A planned 40-story condo tower that would be built along the Minneapolis riverfront cleared another hurdle Friday as the City Council formally overturned the decision of a historic preservation panel that had blocked the plans.
Alatus, the developer of the project, had appealed last month's decision of the city's Heritage Preservation Commission. That group had approved the demolition of the Washburn-McReavy funeral home, now located on the site of the project, but determined that the proposed condo tower would be too tall for the St. Anthony Falls Historic District.
Last week, a council committee reversed the height ruling and the council voted 12-0 on Friday to allow the plans to move forward.
Developers intend to begin construction as soon as this fall, though the council must still provide final approval on the land-use plans for the site.
Council Member Jacob Frey, who represents the area where the tower would be built, said Friday that the project will have a considerable impact on the property's tax base and on the neighborhood's development. He said officials appreciated the concerns about the historic character of the area that were raised by residents, but had to make a decision.
"What we're showing here is that the concepts of both preservation and growth are not mutually exclusive," he said. "In preserving our history, we can also make our own in 2016."
The project plans call for a glass and concrete tower with more than 200 residences, plus a lower level with parking and a restaurant.