tenant residential buildings at the city's planning commission meeting Wednesday night.
DLC hopes to purchase the 13.48-acre site from Duke Realty. The site straddles the St. Louis Park-Golden Valley border, with about seven and six acres in each city's respective boundaries. Duke received preliminary approvals in 2008 for the first of four office buildings it hoped to build on the land. Both cities granted Duke several extensions, but the company never applied for final approvals.
The West End Redevelopment area includes 49 acres of land at the southwest corner of I-394 and Highway 100. The mixed-use hub is now home to The Shops at West End shopping center, The Flats at West End apartments, the Moneygram and 1600 office towers, and several restaurants. The Millennium at West End apartment complex is currently under construction.
If DLC gains both cities' approval, the site would see an additional 363 apartment units, 2,600 parking stalls, 150 hotel rooms and 706,000 square feet of office space.
The retail space is now fully leased at Latitude 45, the high-end apartment building still under construction on Washington Av. downtown Minneapolis.
The 10,000 square feet of ground-level retail will be split into two businesses: a destination restaurant and massage spa.
Restauranteur Ryan Burnet will fill more than 6,000 square feet at the corner of 3rd and Washinton avenues with what he hopes is an "approachable destination" restaurant.
The developer, Alatus, announced in March that Burnet -- who has seen success in the Minneapolis restaurant scene with Bar La Grassa, Burch Steakhouse & Pizza and Barrio Tequila Bar -- had signed a letter of intent to open a new concept at Latitude 45.
Burnet, who officially signed the lease two weeks ago, said the concept is still being fleshed out, but there are certain segments of the dining scene he hopes to capture with this new restaurant.
"I want people who live in the building to feel comfortable coming down in their sweatpants for a beer on Saturday night with people in business suits at a table nearby," Burnet said.
There is no shortage of quality restaurants in Minneapolis, but Burnet wants this to be a staple for the extended neighborhood.
"The goal is for people who would want to come back multple times a week, not just once a month," Burnet said.
To do this, he said, "the bar will have a lack of pretense and that will be reflected in the cost structure as well."
Massage Envy will occupy more than 4,000 square feet at the other corner, 4th and Washington avenues, fitting the lifestyle of the building's likely clientele. The Star Tribune reported in March that Alatus was targeting empty-nesters and "aspirational" young professionals.
Andrea Christenson of Cassidy Turley brokered the deals. This is the only downtown residential building to pre-lease all of its retail space while still under construction, she said.
"People will want to live in this building just knowing there’s a Ryan Burnet restaurant downstairs," Christenson said. "We really think that being near the river, in that neighborhood and being skyway connected is the perfect storm."
The 319 apartment units will be ready for move-in by the summer. Burnet anticipates being open for business in September 2015.
United Properties plans to build a 240,000 square foot office building on the final parcel adjacent to the Target Field light-rail station in Minneapolis' North Loop neighborhood.
The developer announced Wednesday that it is moving forward on the 10-story building without any tenants, a sign of the company's confidence in the rebounding market and its location.
This is another stake in the booming North Loop ground for United, which shares the same owner as the Minnesota Twins team that play next door. Both the Twins and United are Pohlad Family companies.
At the corner of 6th Av. N. and 5th St. N, the project site is next to the light-rail stop that serves the Twins ballpark and is across the street from another high-profile construction project, Be The Match headquarters, that United is currently developing.
United and the Twins began working with Hennepin County in 2012 to develop the land near Target Field Station. The development arm of the Pohlad Family Company built out the Caribou Coffee earlier this year that sits below the light-rail platform and the Ford Center across the street.
This project, while still in the early stages, would bring more premium office space to the neighborhood -- something that, until recently, sorely lacked.
The news comes on the heels of another announcement for a speculative office building in the North Loop. Hines unveiled its plans last week for a seven-story building that will sit just a few blocks from United's new site.
United's project concept is for a transit-oriented building with all the amenitites office seekers are now desiring -- a roof terrace and lounge, bike storage and fitness center. Additionally, this project will have a restaurant and the ground level and offer underground executive parking.
But first, United must purchase the 0.75-acre parcel from Hennepin County. The company intends to go through the city's entitlement process in early 2015. United hopes to break ground next fall with a target completion date of late 2016.
“The development of this new project at Target Field Station builds on United Properties' previous success and ongoing commitment in the North Loop,” said Bill Katter, executive vice president, United Properties, in a statement. “This area continues to be one of the most exciting places for next-generation office space in the Twin Cities.”
Jim Montez of Cushman & Wakefield|NorthMarq, another Pohlad company, will head leasing of the office space.
Another national investor is making a big investment in Twin Cities real estate. South Carolina-based Greystar paid $49 million - a whopping $270,000 per unit - for the Junction Flats apartments in the North Loop neighborhood in downtown Minneapolis, according to public records.
The 182-unit property was developed by Dallas-based Trammell Crow in one of the most rapidly developing developing corners of the city. The building is at 643 Fifth St. N. near Target Field and the new Target Field Station transit hub, and is within walking distance of downtown Central Business District. Residents started moving in on August 1 and the building is nearly half occupied.
Greystar is a big national player that's relatively new to Minneapolis. The company developed Elan, a massive multi-phase luxury apartment building with nearly 600 units along the Midtown Greenway in the Uptown neighborhood, and is planning to build a high-rise apartment building along Lake Calhoun.
Trammell Crow has been active in the Twin Cities, as well. The company developed Arcata, a 165 unit rental bulding at Xenia and Golden Hills Drive in Golden Valley, and that's scheduled to open December 1. The company is also building the 175-unit Island Residences at Carlson Center in Minnetonka.
Several major commercial and apartment properties in the Twin Cities have been snapped up national investors who have paid premium prices. Just last week, for example, a Chicago-based partnership paid a record price for the Normandale Lake Office Park.
After months of pushback from the Eliot Park Neighborhood organization and tepid feedback from the city, Kraus-Anderson has withdrawn its proposal for a new headquarters downtown Minneapolis that was scheduled for consideration at the Planning Commission's Nov. 10 meeting.
The construction company presented its design for a four-floor, 80,000 square foot office building multiple times to the city, most recently on Oct. 14, and was told each time to make some changes and come back in a few weeks. The new headquarters, if approved, would double the number of employees at the company's downtown location.
The main issue for the city has centered around Kraus-Anderson's inclusion of a surface parking lot in its plan, while the neighborhood is worried that the suggested exterior materials may not match the character of the district.
Mike Korsh, director of real estate development for Kraus-Anderson, said in an interview prior to the Oct. 14th meeting that he was fairly confident that the tweaks their architectural firm, Pope Architects, had made would win approval. He said his staff had met with neighborhood representatives multiple times and cited the city staff's recommendation that the Commission greenlight the project as "a good sign".
Minneapolis senior planner Becca Farrar presented the division's research at the last meeting, noting the changes, but also highlighting the continued existence of a surface parking lot. Kraus-Anderson argues that they tested the market to see if there was interest in the other half-block -- where they were proposing the surface lot -- but said there wasn't a tenant interested in occupying that space at present.
So a compromise between the city and Kraus-Anderson was included in the proposal's latest version: the company could build the lot, but in five years would have to try to find another commercial use for the space. If no one wanted to build on the site, Kraus-Anderson would then have to reapply for an interim use permit allowing a surface parking lot.
The neighborhood asked for a few specific changes during public comment at the Oct. 14 meeting. First, they would like to see more use of the traditional red tones that are emblematic of the neighborhood. Second, they want to see a more "welcoming" back door and some more trees so that the neighbors don't feel like they are facing the building's backside. And, third, they asked for Kraus-Anderson to consider putting a wrought iron fence around its property to mirror the historic brownstones across the street.
Kraus-Anderson has not said when it will resubmit another proposal.
The City of Minneapolis has narrowed the pool to three landscape architecture firms competing to design the 4.2-acre public park next to the new Vikings Stadium.
A review team will interview the remaining candidates vying for the high-profile green project called The Commons, formerly known as The Yard.
The three teams are:
The city received 14 proposals from both local and national firms by the Oct. 15 deadline.
Representatives from the various stakeholders in the Downtown East redevelopment will compose the review team. That group will then make a recommendation by mid-November for which firm they believe should be awarded the two-block project. Minneapolis City Council is expected to approve a landscape architect by the end of the year.