The sliver of city-owned land on Washington Avenue near the Guthrie Theater in downtown Minneapolis could eventually hold an apartment complex with a bowling alley and restaurant or an office building.
Four developers have submitted proposals to the city for what could be built on the Guthrie Liner Parcel at 800 Washington Av. S., which shares the block with the American Academy of Neurology and a parking ramp, said Emily Stern, a senior project coordinator with the city's Community Planning and Economic Development department.
Stern was supposed to give an update on the site at this week's Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association meeting, but the presentation was postponed until next month because city staff is still reviewing the proposals.
The city had advertised a request for proposals for the vacant site, with submissions due last month. The staff wants to submit a recommendation on the developer to the City Council in August or September, Stern said.
Sherman Associates, whose offices are just a stone's throw from the site, wants to build a 10-story, 112-unit apartment complex with 20 percent of the units deemed affordable for renters earning 60 percent or less of the area's median income, said Shane LaFave, director of multifamily development with Sherman.
The third floor would have office space for the neurology academy. Sherman also has a letter of intent from bowling-and-restaurant chain Pinstripes, which would occupy the first and second levels. In total, the project would cost $54 million.
Oppidan Investment Co., which is headquartered in Excelsior, also submitted plans for the site. Its vision includes a build-to-suit office building that would include the opportunity for corporate branding.
"Larger blocks of newer office space are within larger, multitenant buildings that cannot give an office user the identity of a build-to-suit," said Drew Johnson, Oppidan vice president of development, in an e-mail.
St. Louis Park-based 45 North Group, in partnership with the architectural and engineering firm LHB, proposed developing Minnesota's first "net zero" office building, which would balance the building's energy intake with the amount of energy it would produce from proposed rooftop solar panels, according to a news release.
The five-story building would have retail on the first floor. Several retailers already have indicated interest in the project, including health and wellness businesses and restaurants.
AECOM, a firm based in Los Angeles that has a Minneapolis office and designs, finances builds and operates assets across the world, is the fourth possible developer. AECOM, along with co-developer Sandra Rieger & Co. wants to build a nine-story, 76-condo building with some affordable units. There would also be office space for AAN's expansion as well as commercial space for a café, co-working venue, fitness studio and a restaurant that could serve local, organic food. A rooftop garden would be one part of the green streetscaping of the complex.
The future of the site has been up in the air for some time. Last year, Mortenson Development abandoned its plan to construct a 10-story building with a 235-room hotel on the property.
The corner of Washington Avenue where the parcel is located is already under heavy development with the recent addition of the East End complex with luxury apartments and a Trader Joe's and the still-under-construction Ironclad, which will have apartments and a hotel.