Image courtesy of Sherman Associates

Two developers offer proposals for Mill District site

The City of Minneapolis received two development proposals for one of the last blank sites in the Mill District.

The city recently released the names of the developers — Minneapolis-based Sherman Associates and St. Paul-based Grand Real Estate Advisors — that are proposing to build on the city-owned parcel a few blocks from U.S. Bank Stadium. The city issued a request for proposals in the spring for the site at 205 Park Ave. S.

Sherman Associates is proposing a six-story,115-unit building that will be 80 percent market-rate apartments and 20 percent affordable housing for those making 60 percent of or below area median income. Plans for the nearly $36 million project also feature four roughly 2,000-square-foot townhomes that will be for sale.

Sherman Associates has a lineup of other uses for the proposed building. Well-known restaurateur Kim Bartmann (Red Stag Supperclub, Bryant Lake Bowl, Third Bird, Barbette and more) would have a 4,800-square-foot “everyday” restaurant and art gallery in partnership with the Soo Visual Arts Center at the corner of Washington & Park. At Park & 2nd, Bartmann would also open a 1,500-square-foot bakery and coffee shop with an outdoor patio.

“One thing that the neighborhood seems lacking in is a true all-day neighborhood spot for breakfast, lunch, and dinner — a place for people to have an everyday, healthy, affordable meal — which for now we’re calling the Mill District All-Day Place,” the developer wrote in submitted plans.

The proposal would also bring a Bank of America ATM location and a police substation, which the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association has been discussing for some time. A pet relief area would be open to the public.

ESG Architects is handling the project’s design.

Image courtesy of Grand Real Estate Advisors
Image courtesy of Grand Real Estate Advisors

Grand Real Estate Advisors is proposing 48-52 for-sale units of housing, which would range from 952-2,803 square feet and would go for prices between about $340,000 and $1.3 million.

The proposal features approximately 2,900 square feet of retail space fronting Washington Avenue. The five-story or six-story building would have a social room, a rooftop deck, an exercise room with a yoga studio, a dog relief area and bicycle storage.

The proposal, the developer wrote, is designed as a modified second phase of the Park Avenue Lofts, developed by Brighton Development. It would be built from similar materials and would complete an originally envisioned gateway into the Mill District.

Grand Real Estate Advisors, led by founders Tanya Bell and Judd Fenlon, argued in submitted plans that the project would add units to a “virtually non-existent” condo market.

“We know that others may propose more units, higher land proceeds to the city, and/or perhaps more retail, but we believe that the pent up demand for condominiums is real,” the developer wrote. “We believe that our city also has many people who want the advantages of urban living while enjoying a smaller, more intimate environment that this project would provide.”

Snow Kreilich Architects is handling the proposal’s design. Peggy Lucas, a co-founder of Brighton Development, would be a part of the development team with Bell.

The site at 205 Park Ave. S. currently serves as a surface parking lot with some green space.

A survey from the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association, which represents the area home to the site, shows many locals would prefer to see a condo building with retails space. Of the survey’s 303 respondents, 68 percent of which reported living or working within four blocks of the site, 30 percent said market-rate condos were the most important use of the site.

City staff will now review the proposals. The City Council will select a developer to award the sale of the property and development rights.