Type: Rental apartments

Units: 241

Developer & architect: Doran Companies

Details: Doran says it is preparing to submit formal applications to raze the 41-year-old Johnson Building on the edge of downtown Hopkins and replace it with a market-rate apartment complex and a public indoor park-and-ride.

City planners have long targeted the Johnson Building at 810 1st St. S. for redevelopment geared to transit-oriented uses. Its proximity to the downtown Hopkins station along the proposed Southwest Corridor light-rail line spurred the city’s successful landing of $6 million in federal funding for a park-and-ride last year.

At the time, Hopkins officials were hoping to pair it with a hotel. But an entity related to housing developer Doran purchased the building in February and has instead proposed 241 units of market-rate apartments above the public parking garage, which would be operated by Metro Transit as an indoor park-and-ride.

Under the plans, the 190-space parking facility would occupy a portion of the six-story building’s ground level, with private underground parking for residents placed one level beneath it.

Doran Vice President of Development Tony Kuechle told the Hopkins City Council this month the apartments would be similar in style to its Mill & Main project in Minneapolis. Formal site plan and rezoning applications would be made in November, and if approved, the demolition of the Johnson Building would begin shortly thereafter.

Following that, the tentative timeline calls for new construction to begin April 1.


Don Jacobson is a St. Paul-based freelance writer. He can be contacted at hotproperty.startribune@gmail.com.