Xcel Energy HQ - 401 Nicollet

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Lancestar2

Re: Xcel Energy HQ

Postby Lancestar2 » August 13th, 2012, 7:49 pm

Silophant wrote:I went to a seminar at Xcel HQ a couple days ago, and there's a couple boards set up in the SE corner of the lobby detailing the new HQ building plans, including a footprint drawing. (I tried to get a picture, but my phone crashed instead) So, I can confirm that they're definitely planning to include a skyway connecting this building to the Nicollet Residences, as well as building to allow a future connection to the current Xcel building, and a future skyway heading north across 4th St, if and when that parking lot gets redeveloped.

I can't remember where the file was, but it was my understanding that parking lot would be about 50% park. A link to a basic picture of a old planned sketch which im guessing is already outdated. Although I think a wonderful skyway crossing 4th and a staircase down to the park (like by the Convention center) would be the only likely hood. As I thought the parking lot on the very east side would not be included in the project which would mean the skyway may have to be slanted east crossing 4th to reach the building space. Does anybody have anymore details or thoughts on how that would work?

http://www.minnpost.com/cityscape/2010/ ... evelopment

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby 612transplant » August 14th, 2012, 6:57 am

^^^Part of the city's 2025 Vision, but the idea of the park, I believe, even predates that.

I don't know where they are at with the park. Was it somebody on here who posted the link about Hennepin Avenue recently? Certainly, the city is kicking the tires around on this stuff, but they wouldn't be able to block development there.

Me, I like the idea of a park right there, and always have. I think there will be a nice "step-up" effect on the skyline when viewed from that area, with XCel's HQ right across the street and taller towers sort of looming behind that....

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Nathan » August 17th, 2012, 4:51 pm

We had been wondering why construction on this was so far out, in the latest Minuets from the DMNA it says that Opus is under contract to purchase and operate the lot for 2 years. Does that mean they are opting to operate it for two years or for some reason have to operate it, therefore pushing the construction date back?

http://www.thedmna.org/about/minutes/

Lancestar2

Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Lancestar2 » August 20th, 2012, 9:18 am

a tad off topic (so my apologizes upfront)

I'd prefer they not rush the park. I always had a vision of them creating three unique transit-ways! For example Hennepin Ave sidewalk would be a nice dark grey stone walkway from the walker Art Center to the park. Nicollet Mall sidewalk would be a nice red brick stone color and would Run from Grant (with the possible extension further south) to the park. Finally Washington Ave which would be a wonderful bike friendly transit way sidewalk would be a wonderful Green Stone ( or possible just the bike lane to cause less confusion) from Cedar Lake trail (east side) to Chicago Ave (west side and possible even further!)

I think it would be fantastic to have a tasteful color coded 3 route transit ways. I think stone red would be warm and inviting for shopping and dinning while stone green would be fantastic looking green grass like feel packed full with trees and nice bike lanes. While dark gray stone would really make the neon lights of Hennepin POP and would blend well.

Even if they were different than each other I would be happy! They need elements that would help define them as individual communities while keeping them similar. Even if it was as basic as focusing on neon lights and street sculptures and art displayed on Hennepin, focusing on clean and huge store front windows with tons of seating for dinning for Nicollet, and finally focusing on creating a urban street garden full of flowers bushes grasses and trees for Washington Ave!

However I would love to see the park start being defined by small phases and improvements once they develop the finished design! Which would really help encourage further development if the city was willing to commit by building small sections of the park. Also that probably help sites like the Xcel Energy Hq project to know what they can design for and to see if they really need to plan for a skyway connection or not!

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby martykoessel » August 20th, 2012, 12:46 pm

It seems that the big factor in the long delay before beginning this project is the lease that Xcel holds on office space in Marquette Plaza until 2016 or thereabouts. In that light, I'm thinking that the commitment Opus has to run the parking ramp for two years isn't contractual. It's just that Opus' need to buy the ramp now creates an economic necessity to generate income from the property until they can knock that baby down the two years from now. And when that happens, I'll sit out on the street corner and break out a bottle of champagne in celebration of the implosion of one of the greatest eyesores in Minneapolis.

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Nathan » August 20th, 2012, 12:57 pm

The renderings of this at the Crystal Court were really great. I'm getting quite excited. I just don't want to have to wait anymore! ha!

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby John » August 20th, 2012, 1:07 pm

fotoapparatic wrote:The renderings of this at the Crystal Court were really great. I'm getting quite excited. I just don't want to have to wait anymore! ha!
A slightly conservative yet elegant building. Has a very nice street level and relationship to the Library. Can't wait to see that horrendous parking ramp demolished into eternity! :D

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby dmdhashw » August 20th, 2012, 4:03 pm


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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby lordmoke » August 27th, 2012, 5:19 pm


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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby swmpls » August 27th, 2012, 6:05 pm

I hope I'm reading this wrong, but it looks like they're applying for a variance to not have any first floor retail. That's a bummer.

B. Variance: Application by Faegre Baker Daniels, LLP, on behalf of GDSX, LLC, for a variance of the Nicollet Mall (NM) Overlay Standard pertaining to the street level retail requirement, where retail uses are required to occupy at least 60% of the gross floor area of the first floor and must extend along at least 60% of the first floor façade fronting on Nicollet Mall for the properties located at 401 Nicollet Mall and 47 4th St S.

Recommended Motion: The Department of Community Planning and Economic Development – Planning Division recommends that the City Planning Commission adopt the findings and approve the variance of the NM (Nicollet Mall) Overlay District standard pertaining to pertaining to the street level retail requirement, where retail uses are required to occupy at least 60% of the gross floor area of the first floor and must extend along at least 60% of the first floor façade fronting on Nicollet Mall on the properties located at 401 Nicollet Mall and 47 4th St S.

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby John » August 27th, 2012, 7:00 pm

I agree in some ways it would be nice to see a small amount of retail space fronting Nicollet Mall. Yet, for its modest size, and the conservative, no nonsense approach to its design, the architects pull it off nicely with a surprisingly attractive high quality building. And kudos for getting rid of that parking ramp which is a bigger blight to Nicollet Mall than City Center.

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby MNdible » August 27th, 2012, 7:14 pm

Interesting that they didn't figure out a way to vacate the alley opening up onto Nicollet Mall there. It's going to be a pretty big gap between this building and the Nicollet Residences, providing an unobstructed view into the loading dock.

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby MSPtoMKE » August 27th, 2012, 7:50 pm

swmpls wrote:I hope I'm reading this wrong, but it looks like they're applying for a variance to not have any first floor retail. That's a bummer.
I don't think you are reading it wrong, there is nothing at all that looks like retail in the floor plans that were just posted. On the other hand, there is retail in the parking ramp that it there currently, but it is vacant and ugly...
Last edited by MSPtoMKE on August 27th, 2012, 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby seanrichardryan » August 27th, 2012, 8:09 pm

I'm sure they will save 60% of the skyway level for retail.
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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Aville_37 » August 28th, 2012, 5:21 am

I thought the city had zoning requirements for any new development along Nicollet Mall to include street level retail? The city really needs to get off it's arse and start living up to its convictions if it really wants to see an improved Nicollet Mall and more vibrant street life. And I am not talking about more bars/restaurants - I am talking high profile, perhaps multilevel retail flagship stores facing Nicollet. With the city's skyway system, I am so surprised that there aren't any 2-level stores that open up to the street and skyway. How cool would that be?

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby min-chi-cbus » August 28th, 2012, 7:12 am

That's bull shit! Why would they bend over backwards for Xcel Energy? Or are they figuring that this area wouldn't be heavility traffic'd by people anyways? But this is also where they are talking about extending a promenade from downtown to the river, so there ought to be SOME reason for people to stroll down this way.

I don't get it whatsoever!

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Konante » August 28th, 2012, 8:11 am

min-chi-cbus wrote:That's bull shit!
That was and is my reaction, BUT, I'm willing to hold off on a final judgement until we have more information. Perhaps the plans are such that the bottom level will do a good job creating traffic/integrating into the streetscape. They must have some good reason for recommending approval of the variance request, right? We can only hope...

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Nathan » August 28th, 2012, 9:49 am

The remodel of their existing buildings first floor looks amazing from the street, and is definitely busy during business hours, and light and safe feeling after hours. I'm hoping they do a good job of keeping it look commercial and friendly. It can continue the pedestrian retail friendly appeal with out having to have retail. But I understand the complaints. It would be nice to have something there. The residences might have something on that block?

I also am confused why more skyway level stores aren't two stories. That has boggled my mind forever.

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Didier » August 28th, 2012, 10:35 am

If I had to guess, it's probably prohibitively expensive both in terms of extra square footage and in the additional check-out/security infrastructure that would be needed at the second entrance.

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby MNdible » August 28th, 2012, 11:30 am

Do we really think that the problem with downtown retail is that there aren't enough vacant retail spaces?


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