DLR Group, an architectural and engineering firm that has been in the suburbs for almost 20 years, is moving to the Renaissance Building in downtown Minneapolis.

The firm, in Eden Prairie for the last 10 years, will occupy about 25,000 square feet of the building at 500 Nicollet Mall. DLR has 64 employees in Eden Prairie, one of 15 offices nationwide.

"It is an ideal time in our organizational evolution to move downtown," said office leader Matt Johnson. "Relocating to downtown increases our market-share opportunities, enables us to broaden our talent recruitment and allows our employees access to multiple modes of mass transit."

Kathy Tait, DLR marketing director, said the firm decided to move downtown about a year ago and looked at about a dozen locations. She said her firm liked the Renaissance Building because it's close to both bus and light-rail lines, it connects to the skyway system, and it has a distinctive design. The 110-year-old building is vacant but previously was used by Xcel Energy Inc.

Tait said the firm expects to complete its move downtown by Thanksgiving. In addition to designing its own space on the second and third floors, DLR also has been hired as the architect and engineer for a renovation of the entire building by its new owner, RPD Catalyst of Los Angeles. DLR already has begun design work on the lobby, Tait said.

DLR's relocation is the latest in a series of recent moves downtown by businesses formerly based in the suburbs. They include software provider SoftBrands Inc., which moved from Richfield, and accounting and consulting firm Virchow Krause Co. and advertising agency Colle + McVoy, which both relocated from Bloomington.

Susan Feyder • 612-673-1723