I’m discovering commercial real estate peeps really like groundbreakings. Usually these events involves a bevy of developers and dignitaries, some requisite soil, shiny shovels and maybe even a few hardhats.

A groundbreaking was held Thursday at 945 Broadway St. in Northeast Minneapolis at the former home of Twin City Paper. Minneapolis-based developer Peter Remes and his First & First LLC have renovated the former Land O Nod Mattress factory into “The Broadway” — commercial space that serves as a new home for craft brewer 612Brew, as well as Sevnthsin, a digital creative agency, and other firms to be named.

The 57,524-square-foot building features exposed brick and timber, 18-foot ceilings and extra-large windows that permit lots of natural light. First & First bought the property for $951,000 in 2011, and expects to put $4 million into the renovation. (Renderings of the space are featured above.)

In a statement, Remes said, “The Broadway is a synthesis of environments where culture, climate and historical reference inspire the exploration of new ideas that shape our future.”

Beyond the interior renovation, First & First will develop outdoor green space for employees and community members. This space will feature a “sculptural ampitheater” and water fountain built from stones recovered from the demolished Metropolitan Building in downtown Minneapolis. You may recall, the demolition of the once-glorious Metropolitan building — felled by the wrecking ball in 1961 — helped to launch the historic preservation movement in the Twin Cities.

The granite stones from the Metropolitan will be hand carved and shaped for The Broadway by Zoran Mojsilov, an artist who also created the water fountain and sculpture at another First & First project — Icehouse Plaza at 26th and Nicollet Ave. along Eat Street in Minneapolis.

In a nod to Northeast Minneapolis’ strong arts scene, The Broadway will feature a vertical glass gallery where artwork solicited by First & First will be visible to those in the Broadway & Central area.

The project will be completed in early 2013.


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