A 40-story condo tower planned for the Minneapolis riverfront got a nod from the city’s zoning and planning committee Thursday, paving the way for consideration by the City Council.
Five of the committee’s six members voted to overturn the Heritage Preservation Commission’s rejection of the tower, which Minneapolis developer Alatus plans to build in the St. Anthony Falls Historic District.
The preservation commission based its objection on rules limiting the height of buildings within the historic district.
The zoning and planning committee also gave Alatus the go-ahead to demolish two buildings, including a Tudor-style structure that houses a Washburn McReavy funeral home, to make way for the tower, with just a three-month waiting period. The preservation commission wanted a six-month waiting period to increase the chance that someone might emerge to buy the two buildings and move them.
The City Council will take up the proposal for the condo tower on June 17. If it approves, construction could begin this fall.
“We don’t want to put the cart in front of the horse,” said Chris Osmundson, senior developer associate for Alatus. “But this was really a vote of confidence in the project.”
The project — which is being referred to by its address, 200 Central Av. SE — generated significant debate about whether a tower is suitable for the site. Though opponents haven’t taken issue with its design, they have said that it doesn’t belong within the historic district and is more suitable for the downtown side of the river.
The Neighbors for East Bank Livability hired the Larkin Hoffman law firm to help them in their efforts to uphold the preservation commission’s decision and prevent the tower from being built. At the hearing, they and others objected to its impact on adjacent historic structures and to the removal of structures that it says contribute to the history of the area.
Alatus presented new renderings of the tower that reflect recommendations from various constituents based on neighborhood and municipal guidelines. The project would include a slender glass and concrete tower with more than 200 upscale condominiums atop a larger “podium” that would include parking and a street-level restaurant.