A group of North Loop residents are organizing to oppose construction of a 10-story building on Washington Avenue over concerns that it is too tall.
Joint venture partners Greco and United Properties are planning an apartment, restaurant and retail structure on a site at 729 and 753 Washington Av. N. that is currently a surface parking lot. The developers also want to build a small, public park along the street with a parking garage set behind it.
The official neighborhood organization, the North Loop Neighborhood Association, has already given its approval of the project.
But several condo owners and apartment renters worry about the shadows cast by the project and have formed a group called Neighbors for North Loop Livability. They say they’re anxious about the precedent set by a structure several stories taller than nearby structures. There are several buildings visible from the proposed site that are between seven and nine stories.
To amplify their concerns, the group hired a public relations professional. “Things keep popping up in the neighborhood and the neighbors feel like they haven’t been given warning or enough communication,” said Erin Harney, the group’s spokeswoman.
She said they like many features of the project, such as its use of higher-quality building materials and the addition of green space, and appreciate the work done by both the developers and the project’s designer, ESG Architects. Harney said the residents believe the project would be more respectful of the neighborhood’s history if the building were a little shorter.
For about a decade, residential construction and remodeling flourished in the North Loop, a key factor in the influx of people now living in downtown Minneapolis. That action is starting to level off, though commercial projects continue to spring up in the neighborhood.
“I don’t expect that this group will get very far in this part of downtown saying they don’t like a mid-rise new building,” said David Frank, president of the North Loop Neighborhood Association, in an e-mail.
The development team did not return requests for comment.