Plans for a 10-story office building in the popular North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis have changed “significantly” to add more parking even as neighbors debate its merits.
Swervo Development and CPM Cos. paid S & S Development Corp. $10 million for the property in January. In March, the developers presented plans to build a 10-story structure with three levels of underground parking, according to city documents.
Earlier this week, however, the team presented a revised plan to the city’s Heritage Preservation Commission that calls for eight levels of parking, three underground and five above ground.
The developers want to connect the existing Internet Exchange Building, which fronts Washington Avenue, to a new 10-story structure that will be built on a surface parking lot that is between N. 5th Avenue and the Cedar Lake Bike Trail and is behind the Internet Exchange Building.
Those original structures are within the Warehouse Historic District and were built in 1896 and 1914 along what was once a spur line for the Great Northern Railroad. Among other requests, the developers were asking the HPC for permission to vacate part of an alley that was created when the spur line was abandoned.
“We are increasing some of the parking in the building to respond some requests,” said Sheldon Berg, a principal of DJR Architecture, which is working on the project.
Neighbors had alerted his team to the need for more parking and it was also something that will be important to tenants, Berg said. The additional parking will not change the outer facade of the building at 419 Washington Av. N., he said.
The upper floors of the building would be used for offices. Approximately 10,000 square feet of retail businesses or a restaurant would be located on the ground floor. There would also be a rooftop amenity area. The building would consist mostly of a red brick veneer with large arched windows on the base and top portion of the building that faces 5th Avenue North. A primarily glass one-story skyway-style connection is proposed to connect the new building to the top floor of the four-story Internet Exchange Building.
The project is among several mid-rise buildings that have been proposed for the neighborhood, which is in the midst of a wave of development that dwarfs many of the historic warehouse buildings that populate the area.
North Loop Neighborhood Association has supported the project in all its versions, though some residents and nearby businesses expressed concerns, said D.J. Heinle, a member of the association’s planning and zoning committee.
“We very much like the additional parking within the neighborhood, and that it will have a public portion is a good thing,” Heinle said. “Also, the height was well-received.”
Within just a few blocks, developers have proposed several projects, including an 11-story, 200,000-square-foot Class A office building at 700 Fifth St. N. United Properties recently revised its plans for a 10-story class A office building on a half-block site at the corner of 7th and Washington Avenue to also include a smaller adjacent apartment building. T3, a seven-story, 224,000-square-foot office building — the city’s only new building built of timber — was recently completed. And at 500 Third St. N., just across the street from the proposed CPM/Swervo 10-story building, a multistory addition was built atop the Western Container building, which is now the new corporate office for Arctic Cat.
The Internet Exchange Building was built in 1913, and its first tenant was the Studebaker Brothers manufacturing company, which assembled horse-drawn buggies and shipped them throughout the Midwest. Buggy whips were manufactured in a building that has since been demolished where the parking lot now sits.
After the necessary city approvals, developers hope to break ground on the new building in the spring of next year with completion tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2018.