Building up Downtown East

Ryan Cos. has a plan to build a four-story office building at the base of one of the new Wells Fargo towers in its Downtown East Minneapolis development.

The concept was first displayed last week in IDS Center's Crystal Court during a two-day exhibition of new commercial and residential developments around the Twin Cities. A white model of the entire five-block redevelopment effort known as Downtown East — which bridges the city's central core with the new U.S. Bank Stadium — had a previously unseen feature: a narrow, low-slung office building.

It was tucked in behind one of the 17-story towers that Ryan is currently building for Wells Fargo & Co. Those towers only account for about half of each block they occupy, with apartment buildings filling two small slivers on the front side facing S. 4th Street and the future public park.

The multitenant building could serve as the future home of Ryan Cos. itself, company executives said. Ryan needs 55,000 square feet, which would about half of the total building.

Meanwhile, Ryan is moving forward with its Radisson Red hotel plan for the parcel across Portland Avenue that mirrors the one in question. While both structures would sit at the feet of the towers, there is a striking difference in the proposed exterior styles. The Radisson Red brand is strict about its locations all having the black-clad skin with bold red lettering.

These two parcels are key as Ryan sprints to develop every part of every block in the Downtown East project. If this four-story office building moves forward, it leaves only a small piece of land at the northeast corner of Park Avenue and 4th Street S. without a planned use.

Kristen Leigh Painter