Minneapolis city officials will consider plans from Sherman Associates, that include some telling tweaks, next week for a Downtown East block called Thresher Square, which is adjacent to the Vikings stadium development.
The mixed-use project calls for office, residential, hotel and retail on the same block as Old Spaghetti factory, between S. 3rd Street, Washington, Park and Chicago Avenues.
But unlike its orginal plans, the latest iteration, posted to the city's website Thursday morning, has nixed plans for a skyway connection to the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority ramp across S. 3rd Street.
“The timing of the two projects didn't work out,” said Tony Kuechle, project manager at Sherman. "But residents can just walk across the street and enter the skyway."
The new documents make reference to a grocery store on the corner of Washington and Chicago Avenues. Speculation of a Trader Joe's has increased, but no official deal has yet been confirmed.
“We needed to clarify grocer because it kicks in certain requirments for parking,” Kuechle said.
The site will combine historical reuse and new construction. Thresher Square is a historic brick-and-timber building facing S. 3rd Street that was converted into offices several years ago. However, the economic downturn hit its vacancy rates hard and Sherman is planning to turn it into a hotel with some office remaining.
Since the building is a locally designated historic landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it may require review by the Heritage Preservation Commission, depending on the structural modifications.
The Old Spaghetti Factory will remain as is with the restaurant and office uses.
All of the new construction sits on the southeast half of the plot. The seven-story, L-shaped building will total 185,000 square feet. In addition to the grocery store anchoring the retail, there will be a smaller commercial space facing Washington. The upper floors will be composed of 181 apartment units and amenity space.
The Star Tribune has previously reported that Sherman hopes to make the apartments "affordable luxury," renting for about $2 per square foot, which is below the going rate at many of the other nearby luxury apartment buildings recently built.
Sherman plans to build two levels of underground parking with 275 stalls and is asking for a variance to include 80 grade-level parking spaces for the grocery store customers on the block's interior rather than the maximum 59.
New renderings for Thresher Square, looking northwest, submitted to the City of Minneapolis. Source: Sherman Associates and ESG Architects.