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RBC Plaza creates new tenant lounge

RBC Plaza in downtown Minneapolis has officially opened its new tenant lounge in an underutilized retail space on its ground floor.

The 1,700-square-foot space was repurposed into a swanky meeting area complete with a pool table, wet bar, and beverage lockers for tenants to store alcohol or other drinks.

“We kind of took a cross between a lounge that you may see more with residential and tried to meld it with office,” said broker Mark Stevens, of Cushman & Wakefield, who manages office leasing at the complex.

The lounge was completed earlier this year right before the Super Bowl and was used for a client event, Stevens said. The lounge had most recently been vacant retail space that “just wasn’t working,” he said.

The space was designed by Shea Design and can be accessed via key card from the first floor lobby.

The RBC Plaza is made up of ground and skyway level retail space connected to a 40-floor office tower located on Nicollet Mall and 6th Street. In 2014, RBC Plaza went through a massive renovation to transform the former retail and food court space on the 3rd and 4th floors into the two-story atrium.

The 700,000-square-foot RBC Plaza is currently 97 percent full, but that could change if RBC Wealth Management decides to finalize plans to move out of the building and anchor the proposed United Properties development at the Nicollet Hotel Block a few blocks away.

Beverage lockers

Mpls. impound lot overhaul would reuse some land for development

Photo by Richard Sennott

City planners have proposed to redesign the Minneapolis impound lot to improve the experience for visitors and reuse some of the land for potential redevelopment.

The impound lot takes up about 30 acres northwest of the Interstate 394 and Interstate 94 interchange outside of downtown.

The redesign, which is expected to be discussed at Thursday’s committee of the whole city planning commission meeting, would reduce the size of the storage lot to reallocate land west of Van White Memorial Boulevard to be available for private development though city reports don’t list details about a possible redevelopment project.

The vehicle entry to the site would need to be relocated from Colfax Avenue N. to Van White Memorial Boulevard and the main building would also be reconstructed on the western side of the property. In the new design, customer parking would be located on the west side of the new building close to Van White Memorial Boulevard so customers would cross the secure line within the building and then be taken to their impounded vehicles.

“These changes will allow better access to Metro Transit options including bus routes and the future Southwest LRT, and will redirect tow trucks away from the central business district,” according to a city staff report. “The applicant’s intent is to improve customer and staff flow and experience, to separate tow truck traffic from customers quickly, and to keep pedestrians out of the flow of vehicular traffic.”

The city has wanted to upgrade the old impound lot building for years and has been gathering residents’ feedback on how to improve the site, which takes in more than 32,000 vehicles a year. With the number of vehicles towed and taken to the lot on the decline, the city has discussed reducing the lot’s footprint. Neighborhood advocates have pushed for the site to be utilized for potential development.

The overhaul of the impound lot was originally estimated to cost about $7 million.

Map of the impound lot

Courtesy City of Minneapolis

Rendering of what the impound lot building could look like

Courtesy Clever Architecture