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acs
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby acs » February 18th, 2015, 4:56 pm

The city released a spreadsheet comparing the four proposals they received, including the development cost. The United proposal will cost about $161 million which is higher than all but the Duval proposal, which would have cost $290 million.

http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/b ... er-to.html

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Nathan
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby Nathan » February 18th, 2015, 5:18 pm

Interesting that they have listed the accompanying hotel brands. If four seasons really was working with Duval, they could still be working on something, and graves and doran could totally still do something too...

grant1simons2
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby grant1simons2 » February 18th, 2015, 5:41 pm

The chart that they put there really sorts things out. I think this will be a good project to have. Not absolutely stunning or changing like the Duval project. Also, why would Duval be lying about having the four seasons in play? There has been obvious interest in Minneapolis by the Four Seasons as of late. If you don't believe me you can e-mail them yourselves. Duval maybe didn't have all the finances lined up right away, but that doesn't make him an utter phony like June or Ryan.

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Munch'n
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby Munch'n » February 18th, 2015, 6:29 pm

Yes there is a lot of Hotel Interest in Minneapolis, and only getting better :D
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TroyGBiv
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby TroyGBiv » February 18th, 2015, 9:21 pm

The Four Seasons have been a part of condo/apartment projects in Denver and Atlanta - if they were a part of Duval's project - I would think that they would still be open to collaborating with them on another location. Their other recent projects are fairly iconic (or at least flag-shippy) so this project would be the kind of project that they would be interested in.

TroyGBiv
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby TroyGBiv » February 18th, 2015, 9:22 pm

My word not found was "iconic"! That is hilarious!

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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby TroyGBiv » February 18th, 2015, 9:23 pm

i-c-o-n-i-c...

TroyGBiv
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby TroyGBiv » February 18th, 2015, 9:24 pm

OH MY GOD! Someone tell Jacob Frey! I-c-o-n-i-c should not have been used in the RFP!

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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby Silophant » February 18th, 2015, 10:16 pm

TroyGBiv wrote:The Four Seasons have been a part of condo/apartment projects in Denver and Atlanta - if they were a part of Duval's project - I would think that they would still be open to collaborating with them on another location.
I've been saying basically this since the first Four Seasons rumor. Hotels (or destination department stores) are aiming for a submarket, not a sub-sub-sub-market. They're saying "We'd do well in Downtown Minneapolis", not "We'd do well at the corner of Nicollet and Washington, and if we can't be there, we're going to write off the whole city."

If Duval's proposal was the real deal, and not just an attention-getter, it'll do just as well on one of the various other half-block or larger lots in downtown, if not better due to better skyway connections, better proximity to the downtown center of gravity, and no requirement to accommodate the streetcar. (Not that it really did.)

TroyGBiv
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby TroyGBiv » February 19th, 2015, 1:53 am

I could see them liking the half block shared with the Young Quinlan building. That area has more of the types of "neighbors" that the Four Seasons would like... Nearer to the Convention Center, Orchestra Hall, Peavey Plaza, The W/Foshay, Marquette Ave and that built out section of the Nicollet Mall.

bapster2006
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby bapster2006 » February 19th, 2015, 6:00 am

StarTribune editorial board opinion piece:

http://m.startribune.com/opinion/editor ... n=/opinion

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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby Silophant » February 19th, 2015, 8:41 am

TroyGBiv wrote:I could see them liking the half block shared with the Young Quinlan building. That area has more of the types of "neighbors" that the Four Seasons would like... Nearer to the Convention Center, Orchestra Hall, Peavey Plaza, The W/Foshay, Marquette Ave and that built out section of the Nicollet Mall.
That would be my #1 location, if they called and asked my opinion.

min-chi-cbus
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby min-chi-cbus » February 19th, 2015, 9:05 am

Silophant wrote:
That would be my #1 location, if they called and asked my opinion.
I think my #1 spot downtown is the Ritz Block, since it's about a block to the entire light rail network and is still near the core of the CBD. I mentioned this in another thread but the Ritz Block screams "Develop me!". Alas, they both do.

Archiapolis
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby Archiapolis » February 21st, 2015, 3:05 pm

TTT wrote:This probably sounds negative, but with a hand drawn sketch that won the proposal: get ready for no lighting scheme, no offset interestingly stacked towers, and it definitely won't be "*WORD NOT FOUND*".

If a developer doesn't have their feet held to the fire they'll go as cheap as possible. While the Pohlad's have billions, they have billions for a reason... the same reason why there is no talent on their baseball team.
Thank you for posting this. Developers tend to be wealthy for a reason - primarily, they don't spend much of their own money and they don't spend unnecessarily. There is merit in parsing the word "unnecessarily."

The city has laid out guidelines for materials and developers are not going to go above and beyond what is necessary for approval. Sadly, the state of development-driven architecture has a MAJOR emphasis on the former (development) and not the latter (architecture) and the developers AND the city need to be held accountable.

I guess “we” have to decide as a city if “we” want a better class of architecture. Do “we” value architecture enough to demand better in “developer-driven” housing? This assumes that “demanding better” doesn’t stifle development. I’m sure there are others on this board that can elucidate how other cities demand better “quality” without creating a difficult business environment for development - I certainly don’t have the answer. It seems that Portland always comes up as a shangri-la (in almost every measurable) and then Seattle, then Denver. I’m not sure how much truth there is to the idea that the aforementioned cities do multi-family development better than we do but I’m guessing there are opinions in this forum.

The recent Strib article is of particular interest regarding the notion of “holding developers feet to the fire” and the city’s role in development. The Strib article (and indeed many of the comments on this board) challenge the “sameness” of multi-family, developer driven projects. The massing is no mystery - you need about 120’ of width to get two rows of double-loaded parking in Minneapolis, you go as long as the lot/setbacks will allow. If you need more parking to meet the ratio of the units you are shooting for and the city’s 1:1 parking requirement, then you have to consume some space at grade for more parking. The massing above the podium is governed by lot/setbacks and the most efficient way to get as many units as the developer can possibly get on a particular site given the construction method/building code/height. There are only so many shapes/massings that you can do to achieve maximum efficiency. As soon as you start messing with massing to create “interest”, you are cutting into that efficiency and you are going away from the “tried and true” maxim that right angles are easy (cheap) to build (see almost every multi-family project around town).

The Brunsfield is relevant to this idea of “holding developers feet to the fire.” Developers generally are going to give VERY little consideration to decreasing rentable efficiency for the sake of architecture, this is what makes The Brunsfield a fascinating study - they break the “maximum efficiency” rule in several ways and then clad their building in a very expensive material.

The Brunsfield is clad in a rain screen metal panel that is quite expensive (as claddings go). I know a lot about this panel and (at the time) it was in the $26-34 per sf range. For comparison, brick (depending on size, and makeup) was in the $16-25 range.

Everybody seems to love the Brunsfield. JSA is a good firm that does really nice work and the Brunsfield is a good example. I have some criticisms which I voiced on the Brunsfield thread (if anyone is interested). The rumor is that the housing lease up didn’t go as the developers had hoped - I don’t know the truth and I’d be interested to hear any insider info; maybe it’s not true. The retail space is also not currently leased (to my knowledge).

There are implications here that I think are very interesting…did the lease up go poorly/slowly because the rents were too high (relative to the competition in the North Loop and downtown market)? Were the rents too high because the cost of the building was high (-er than the nearby competition) and the rents needed to cover the additional cost? Is the location too close to the outer “edge” of the North Loop? In my earlier writing about the Brunsfield, I make note of the fact that the developer/architect carved out valuable ground level square footage to create amenity space - this is definitely out of the ordinary and giving up that leasable space creates more pressure on the units to deliver the rents needed. I also mention that creating a “double-height” space in the retail creates even more added pressure because it deletes another large chunk of rentable space, again adding pressure on the unit rents.

People seem to love The Brunsfield and hold it up as an ideal that should be strived for in terms of “development-driven” multi-family architecture and I don’t disagree. However, you will find few (if any) developers that would be so willing to “sacrifice” leasable space and to clad their building in a very expensive material. The fact is, most developers see architects as a necessary evil and very few who strive to win architecture awards. I’m not talking about Finance & Commerce awards and/or Business Journal awards (awards the laud “the deal” versus the built form), I’m talking about architecture awards. I wonder if the “out of town developer” on The Brunsfield brought values to this site/project that are not shared by the “in town developers” and thus, the economic viability of the project suffered as a result DESPITE the architectural merit. I’m excited to think that developers exist who DO value architecture and are willing to make sacrifices but in my experience this is the outlier, not the norm.

I don’t want to criticize developers only for their lack of desire to create good architecture. The city should also be held accountable. Metal panel typically gets short shrift with the city which I find to be ludicrous. Given the example above (a ~ $30/sf metal panel versus a ~$21/sf brick), materials matter and one material is not equal to another just because they have the same chemical makeup. Corrugated metal panel does not equal machined rain screen metal panel. Some brick is ugly and cheaply manufactured, some brick is beautiful and robust. The city also prescribes some massing requirements (“breaks” in a facade, etc) that further govern the shape of buildings. Monolithic shapes (like The Brunsfield), are not the norm because of this mandate for “breaks”; I understand the spirit of the rule because I think there are bad examples (the 3rd St side of Third North comes to mind) of continuous, unbroken planes that are just brutal but in many cases, we are getting what we have because deviation from the rules is difficult/time-consuming/expensive in the entitlement process.

bapster2006
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby bapster2006 » March 23rd, 2015, 9:27 am

United offers $10 Million for the block:

http://m.bizjournals.com/twincities/blo ... offer.html

min-chi-cbus
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby min-chi-cbus » March 23rd, 2015, 10:09 am

One of my close friends is part of the engineering team that was assigned to work on this building. I asked him about the supposed hi-tech lighting scheme and he only acknowledged that he had heard about it, but so far he and their team does not have any further insight at the moment. He may be a good resource for any engineering-related questions though (esp. mechanical engineering).

Unity77
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby Unity77 » March 23rd, 2015, 3:33 pm

I see my previous post was deleted about the city wanting a quality project for this site. So this site doesn't tolerate one being critical of proposals and / or the city?

grant1simons2
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby grant1simons2 » March 23rd, 2015, 3:35 pm

Because it's a broken record if you look at the past maybe 5-8 pages.

Unity77
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby Unity77 » March 23rd, 2015, 3:37 pm

grant1simons2 wrote:Because it's a broken record if you look at the past maybe 5-8 pages.
:oops: Hah. Sorry, but I don't spend that much time here.

twincitizen
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby twincitizen » March 23rd, 2015, 5:21 pm

Well that's not true, you've been posting the same thing in this thread since October (page 3) and every few pages since.

Moving on...

That's a pretty high purchase price, especially considering all of the quasi-public extras they have to include for "free" (huge plaza, streetcar accommodations, etc.)

Anyone know from the RFP or from United's agreement if they are also on the hook to pay for skyway connection (later of course, when the library actually connects to something)


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