Earlier this year, United Properties and Greco announced plans to redevelop a surface parking lot in the 700 block of Washington Avenue N. in Minneapolis into a 10-story, 139-unit apartment building. Those plans fizzled and the two Twin Cities developers subsequently worked a land swap.

United then said it would continue with plans to build an office tower on its portion of the site and this week presented those plans to the Minneapolis Planning Commission. Those plans now include a 44-unit apartment building that is adjacent to the previously announced 10-story tower.

This project and others in the area drew scrutiny from neighbors who feel that 10-story buildings are too tall for a neighborhood where the existing buildings are shorter warehouses that were built in the early 1900s. Given that development in the area has exploded, including the addition of thousands of new apartments, some residents and business owners in the area are also concerned that there isn't enough parking in the area.

The latest plan for what is being referred to as the 729 Washington Avenue North development — it's mid-block between 7th Avenue and 8th Avenue — calls for an office building that faces Washington Avenue and a residential and parking garage building that fronts 3rd Street N. That public plaza is being pitched as a public space that would provide access to connecting paths.

The office component would have retail on the ground floor with offices on the upper nine floors. The building, which was designed by Washington D.C.-based Hartman-Cox Architects and Twin Cities-based LHB Architects and Engineers, borrows elements of existing buildings, including brick cladding, pilasters and multipaned windows that "relates to the warehouse context of the neighborhood," according to a city staff report.

A second, more contemporary building planned along 3rd Street would have residential units facing the street and a parking garage behind. The residential amenities would be on the ground floor area facing the plaza.

The project calls for about 400 on-site parking spaces, including one level underground and six levels above grade.

Greco still has control of an adjacent site but has not revealed plans for it.

Jim Buchta