East End / Thresher Square / Trader Joes - 713 Washington Ave S

Downtown - North Loop - Mill District - Elliot Park - Loring Park
twincitizen
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Re: Thresher Square Hotel & Apartments- Washington & Chicago

Postby twincitizen » October 22nd, 2014, 2:47 pm

Sherman's requesting just over $1MM in cleanup grants: http://minneapolismn.gov/www/groups/pub ... 132416.pdf
Washington-Chicago Development (713/724 S. 3rd St.)
Projected DEED Request: $423,450
Projected Metropolitan Council TBRA Request: $423,450
Projected Hennepin County ERF Request: $200,000
Sherman Associates intends to demolish an existing surface parking lot and an
underutilized building, and then construct a new building with five levels of
residential apartments (175 market rate units), two levels of underground parking 12
(partially for public use), and one level of commercial spaces (20-25,000 square
feet). The projected total development cost is $50,636,199. Grant funds, if
awarded, will be used for soil remediation and for the abatement of asbestos in the
existing building.
This site is zoned B4N with the Downtown Parking Overlay. It is classified as a
mixed-use project, which is a permitted/conditional use in these districts. In
general, the project is supportable, but there may be changes recommended by
staff during the public hearing review and approval process. The development site
is located in Downtown East. The site is located in the Downtown Growth Center,
on the Washington and Chicago Commercial Corridors, and in the Downtown East
Transit Station Area as identified in The Minneapolis Plan for Sustainable Growth.
The future land use map in The Minneapolis Plan for Sustainable Growth designates
the site as Mixed Use which supports the proposed uses of residential, retail, and a
hotel. The project’s proposed uses would be appropriate in this area and would be
in conformance with the comprehensive plan for land use.

twincitizen
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Re: Thresher Square Hotel & Washington/Chicago Apartments

Postby twincitizen » December 22nd, 2014, 7:46 am

Mill City Times says it'll be Trader Joes after all: http://millcitytimes.com/news/breaking- ... polis.html

John
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Re: Thresher Square Hotel & Washington/Chicago Apartments

Postby John » December 22nd, 2014, 8:52 am

twincitizen wrote:Mill City Times says it'll be Trader Joes after all: http://millcitytimes.com/news/breaking- ... polis.html
:D :D :D

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Re: Thresher Square Hotel & Washington/Chicago Apartments

Postby Silophant » December 22nd, 2014, 9:11 am

One of my carless college roommates would have killed for a easily transit-accessible Trader Joe's. They're going to do very well here.

twincitizen
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Re: Thresher Square Hotel & Washington/Chicago Apartments

Postby twincitizen » December 22nd, 2014, 9:26 am

In a perfect world, the store would have a glassy 2-story atrium like the downtown Target, facing the corner of Washington & Chicago. The vestibule would contain a store entrance on the ground floor and stairs/elevators to the skyway level, creating a near-seamless pedestrian connection to the Mill District and Guthrie area (from the skyway system). It would effectively be one of the "front doors" to the skyway system.

Washington Ave in this area will see traffic calming in the future, as the outermost/3rd travel lanes will be reconstructed into formal parking bays with bumpouts at the intersections. The cycletrack will be continued throughout Washington Ave all the way to 35W. The downside is there is no construction timeline or funding for anything east of 5th Avenue yet, though I bet Hennepin County won't want to wait too long after the Hennepin Ave to 5th Ave stretch is completed in 2016. Preliminary planning for the eastern stretch was done at the same time as Phase I, though I'm sure there will still be a series of public meetings and the city will have to approve a layout.

Done right, this development could be a catalyst for construction on the two still-vacant city-owned properties across Washington, as well as the properties to the east across Chicago. Time to knit the Mill District & Downtown East together!

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Re: Thresher Square Hotel & Washington/Chicago Apartments

Postby nickmgray » December 22nd, 2014, 9:43 am

This is great news. I'm a bit surprised that Trader Joes would choose this side of downtown, but I guess the other affluent corners on the downtown area already have grocery stores. I'd imagine this store will get a lot more car traffic than most other grocery stores that are close to downtown since this is right off 35W.

It's been half a year since the project was announced - I'm wondering if the developers would consider increasing the height of the building to add more units. All recent market indications have shown that new rental projects are filling up as fast as they are being built. Yes, this is a bit far from the downtown core, but having a grocery store and other shops along Washington is a major selling point for potential tenants.

twincitizen
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Re: Thresher Square Hotel & Washington/Chicago Apartments

Postby twincitizen » December 22nd, 2014, 10:04 am

Skyway connected and closer to all the high-paying government jobs in the area. While you're right that a Trader Joe's anywhere will draw a lot of car traffic, this also can take advantage of that direct skyway access, as well as LRT 1-2 blocks away (depending where they put the front door, 3rd or Washington). They are banking on students/U-area folks taking LRT here as well. It's significantly closer than going to Midway Rainbow/Cub.

Despite the enormous potential for non-drivers to shop here, I agree that they'll see heavy demand from drivers as well, being the only TJ's in the city and so centrally located near freeway access. It'll be the closest TJ's for all Minneapolitans outside of certain areas of SW...that's a lot of people who might wanna drive here.

I wonder how much money Sherman will want to spend on building parking in this building, both for TJ's and Old Spaghetti Factory, when the massive parking ramp is next door and skyway connected? Surely they'll build enough underground parking for the residential units, but I'm guessing the Thresher Hotel component will be using valet to the MSFA public ramp next door.

EDIT:
The proposed Thresher Square development includes 175 market-rate apartments built above the grocery store, two levels of underground parking with 306 total spaces and renovating the historic Thresher Square building at 700 3rd St. S into a “nationally branded” hotel. http://www.journalmpls.com/news-feed/ne ... evelopment

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Re: Thresher Square Hotel & Washington/Chicago Apartments

Postby Didier » December 22nd, 2014, 10:04 am

Congrats to Mill City Times on the scoop.

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Re: Thresher Square Hotel & Washington/Chicago Apartments

Postby RailBaronYarr » December 22nd, 2014, 10:10 am

The layout in the pdf seems odd to me - the corner having a separate 1,200 sqft space (already leased? wonder what? Starbucks/similar would seem to fit well) rather than being the prominent Trader Joe's (+skyway) lobby twincitizen describes.

Seems like past discussions of TJs here seem to say it's not a grocer you can rely on for 90% of your grocery needs. My 2x visiting the SLP one seem to confirm this - lacking many typical brands of things like cereal, peanut butter, milk, etc etc items, and a limited selection of produce make it a place you can grab fixins for particular meals but not necessarily everything. Are there TJ concepts out there that actually accomplish this? The existing and planned residential in the Mill District and DTE area seem to demand that level of grocer to me..

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Re: Thresher Square Hotel & Washington/Chicago Apartments

Postby FISHMANPET » December 22nd, 2014, 10:12 am

TJ is completely store brand, the same way Aldi is. I think it's just a slightly more upscale Aldi, though I've only been there once so I don't know how "complete" the selection is.

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Re: Thresher Square Hotel & Washington/Chicago Apartments

Postby mnmike » December 22nd, 2014, 10:21 am

I'm sure the other space on the corner is for the wine store.

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Re: Thresher Square Hotel & Washington/Chicago Apartments

Postby ECtransplant » December 22nd, 2014, 11:00 am

RailBaronYarr wrote: Seems like past discussions of TJs here seem to say it's not a grocer you can rely on for 90% of your grocery needs. My 2x visiting the SLP one seem to confirm this - lacking many typical brands of things like cereal, peanut butter, milk, etc etc items, and a limited selection of produce make it a place you can grab fixins for particular meals but not necessarily everything.
I buy 99% of my groceries, including all those staples listed, from the SLP Trader Joe's. Basically the only time I don't go to TJs is when I go to the Lunds down the street from me because I'm lazy.

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Re: Thresher Square Hotel & Washington/Chicago Apartments

Postby twincitizen » December 22nd, 2014, 11:01 am

I'll bet you're right. Even TJ's is subject to MN's anachronistic liquor laws, requiring grocers to separate liquor operations into its own walled-off space.

Here's the PDF to which Alex was referring: http://www.sherman-associates.com/files ... pdated.pdf

12,800 sf grocer, 1,200 wine shop. Bonus: a 2,800 sf retail space on 3rd!

Looks like 80 stalls of retail parking on ground level. Pretty clever plan for circulation on this busy block and its 3 separate buildings basically functioning as a single complex.

Perhaps no grand 2-story atrium, but there will be "public" skyway entrances on both street corners of the building!

Looks like only half of Thresher will become hotel, the other half will remain offices. That makes a ton of sense, given the two separate buildings.

EDIT: I'm still not sure how they get 175 units over 5 stories. That's 35 units per floor (plus workout room, party room, etc.) on not-quite-half of a downtown block. The unit mix would have to slant heavily towards studios and smaller 1BRs to fit it all in. With TJ's on board now, I'd hope Sherman might reconsider going up to 8-10 stories like he's doing with the Encore project just a block away. They could do larger units (like Encore) over the same number of underground parking stalls they're already planning on building.

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Re: Thresher Square Hotel & Washington/Chicago Apartments

Postby fehler » December 22nd, 2014, 11:58 am

Story hasn't been picked up by the Strib yet? That seems odd. Is there any real confirmation?

twincitizen
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Re: Thresher Square Hotel & Washington/Chicago Apartments

Postby twincitizen » December 22nd, 2014, 12:21 pm

WCCO picked up on the Mill City Times leak, including yet another denial from TJs: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2014/12/2 ... nneapolis/

Some local TJ employees on Twitter responded saying they've heard it's a done deal. My favorite was "TJ will deny everything until the day the sign goes up".

Pretty much all signs point to this being the real thing. TJ's has been publicly searching for a downtown location for some time. You really couldn't ask for a better location that isn't in direct competition with the other grocers downtown. Skyway to downtown core office workers & residents, check. LRT to campus (and beyond), check. Thousands of wealthy residents within walking distance, with several hundred more to be added in the next 5-10 years, check!

We'll see...maybe Trader Joe's really is that secretive and we won't hear anything until this goes before the Planning Commission.

EDIT: Well, hey, KSTP just reported it on the 5pm broadcast, so there's that.

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Re: Thresher Square Hotel & Washington/Chicago Apartments

Postby AccordGuy » December 22nd, 2014, 8:44 pm

I don't shop at Trader Joe's, is it decently priced ? The Whole Foods seems to get negative reviews due to price. Lunds in NE or Target usually get my business depending on what I'm looking for, and convenience.
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Re: Thresher Square Hotel & Washington/Chicago Apartments

Postby EOst » December 22nd, 2014, 9:28 pm

It's usually reasonably priced, though it really depends on what you're looking for. As someone mentioned above, it's sort of a cross between Aldi and Whole Foods--bougie, but pretty cheap. I'd shop there often if it were closer.

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Re: Thresher Square Hotel & Washington/Chicago Apartments

Postby AccordGuy » December 22nd, 2014, 9:39 pm

EOst wrote:It's usually reasonably priced, though it really depends on what you're looking for. As someone mentioned above, it's sort of a cross between Aldi and Whole Foods--bougie, but pretty cheap. I'd shop there often if it were closer.
I'd give it a try if it's convenient. Right now I live near Bryn Mawr, so I have to drive when I go grocery shopping.
Born in Minneapolis.

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Avian
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Re: Thresher Square Hotel & Washington/Chicago Apartments

Postby Avian » December 22nd, 2014, 10:52 pm

EOst wrote:It's usually reasonably priced, though it really depends on what you're looking for. As someone mentioned above, it's sort of a cross between Aldi and Whole Foods--bougie, but pretty cheap. I'd shop there often if it were closer.
No wonder, since Aldi owns Trader Joe's. I like both, for what they are.

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Re: Thresher Square Hotel & Washington/Chicago Apartments

Postby uncle phil » December 23rd, 2014, 1:24 am

Not quite. The parent company of the company that runs the Aldi grocery stores in the US, is also the parent company of the company that now runs Trader Joe's...


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