Xcel Energy HQ - 401 Nicollet

Downtown - North Loop - Mill District - Elliot Park - Loring Park
User avatar
FISHMANPET
IDS Center
Posts: 4355
Joined: June 6th, 2012, 2:19 pm
Location: Corcoran

Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby FISHMANPET » November 21st, 2014, 10:55 pm

I'm fairly certain we agree on this building, so I'm not really sure what you're trying to say. In a hypothetical question to preserve or demolish/severly alter this building, I'd say we should preserve it. I don't have any real thoughts one way or the other as to the aesthetic of it, but that's just my personal uneducated opinion so it doesn't really mean anything. I also think the building is in that dangerous age where, in addition to the problems above, it's also old enough to have lost the "new architecture" glean but not so old yet that it's a revered style. I bring up the Metropolitan Building not because I think it should be torn down but because it was also in that same age range where we were tired of it and it wasn't old enough

And to speak to Gateway renewal, I'm not ashamed or embarrassed of the buildings we built, I'm ashamed and embarrassed of the buildings we tore down.

exiled_antipodean
Landmark Center
Posts: 277
Joined: December 3rd, 2012, 8:20 am

Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby exiled_antipodean » November 22nd, 2014, 12:00 pm

That is the funny thing about the 414 Xcel building is that it looks terrible to work in with those narrow windows, but it meets the street well. In an era when a lot of buildings didn't meet the street that well, that's something. Compare with some of the buildings on the West Bank of the U at the same time.

User avatar
Nathan
Capella Tower
Posts: 3880
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 10:42 am

Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Nathan » November 22nd, 2014, 6:31 pm

exiled_antipodean wrote:That is the funny thing about the 414 Xcel building is that it looks terrible to work in with those narrow windows, but it meets the street well. In an era when a lot of buildings didn't meet the street that well, that's something. Compare with some of the buildings on the West Bank of the U at the same time.
Some people think that the repitition in the long skinny windows is what makes it look so wonderful and unique. It would be interesting to do a study and see if there is more Window space per wall on this building or say Retek on the Mall. Is the frequency of skinny windows enough to offset the fact that they are narrow?

Silophant
Moderator
Posts: 3900
Joined: June 20th, 2012, 4:33 pm
Location: The Gateway

Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Silophant » December 4th, 2014, 10:24 pm

Not news, but there was an article on the corporate intranet today that construction of 401 Nicollet is on hiatus until spring. As we figured, Opus wanted to get the footings in before the ground froze, but with that done, there's no particular reason to do anything else until it warms up.

HuskyGrad
Landmark Center
Posts: 262
Joined: May 13th, 2013, 8:11 pm

Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby HuskyGrad » December 10th, 2014, 11:25 am


twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 6200
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby twincitizen » December 10th, 2014, 12:05 pm

This building has no retail space whatsoever, correct? That's what I recall from the plans (which are no longer on the city's website since it was approved more than 2 years ago). Based on the staff report, which I just scanned, neither CPED staff nor the City Council batted an eye at this building getting a total variance from the requirement that 60% of the Nicollet Mall frontage to have retail. Then like a year later, they really stuck it to Centerpoint when they didn't want to add retail, eventually partially granting them a variance to include a smaller retail space. The result of that was that Centerpoint would no longer be able to fit as many employees in the building (and they claimed it made them a reluctant landlord).

I dunno. On one hand, it was totally hypocritical to allow Xcel to include ZERO retail, then demand that Centerpoint include retail space (albeit less than is actually required by code).

On the other hand, this 2-3 block area already has the vacant Renaissance Square retail space(s), plus the Nic on 5th retail space to fill. Perhaps the complete lack of retail in Xcel's two buildings on this block, plus the library block not having retail besides Dunn Bros., actually pushes future retail demand into the Opus/Ritz block and Nicollet Hotel block.

tl;dr - It's pretty weird that the city so easily granted Xcel a variance from the 60% retail frontage requirement. No pushback from staff, the planning commission, or anyone. Xcel most certainly did not meet the "unique circumstances" necessary to grant a variance. The City just kinda waved the magic wand on this one.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7709
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby mattaudio » December 10th, 2014, 12:19 pm

^so true.
I wish there was an actual way to ensure the retail frontage was actually used.... mandate that it is leased a certain percentage of the time. Would that depress rents for these storefronts and reduce the value of that square footage? Yes. But clearly the monolithic space consumers on the mall aren't pleased with the idea of retail storefronts to begin with. I wonder if they'd rather advertise unreasonably high rents knowing they'll likely not get tenants, compared to the "headache" of having to actively rent retail storefronts on the mall.

twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 6200
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby twincitizen » December 10th, 2014, 12:52 pm

Centerpoint pushing back sort of made sense because they own the building, correct? Part of their argument was that the city was forcing them to be an "unwilling landlord." In Xcel's case, won't Opus own the building and Xcel will lease from them? In that case, Xcel would just be the anchor tenant, while Opus handled the retail leasing. Like I said in my longer post above, it's not necessarily right or wrong that there's no retail in the Xcel building. It's just kind of weird that nobody questioned this...

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7709
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby mattaudio » December 10th, 2014, 12:55 pm

Regardless of who owns the building, most large corporate buildings have a contracted property management company. Even if they're the sole tenant.

Minneboy
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 662
Joined: January 15th, 2013, 1:18 pm

Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Minneboy » December 10th, 2014, 5:13 pm

IF these owners truly valued their downtown and the location that they hold, with all the rent they receive from their primary tenants one would think they could steeply discount or dismiss any rents to reliably insured ground floor retail tenants. It only serves to make their building stronger and safer in the long term.

Silophant
Moderator
Posts: 3900
Joined: June 20th, 2012, 4:33 pm
Location: The Gateway

Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Silophant » January 21st, 2015, 6:30 pm

Interesting: Xcel is building a new regional HQ for the SPS portion of the company (Texas panhandle and eastern New Mexico) in Amarillo. It's the same general situation as here, with Opus developing the building, and Xcel having a long-term lease instead of owning it outright. It even looks pretty similar to 401 Nicollet, albeit shrunk down to four stories (because SPS is smaller than NSP) and stuck on top of a full-block parking ramp (because it's Amarillo).

However, the parking ramp is going to have an unspecified number of retail spots. While it's no doubt easier to convince a developer to carve retail out of a parking ramp than out of the office space, I'm still very disappointed in Minneapolis for apparently not even trying.

User avatar
Nick
Capella Tower
Posts: 2709
Joined: May 30th, 2012, 9:33 pm
Location: Loring Park, Minneapolis

Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Nick » January 21st, 2015, 6:54 pm

Man, check out the stunning picture of Amarillo on its Wikipedia page:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... wntown.jpg

Tyler
Foshay Tower
Posts: 883
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 10:10 am

Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Tyler » January 21st, 2015, 8:20 pm

Amarillo is the shittiest town I've ever been to. Its a freeway with a bunch of Boot Barns lining it.
Towns!

Didier
Capella Tower
Posts: 2391
Joined: June 3rd, 2012, 10:11 am
Location: MSP

Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Didier » January 21st, 2015, 8:24 pm

My fourth grade social studies teacher was from there, and she had a thick accent.

User avatar
Nick
Capella Tower
Posts: 2709
Joined: May 30th, 2012, 9:33 pm
Location: Loring Park, Minneapolis

Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Nick » January 21st, 2015, 9:09 pm

Sorta funny how similar the language in the article is to articles you'll see about downtown Minneapolis:
“I think it’s very encouraging,” he said. “It’s a private company, and obviously, the company is committed to downtown and to Amarillo. Amarillo went, decades ago, through a situation where companies moved their headquarters or big offices out of downtown, or out of Amarillo, and hopefully, this is a reversal of that trend.”
“The development builds on the tremendous renewal already underway in downtown Amarillo,” the announcement said. “Plans for a new convention hotel and parking garage along with the city’s new multipurpose event entertainment venue gained momentum just as the company began considering its options once the lease for its current downtown location expires.”
“The Xcel building will certainly contribute to that synergy,” said Melissa Dailey, executive director of Downtown Amarillo Inc. “Private investment on this scale is why you have the catalyst project.”
Ditto for the comments.

Silophant
Moderator
Posts: 3900
Joined: June 20th, 2012, 4:33 pm
Location: The Gateway

Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Silophant » January 21st, 2015, 9:21 pm

Yeah, it was good to see that the "Xcel"<->"Excel" issue isn't just a Minnesota thing.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7709
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby mattaudio » January 22nd, 2015, 9:48 am

I never got to go to Amarillo when I worked at Xcel for a summer. #missedopportunity

Gman12
Nicollet Mall
Posts: 122
Joined: May 16th, 2013, 12:35 pm
Location: Capital of the North

Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Gman12 » January 22nd, 2015, 11:17 am

Amarillo is a hell hole and a pain in the ass to get to with no direct flights from MSP. Be glad if you are never forced to go there.

Silophant
Moderator
Posts: 3900
Joined: June 20th, 2012, 4:33 pm
Location: The Gateway

Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Silophant » January 22nd, 2015, 12:28 pm

Yep. I haven't had to go yet, but my coworkers that have have never had a positive thing to say about the experience.

User avatar
Nathan
Capella Tower
Posts: 3880
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 10:42 am

Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Nathan » January 22nd, 2015, 2:23 pm

Cool stuff going on here.


Return to “Minneapolis - Downtown”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 2 guests