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JS9

76 stories of condos going up......

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The Minneapolis skyline is about to get some new residents. Literally.

The 27 story Grant Commons are almost topped out, with a 39 story and a 24 story condo in development. Also, in the works are a series of 27 story condos along the Mississppi River by the new Guthrie Theater. Plans were announced today for a 50 story condo on Hennepin Avenue by the old Skyway Theater, near the Target Center.

skyway news

Developer may build 50-story Hennepin Avenue condo tower

By Sarah McKenzie

Three other sites are possibilities; land ownership is one stumbling block

A 40- to 50-story luxury condo tower might rise in one of the seedier stretches of Hennepin Avenue's entertainment district.

Developer Jim Graves has eyed the long-vacant Skyway 6 Theatre site, 711 Hennepin Ave. S., for the $120 million project. Shinder's and the vacant space long occupied by Teener's Costume Fabric Shop, both adjacent to the theater, would also be redeveloped under the plan.

Graves -- president and chief executive officer of Minneapolis-based Graves Hospitality, the developer behind Block E's Le Meridian hotel, 601 1st Ave. N. -- is part-owner of the Hennepin site.

Tentative plans call for a 300-unit tower with condos ranging from $250,000 to $4.5 million, Graves said.

If built to 50 stories, Graves' project would have 11 more floors than the city's current residential leader, Riverside Plaza, 1515 S. 4th St. and Bridge Place, which is scheduled to open in 2006 at South 2nd Street and 3rd Avenue. The Hennepin high-rise would have more floors than all but four skyscrapers in the city.

It would be the second housing development built in the central business district. Six Quebec -- a three-story, 19-unit office conversion -- will open later this year at 6th Street and Marquette Avenue, across from the Wells Fargo Tower.

Graves said while the Hennepin site is a frontrunner for the new tower, he is also eyeing three other potential locations. He wouldn't disclose specific addresses.

"One of our primary reasons is to clean up that segment of Hennepin Avenue," he said. "We think it's a great avenue, and that's probably the worst piece of Hennepin Avenue existing at this time, and we think that it really needs to be cleaned up. We have the city's best interest in mind."

Graves is not the only developer with plans for the site. David Kabanuk, owner of the Tropix Beach Club at 400 3rd Ave. N., has rights to 57.2 percent of the building. The two have disagreed about the parcel's future in the past.

Graves said that Kabanuk, who could not be reached for comment, has plans for the northern portion of the building but is not involved in plans for the condo development.

Kabanuk has secured a city license for a new restaurant and bar called Barfly -- a new spot planned for the old theater site.

If the condo tower advances, Graves said he would not seek public subsidy. He envisions a new concept in housing design for the city. "It would be high fashion," he said. "It would have some attributes of a loft -- high ceilings and glass curtain walls. There would be minimalist interior designs."

A mix of commercial space and retail would go along with the project, such as a coffee shop or high-end deli, Graves said.

The condo project would add to a steady drip of Downtown projects under construction. Supporters see recent housing initiatives as a boon to the city's tax base, while others have criticized the emphasis on high-end condos, predicting that some neighborhoods, such as Elliot Park, will become gentrified.

Mary Bujold, president of the Minneapolis-based Maxfield Research, Inc., a market research firm that that tracks the real estate market, said the condo market continues to be strong Downtown with 300 new units selling annually for the past few years.

While there continues to be "ongoing strong demand" for the condos, timing is key for developers, she said. If too many units are on sale at once, the market won't absorb the new housing.

Tom Hoch, chair of the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA), which represents residents and property owners in the Downtown core, said Graves' plans sound like something he'd support.

Typically, developers approach neighborhood groups with their ideas before approaching the city for permits or subsidies.

"Personally, in concept, I think it's a terrific idea. That particular stretch of Hennepin Avenue is in desperate need of redevelopment," Hoch said. "The density is surely appropriate for the inner core of Downtown. Of course, a project of this nature further expands the tax base of the city, which benefits all of us."

Hoch's business, Historic Theater Group, manages several Hennepin theaters including the Pantages, which is across the street from Graves' planned condo tower.

SWEET!

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Sounds like great news for Minneapolis!!! :)

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These projects are fantastic for Minn....but it's 50 not 76 floors!! ;)

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Yeah....what's up with my math skills? I think I was implying that the 50 story and the newly approved 26 story condos were all together 76. Then, I threw in a couple othe rprojects and their stories, to throw the whole damn thread mathematically out of whack. ;)

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not to be mean or disrespectful but a 50 floor condo building would only be 152.4m (500ft) without a penthouse that is.

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not to be mean or disrespectful but a 50 floor condo building would only be 152.4m (500ft) without a penthouse that is.

It will be over 500ft. Bridge place is going to be 39 stories and will top out at over 470ft.

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Holy crap!!!! When I read this thread's title I almost fell off my chair. I thought Minneapolis was getting a 76 story condo tower! :huh:

It astounds me at how much Edmonton, AB and Minneapolis are similar. With the exception of Minn's size edge, the two cities are very alike. Even to the list of new condo towers being built and announced in Edmonton is very similar to the one mentioned in this thread.

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Twin Cities, is Bridge Place office or residential? Because the average size of residential and hotel floors is 10ft and office is 12.

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now that is a nice tower i think it looks nice and will be great for Minneapolis

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that is the river and i believe those are combination of navigation barriers and fortifiers for horse shoe falls.

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They've got to start developing the 10s of acres of surface parking around the Dome there. Once you get 2 or 3 blocks East of Nicollet, dt. Minneapolis drops off VERY quickly.

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So cool! That city is just always doing things right!

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They've got to start developing the 10s of acres of surface parking around the Dome there. Once you get 2 or 3 blocks East of Nicollet, dt. Minneapolis drops off VERY quickly.

and once you get out of the several blocks of surface lots, head south and the real part of the city begins.

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I'm sure all the surface lots will be filled very quickly at the rate Minneapolis is going.

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That's a nice looking condo tower, even if it isn't 76 stories. I'll take one of those in my city anyday.

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That is a nice tower. That will look great in the skyline when it is completed.

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