CPM North Loop Office Building - 419 Washington Ave N / 420 N 3rd St

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grant1simons2
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Re: CPM North Loop Office Building - 419 Washington Ave N / 420 N 3rd St

Postby grant1simons2 » January 12th, 2017, 12:24 am

I was more so directing this at beige

Archiapolis
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Re: CPM North Loop Office Building - 419 Washington Ave N / 420 N 3rd St

Postby Archiapolis » January 12th, 2017, 9:32 am

min-chi-cbus wrote:Wow, every time I open one of these files I'm blown away by how much effort and detail goes into each and every proposal. I can see developers and designers getting incredibly frustrated by NIMBYs after putting in all that work, only to get a response like "it'll block my view".
THIS x 1000.

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Re: CPM North Loop Office Building - 419 Washington Ave N / 420 N 3rd St

Postby Archiapolis » January 12th, 2017, 10:27 am

Sacrelicio wrote:
grant1simons2 wrote:Man it's a good thing development companies aren't the ones creating the files!

You know designers aren't going into design for the money, right? Like screw you if you think that architects are still happy if a project dies. Those projects are like flowers. We care and care for them and want them to be something beautiful. It sucks when it dies.
Everybody who does project based work experiences this. I experience this. Just part of the territory. No one felt sorry for the guy who designed Apple Maps, they just hated the product. Hell, even good products get scrapped or don't sell or fail in some other way.

I think the point is that the burden to produce something that people like is on the developer and designer and there's no point in feeling bad for them if the project doesn't work for the space.
I'm not sure how software development (or any other kind of development for that matter) works but do those disciplines get paid IN FULL for every second of work that they put into a project (whether it dies or not)? Often, the fee structure for an architecture firm is very much "at risk" and predicated on two things:

1. Entitlement (municipal approval)
2. Building Permit

To Grant's point, if you want to nonchalantly put aside the effort put forth by architects then that's fine but please understand that there are financial impacts to the firm. I've NEVER seen a principal shrug in a meeting and say, "We still got paid so who cares? Amirite?" I've also never seen anyone working on a project (all the way down to the lowliest intern) shrug off a killed project because it represents an emotional AND financial investment/risk by the firm - the emotional investment is just gone which, while taking some getting used to, can be overcome but the financial component is less easy to shrug off. Building projects which often have a design fee structure which is HEAVILY backloaded, isn't something to be cavalier about - when projects are killed over frivolous "concerns" and/or capricious reasoning, it is maddening and it has real impacts.

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Re: CPM North Loop Office Building - 419 Washington Ave N / 420 N 3rd St

Postby UrsusUrbanicus » January 12th, 2017, 10:31 am

grant1simons2 wrote:You know designers aren't going into design for the money, right?
And even if it were only about the money, enough repeat blockage means the companies won't be around to channel those paychecks to the designers. Granted, that's an extreme case -- not literally every project gets shut down by NIMBYs -- but we certainly must consider the damping effect it has on the overall market.

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Re: CPM North Loop Office Building - 419 Washington Ave N / 420 N 3rd St

Postby MNdible » January 12th, 2017, 11:34 am

I sort of blame architects racing to the bottom on fee for willing to be repeatedly bent over by developers. It's a terrible business model that exists in that part of the industry.

On the other hand, when you propose something that requires approvals above and beyond what's allowed in the base zoning, you're knowingly taking on risk and so shouldn't be surprised that there's occasionally opposition.

As noted previously, there are very very few instances where projects have been killed by neighborhood opposition, even when they've required significant upzoning.

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Re: CPM North Loop Office Building - 419 Washington Ave N / 420 N 3rd St

Postby beige_box » January 12th, 2017, 11:57 am

Archiapolis wrote: Often, the fee structure for an architecture firm is very much "at risk" and predicated on two things:

1. Entitlement (municipal approval)
2. Building Permit

To Grant's point, if you want to nonchalantly put aside the effort put forth by architects then that's fine but please understand that there are financial impacts to the firm.
That's interesting; I didn't know this. If worked for an architecture firm, I would still blame the developer in the event of not getting paid for work (or, as MNdible notes above, my highers-up at the firm), for establishing that kind of exploitative work relationship – not necessarily the NIMBYs (who are condemnable nonetheless, but one needn't invoke the oh-so-tragic plight of the architects to determine that). Either way, emotional investment in these types of projects seems amateurish, and/or only a thing if one truly fetishizes the aesthetics of inequality-solidifying contemporary development patterns.

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Re: CPM North Loop Office Building - 419 Washington Ave N / 420 N 3rd St

Postby Sacrelicio » January 12th, 2017, 12:04 pm

MNdible wrote:I sort of blame architects racing to the bottom on fee for willing to be repeatedly bent over by developers. It's a terrible business model that exists in that part of the industry.

On the other hand, when you propose something that requires approvals above and beyond what's allowed in the base zoning, you're knowingly taking on risk and so shouldn't be surprised that there's occasionally opposition.

As noted previously, there are very very few instances where projects have been killed by neighborhood opposition, even when they've required significant upzoning.
Agreed. I guess my point is that as a citizen and as someone who lives and works in the city of Minneapolis, I'm interested in what's best for the city and not how the designers or developers feel, especially when they are trying to bend the rules. That said, I'm also not all that concerned with many of the concerns of NIMBYs either, especially when it's stuff like free public parking or blocked views.

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Re: CPM North Loop Office Building - 419 Washington Ave N / 420 N 3rd St

Postby Archiapolis » January 12th, 2017, 5:04 pm

MNdible wrote:I sort of blame architects racing to the bottom on fee for willing to be repeatedly bent over by developers. It's a terrible business model that exists in that part of the industry.
If you know a way out of this model, then architects would be very glad to hear about the model that is profitable, keeps work flowing in and doesn't drive clients (developers) away.
MNdible wrote: On the other hand, when you propose something that requires approvals above and beyond what's allowed in the base zoning, you're knowingly taking on risk and so shouldn't be surprised that there's occasionally opposition.
To be clear, the developers are the ones driving the "something that requires approvals", not architects. Developer driven work is driven (almost) completely by pro forma and not an architect's whim to make a building taller/more massive. The "risk" is in the fact that in backloaded fee scenarios as I described above - the fees in the entitlement phase are very low.

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Re: CPM North Loop Office Building - 419 Washington Ave N / 420 N 3rd St

Postby Archiapolis » January 12th, 2017, 5:14 pm

beige_box wrote:
Archiapolis wrote: Often, the fee structure for an architecture firm is very much "at risk" and predicated on two things:

1. Entitlement (municipal approval)
2. Building Permit

To Grant's point, if you want to nonchalantly put aside the effort put forth by architects then that's fine but please understand that there are financial impacts to the firm.
That's interesting; I didn't know this. If worked for an architecture firm, I would still blame the developer in the event of not getting paid for work (or, as MNdible notes above, my highers-up at the firm), for establishing that kind of exploitative work relationship – not necessarily the NIMBYs (who are condemnable nonetheless, but one needn't invoke the oh-so-tragic plight of the architects to determine that). Either way, emotional investment in these types of projects seems amateurish, and/or only a thing if one truly fetishizes the aesthetics of inequality-solidifying contemporary development patterns.
It is a difficult situation. I've already described the "backloaded" way that most fee scenarios are structured for developer driven work. For the service provider (architecture firm), it is a catch 22. There are only so many developers in town and when they don't compensate the firm as they should, it is hard for the firm to go after the developer too aggressively for payment (or sue them) since they will just go to the next firm who, as was pointed out above, will accept worse terms.

I understand the structure of all of this and the risk involved. What is hard to swallow is when when capricious pushback forces expensive change which often makes the architecture worse or kills a project (and yes, I recognize that there are few examples of the latter but there are MANY of the former).

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Re: CPM North Loop Office Building - 419 Washington Ave N / 420 N 3rd St

Postby Archiapolis » January 12th, 2017, 5:33 pm

Sacrelicio wrote:
MNdible wrote:I sort of blame architects racing to the bottom on fee for willing to be repeatedly bent over by developers. It's a terrible business model that exists in that part of the industry.

On the other hand, when you propose something that requires approvals above and beyond what's allowed in the base zoning, you're knowingly taking on risk and so shouldn't be surprised that there's occasionally opposition.

As noted previously, there are very very few instances where projects have been killed by neighborhood opposition, even when they've required significant upzoning.
Agreed. I guess my point is that as a citizen and as someone who lives and works in the city of Minneapolis, I'm interested in what's best for the city and not how the designers or developers feel, especially when they are trying to bend the rules. That said, I'm also not all that concerned with many of the concerns of NIMBYs either, especially when it's stuff like free public parking or blocked views.
I'm a citizen. I live and work in Minneapolis. I'm interested in what is best for the city but "best for the city" is of course, subjective.

I don't know what you consider "best for the city" but in almost every case, the objections to projects are height, massing and the net outcome of those which is density. There have been books and articles written about density and the urban environment including excellent pieces written about density on streets.mn so I'm not going to launch into a thesis - there is a surfeit of evidence out there regarding why density is a good thing.

When "the rules" are antiquated, spuriously "defend" single family residences (in many if not most cases), further bolster segregation, and create conditions where demand is too high and thus affordability suffers then those rules should not only be bent, but broken. See the excellent writing by Alex Cecchini et al on these phenomena on the streets.mn site and the zoning thread.

I don't know what you mean when you say that you "...aren't concerned with...concerns of NIMBYs". If you mean that you aren't concerned because their opinions aren't binding then that's fine I guess but you should also know that NIMBYs can and do submit their views to City Council members and council members have the final vote on projects (Planning Commission>Z&P Committee [itself made up of members of CC]>City Council).

Affordability should absolutely be part of the discussion of a new project. Very few (if any) architects would argue against this idea. Affordability seems like a simple thing for the city to use as a "carrot" whenever these "rule-bending" projects present themselves. I can't speak to the way that the city has treated affordability in the past but I can say that I ABSOLUTELY wish that they would wield this carrot as it would quiet/silence one argument made by people with good intentions. However, affordability is driven by policy and architects have ZERO control over it.

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Re: CPM North Loop Office Building - 419 Washington Ave N / 420 N 3rd St

Postby MNdible » January 12th, 2017, 5:39 pm

Archiapolis wrote:If you know a way out of this model, then architects would be very glad to hear about the model that is profitable, keeps work flowing in and doesn't drive clients (developers) away.
Well, the way out would be for architects to agree that it's bad practice to give away a bunch of work for free on the front end with the hope that they'll get paid in the end. Other professions don't do this. Lawyers charge retainers before they start working.

Even other client types receiving architectural services don't expect that they should get that work for free -- I'm not sure what happened that made architects decide that developers didn't need to pay for the services they receive.

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Re: CPM North Loop Office Building - 419 Washington Ave N / 420 N 3rd St

Postby grant1simons2 » January 12th, 2017, 6:56 pm

Developers who own architecture firms outpricing the real architecture firms. Basically design+build caused this mess.

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Re: CPM North Loop Office Building - 419 Washington Ave N / 420 N 3rd St

Postby Tiller » January 12th, 2017, 6:59 pm

Sounds like unionization is needed; not sure how that would go over.

Edit: Ninja'd by Grant, though he also makes a good point. You'd need to bust some companies up too.

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Re: CPM North Loop Office Building - 419 Washington Ave N / 420 N 3rd St

Postby amiller92 » January 13th, 2017, 10:54 am

Sacrelicio wrote: Agreed. I guess my point is that as a citizen and as someone who lives and works in the city of Minneapolis, I'm interested in what's best for the city and not how the designers or developers feel, especially when they are trying to bend the rules.
The rules we're talking about here deserve a lot of bending.

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Re: CPM North Loop Office Building - 419 Washington Ave N / 420 N 3rd St

Postby tab » January 13th, 2017, 12:05 pm

Not to say the Developer - Architect relationship is perfect, but developers also invest their time first and get paid later. Sometimes developers on a project are paid years later than the architects. There is nothing to stop architects from opening a development branch of the business, aside from the risks/challenges inherent in development. Some architects have done exactly that, and had success.

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Re: CPM North Loop Office Building - 419 Washington Ave N / 420 N 3rd St

Postby RailBaronYarr » January 13th, 2017, 1:21 pm

grant1simons2 wrote:Developers who own architecture firms outpricing the real architecture firms. Basically design+build caused this mess.
While we're talking about architects' feelings... I highly doubt the architects at D+B firms would appreciate that depiction. Vertical integration of professional services isn't a bad thing. If I were a developer (or, say, a public entity looking for construction services, something I currently facilitate), I appreciate the option to work with a single firm that guarantees all phases of the work are integrated. That there's no markups on architectural work contracted out, and less risk involved. Should we hate on architecture firms who integrate building efficiency modeling into their list of services because, hey, there are energy firms out there that do that too?

I agree that architecture firms are dumb for allowing that pay structure. I'm not sure how it's particularly exploitative to employees - unless every employee is only paid by job rather than on salary. I'm not in disagreement that if the firm has to cut back on employment because of bone-headed decisions at the management level it sucks for the people who suffer at no fault of their own. That's pretty a pretty standard part of modern work, and certainly not in the top 20 things I'd try to regulate to make capitalism work better.

It's true that few projects have been blocked (recently). It's also true that there are many projects that never even see pencil hit paper due to the web of regulations we have. And that those many projects could be of sizes that don't require large firms that find integrating design & build to be worth their while, or large firms where you have management adding little value.

Anyway this whole thing is a sideshow to the CPM office project. If a mod could move the thread for further discussion...

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Re: CPM North Loop Office Building - 419 Washington Ave N / 420 N 3rd St

Postby twincitizen » April 5th, 2017, 1:56 pm

Back at Planning Commission for approval. If not appealed, this would be final: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/www/groups ... 196828.pdf (68 MB file)

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Re: CPM North Loop Office Building - 419 Washington Ave N / 420 N 3rd St

Postby Qhaberl » April 5th, 2017, 2:03 pm

Is the building all Spec offices?


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Re: CPM North Loop Office Building - 419 Washington Ave N / 420 N 3rd St

Postby Sacrelicio » April 5th, 2017, 2:08 pm

400 parking spaces? Still sounds like a lot. How much was in the original?

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Re: CPM North Loop Office Building - 419 Washington Ave N / 420 N 3rd St

Postby Silophant » April 5th, 2017, 2:16 pm

481 in the original proposal, 408 in this version. So, they converted 73 spaces into office amenity space. Seems like a good trade.


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