Most of the amenities at the newly built North Loop development the Nordic are geared to appeal not only to its office tenants but also to neighborhood residents.
A first-floor food hall will soon offer gourmands a chance to taste fare from four up-and-coming chefs. A public plaza features not only patio seating with fire pits but also multiuse outdoor space for neighborhood gatherings. In the adjacent condo building that is part of the development, a restaurant with several state-of-the-art golf simulators lets sport enthusiasts practice their swings.
"This is a destination where people can come and enjoy all the amenities," said Carrie Eggleston, development project manager for developer and owner United Properties, as she stood Monday in the plaza. "They can swing a golf club over there, get dinner over there, grab a cocktail."
United Properties spokeswoman Sheila Thelemann chimed in calling the Nordic and plaza "the living room and backyard of the North Loop."
In July 2017, United Properties, with the help of general contractor RJM Construction, began construction of the 10-story, 205,000-square-foot Nordic office building. The Nordic was built on a parking lot at 729 Washington Av. next to the Loose-Wiles Building that United Properties also owns.
The first office tenant to move into the building was digital-media company the Ovative Group, which moved into its space at the Nordic in the spring. Co-working company WeWork opened its third Minneapolis location in the building when it moved onto four floors of the building in July.
The Nordic team signed another office tenant, which it declined to identify, last week. The only unleased office space is the eighth floor, about half of which is close to being converted into spec suites for those companies who want prepared office space.
Another recent addition to the Nordic office building is the FRGMNT coffee shop, which opened earlier this month and operates seven days a week in the lobby. In mid-December, the North Loop Galley food hall is slated to open connected to the office building lobby.
The Pittsburgh-based Galley Group plans to host four emerging chefs at a time to provide a variety of food. The chefs will have 12-month leases to test their menus at the food hall before they potentially open their own brick-and-mortar restaurants once they get established, said Cody Michael, bar lead for the North Loop Galley.
"We have the opportunity to make it a neighborhood space," said Madison Shogry, assistant manager and event coordinator at the Galley.
The first round of chefs will be Ono Hawaiian Plates, Soul Fu, Wrecktangle Pizza, and Thigh Times, a chicken thighs eatery concept.
An empty retail space of about 4,000 square feet remains on the first floor of the Nordic that management is still deciding how to best utilize.
The furnishings and other interior design of the Galley as well as the Nordic office lobby and the plaza was done by nearby Studio BV. Keeping with the Nordic theme, the design incorporates Scandinavian elements such as wood accents and contemporary furniture anchored by a large free-standing fireplace in the lobby and custom fire pit in the plaza created by artisan Keith Wyman.
A large metal sculpture shaped like the head of a deer created by Los Angeles artist Nathan Mabry is expected to be erected in a couple weeks in the plaza.
LHB was the lead architect for the Nordic office building and lead designer for the Sable condo building. In addition, the firm was the landscape architect for the project and designed the plaza. Hartman-Cox was the design architect.
"The whole concept with United Properties around the development was the idea of community and in Scandinavia everything is very open and very social and community driven," said Betsy Vohs, chief executive of Studio BV. "… It's comfortable. Our goal was to create the living room of the North Loop."
Since it opened this summer, the public plaza has hosted about two to three events per week that allow people to try samples from North Loop restaurants and shops, said Max Musicant, head of the Musicant Group that is in charge of plaza programming.
In addition to the office building, United Properties also built a seven-level parking garage with room for more than 400 vehicles as part of its 57-condo Sable residential building. Originally the building was to feature apartments, but due to pent-up demand in the North Loop, the project shifted to condos, Thelemann said.
The condos are mostly studios and one-bedroom units with a few two bedrooms. Of the 57 condo units, 39 have had closings. United Properties partnered with real estate developer Greco Properties as the residential marketing agent and partner with the BKV Group working on the interior design.
On the first floor of the Sable building, the Thr3 Jack restaurant opened in October serving contemporary American food and offering patrons a chance to rent seating areas with golf simulators. Thr3 Jack is the brainchild of Lucy Robb and her brother Bo Massopust, who wanted to make golf more accessible in the Twin Cities even during the winter months.
"There are a lot of golfers but you can only play golf for part of the year," Robb said.
United Properties is in discussions with how to use about 2,000 square feet of remaining retail space that is available at Sable.