222 & Whole Foods - (222 Hennepin Avenue)

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ECtransplant
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Re: 222 & Whole Foods - (222 Hennepin Avenue)

Postby ECtransplant » July 11th, 2014, 6:46 pm

So there is sufficient demand to support something taller had they not taken the route they did

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Nathan
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Re: 222 & Whole Foods - (222 Hennepin Avenue)

Postby Nathan » July 11th, 2014, 6:48 pm

ECtransplant wrote:So there is sufficient demand to support something taller had they not taken the route they did
Try telling the banker financing that 4/5 years ago... I mean I understand but things were still shakey when they started things out...

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Re: 222 & Whole Foods - (222 Hennepin Avenue)

Postby Archiapolis » July 15th, 2014, 8:11 am

Nathan wrote:
ECtransplant wrote:So there is sufficient demand to support something taller had they not taken the route they did
Try telling the banker financing that 4/5 years ago... I mean I understand but things were still shakey when they started things out...
People tend to forget/not know that developers borrow a lot of money for these projects. I know the cliche is "rich developers" (which I've found to be largely true) but it isn't like they plunk cash down on the barrelhead for these projects. The urbanists need to be aware that Minneapolis would have to be pretty good at predicting the future and stare down developers and say "No, we'll wait for a bigger project" and refuse a big chunk of tax revenue that would have resulted from the smaller project.

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Re: 222 & Whole Foods - (222 Hennepin Avenue)

Postby John » July 15th, 2014, 9:24 am

^^^ It depends on the site and it's civic importance and visibility. That happened with Superior Plating site recently as the Florida developer walked away from the project. The neighborhood and city councilman Jacob Frey wanted something more substantial than yet another six story wood framed apartment project that looks like it's made out of cardboard and recycled tin cans. 222 Hennepin was a good post recession project but now times have changed. We have a booming downtown. I think we are going to see the city get more picky with developers in what they propose. This is a good thing for the community.

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Re: 222 & Whole Foods - (222 Hennepin Avenue)

Postby ECtransplant » July 15th, 2014, 3:18 pm

It's a fine line between pushing quality projects and San Fransisco don't build anything tall and don't tear anything down ever NIMBYism

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Re: 222 & Whole Foods - (222 Hennepin Avenue)

Postby Wedgeguy » July 15th, 2014, 8:19 pm

ECtransplant wrote:It's a fine line between pushing quality projects and San Fransisco don't build anything tall and don't tear anything down ever NIMBYism
But San Fran does still build things tall. It just is not a huge amount of it. The new tower over the transportation center I think will be the tallest building in SF.

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Re: 222 & Whole Foods - (222 Hennepin Avenue)

Postby NE_love » July 16th, 2014, 7:17 am

SF is also getting a 400' apartment/condo building by Studio Gang.

I think the 222 project had the benefit of being "first" of 3 empty corners at this prominent intersection. With plenty of opportunity, people generally people aren't as picky. Does it really matter what you are having for dinner tonight, compared to if it was your last meal? I am sure we can bet on the next one being held to a higher standard and the final higher still. This combined with coming out of the recession and the promise of a grocer made this mediocre project that could have used another iteration on this corner.

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Re: 222 & Whole Foods - (222 Hennepin Avenue)

Postby nBode » July 16th, 2014, 1:53 pm

I know I'm late to the party, but could someone just give a quick summary of why this is a bad project? I honestly don't know. I actually think it looks quite good, as far as these apartment complexes go.

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Re: 222 & Whole Foods - (222 Hennepin Avenue)

Postby Chef » July 19th, 2014, 12:33 pm

This was the heart of downtown 80 years ago so some people think it should have a tower on it.

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Re: 222 & Whole Foods - (222 Hennepin Avenue)

Postby sushisimo » July 19th, 2014, 5:58 pm

LOL. I think a lot of it has to do with the previous proposals, which were much taller and dramatic. Our hopes were as high as the floor count. At this point, I'm pretty fine with it other than the chocolate brown metal siding that looks like Menards had a liquidation sale on pole barn materials. The blessing/curse with this site is there is no bad side of the block. I realize they need delivery entrances and not pretty things, but it's a little teeth-gritting to see 222's 1st Ave side right across from the facade that Velo is trying to market most. I think Velo will have kind of a hip restaurant with outdoor seating, with prime views of exhaust-belching trucks delivering kale to Whole Foods.

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Re: 222 & Whole Foods - (222 Hennepin Avenue)

Postby Anondson » July 19th, 2014, 6:46 pm

Part of the warehouse district experience.

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Re: 222 & Whole Foods - (222 Hennepin Avenue)

Postby Archiapolis » July 22nd, 2014, 8:10 am

John wrote:^^^ It depends on the site and it's civic importance and visibility. That happened with Superior Plating site recently as the Florida developer walked away from the project. The neighborhood and city councilman Jacob Frey wanted something more substantial than yet another six story wood framed apartment project that looks like it's made out of cardboard and recycled tin cans. 222 Hennepin was a good post recession project but now times have changed. We have a booming downtown. I think we are going to see the city get more picky with developers in what they propose. This is a good thing for the community.
I mostly agree with this comment.

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Re: 222 & Whole Foods - (222 Hennepin Avenue)

Postby martykoessel » July 22nd, 2014, 6:50 pm

Boy, we've been going on about this project forever and a day, so I guess it's time to add my 2 cents.

This building will not make architectural tours, but I like it because:

--Walking by it on Washington is pleasant. I like the first-floor material, and I especially like that almost every step of the way there's something to watch inside. What a change from what was there before! And there are trees, too. On every side.

--The tower at Hennepin and Washington is nice. As frequently noted in this thread, the one at Hennepin and 2nd is less appealing, but still better much better than a mere squared off corner.

--We all think of it as one big, huge block, but that's because we know it is. I think that someone seeing this block for the first time, knowing nothing of its history, would likely view it as two separate, contemporary structures (except when standing right where they join). Breaking up a massive, 6-story block so it reads as two half-block buildings is an accomplishment. There have been many utter failures in this regard.

--It's full of new residents and, by all reports, they enjoy living there. We like more people in the urban core, right?

--I admire the architects and developer for reusing the parking ramp. I know that this was an economic decision rather than and act of nobility, but still....

OK, now I've said my piece and am ready for the barrage of stones. Later!

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Re: 222 & Whole Foods - (222 Hennepin Avenue)

Postby TroyGBiv » July 22nd, 2014, 9:01 pm

Let's retire 222 & Whole Foods section! There are too many new buildings and proposals to focus on! Lots of interesting points of view. I am hoping that there will be a plan for the land that the Post Office Parking Ramp and the lower empty lot just below it next to the Hennepin Ave. Bridge. That has been out there as a long term plan and there have been some renderings over the last few years… That possibility could make a big improvement to river front connections.

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Re: 222 & Whole Foods - (222 Hennepin Avenue)

Postby grant1simons2 » July 22nd, 2014, 9:20 pm

Aye! ^

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Re: 222 & Whole Foods - (222 Hennepin Avenue)

Postby lordmoke » May 16th, 2016, 12:02 am

Has anyone else come around on this building? It fronts the street really, really well on 2/4 sides, is almost entirely high-quality exterior materials (brick/ stone), has no parking podium, no cement board/ stucco, provides a grocery store to the neighborhood...

I find it's generally a very pleasant building to be around. Yeah it's not tall, but we've seen so much worse since this has gone up.

(Sorry for beating a dead horse, here.)

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Re: 222 & Whole Foods - (222 Hennepin Avenue)

Postby Silophant » May 16th, 2016, 6:09 am

Heh. I went past last night and was thinking the exact same thing as I waited to cross Washington. It's arguably the best of the many six-story buildings we've gotten in the recent boom.

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Re: 222 & Whole Foods - (222 Hennepin Avenue)

Postby Archiapolis » May 16th, 2016, 6:57 am

lordmoke wrote:Has anyone else come around on this building? It fronts the street really, really well on 2/4 sides, is almost entirely high-quality exterior materials (brick/ stone), has no parking podium, no cement board/ stucco, provides a grocery store to the neighborhood...

I find it's generally a very pleasant building to be around. Yeah it's not tall, but we've seen so much worse since this has gone up.

(Sorry for beating a dead horse, here.)
You must mean no cement board at/near the ground because there is plenty of cement board. It's great to have a grocery store and the street frontage is good. It's not perfect (or anywhere near) but hopefully whatever emerges on the opposite corner can take over *ahem* gateway duties and let this building recede into a modest "5 over 1" with a grocery store.


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