Type: Office

Size: 173,890 square feet

Height: Four stories

Developer & architect: Ryan Cos.

Details: Ryan Cos. joined a very shortlist of developers seeking to test the long-dormant market for new multitenant office space in downtown Minneapolis last month when it received final city approvals for the 174,000-square-foot Millwright office building.

After decades without new speculative office construction in the downtown core, the Millwright is scheduled for a spring 2017 opening. It will join Hines Interests’ timber-constructed T3 building in the North Loop as test cases for whether tenants are willing to pay new-construction rents in an office market with plenty of cheaper existing space.

Ryan’s effort has a big head-start, however: The developer itself will serve as its own anchor tenant, moving its headquarters from Nicollet Mall to a 55,000-square-foot space on the lower floors of the new building. Another advantage is that it’s also part of Ryan’s Downtown East project near the new U.S. Bank Stadium, currently under construction with two built-to-suit Wells Fargo Bank office towers and a Radisson Red hotel.

Tenants will have access to the downtown skyway system through an underground tunnel connecting the Millwright to the adjacent western Wells Fargo tower.

The building evokes the brick-and-timber warehouse past of downtown while also offering floorplate flexibility. Its exterior includes arched windows and a simple masonry-and-glass materials palette. 

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