City of Minneapolis Office Building - 501 4th Ave S - 11 stories / 171'

Downtown - North Loop - Mill District - Elliot Park - Loring Park
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Anondson
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City of Minneapolis Office Building - 501 4th Ave S - 11 stories / 171'

Postby Anondson » June 29th, 2016, 6:21 pm

The city is looking at consolidating office space spread around in at least three buildings the city owns, plus leases space in three more buildings, all into property currently filled with a 1,300 space parking ramp owned by the city.

Looks like in the consolidation into a new 250,000 sq ft office, the city is thinking it would partly pay for the new office by selling the three buildings it currently owns. So says this quote from a Finance and Commerce article
If the plan moves forward, the city would sell three buildings to allow for private redevelopment and vacate three others the city leases.
http://finance-commerce.com/2016/06/min ... wn-effort/

Construction is said to not start until after the (Big Game) in 2018.

I'm out of the loop on this, which are the three buildings the city would put into private ownership? Are any of these good candidates for demolition and redevelopment?

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby MN Fats » June 29th, 2016, 9:38 pm

The new structure would allow the agency to move its nearly 1,500 employees into three city-owned properties. The other two are City Hall and the First Precinct building.

The city would sell the other three downtown buildings it owns — Fire Station No. 1, the Public Service Center and the City of Lakes Building, which make up about 124,000 square feet of usable square feet combined. Minneapolis also rents more than 73,000 square feet at the nearby Flour Exchange Building, the Towle Building and the Crown Roller Mill building.
Made a quick map of said buildings.

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby HiawathaGuy » June 30th, 2016, 7:34 am

Does Minneapolis' new-office math hold up?
http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/n ... lysis.html
*LOCKED*

Article questioning the numbers...

The city of Minneapolis has the right idea for consolidating city operations into a new downtown municipal building, but it has picked the wrong site, said Jim Vos, principal at real estate consulting firm Cresa Minneapolis.

The concept is a good one, but the parking ramp site is too valuable, Vos said.

At 1,300 stalls, the city can make $200 per space, per month, or about $3 million a year in revenue for the ramp. On the open market, based on recent sales values of about $35,000 per stall, the 415 Fifth St. ramp is worth about $40 million.

“I bet we have some obsolete buildings that we could take out of commission for a lot less than $40 million,” Vos said.

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby twincitizen » June 30th, 2016, 7:42 am

I think that's probably a fair take. Also conflicting my feelings on this - the city probably missed out on several golden opportunities to buy an existing building when the market was soft a few years ago. Tougher to do that now...though new construction is still even more expensive.

Selling off the City of Lakes & Public Service Center properties (for demo and redevelopment) and Fire Station #1 (for re-purposing and surrounding development) are all very good ideas, and would hopefully go a long way to making the numbers work. It's the other two ideas - demoing the profitable parking ramp, and building new office space, that give me pause. If the parking ramp was less profitable, or was nearing the end of its life, I might feel differently, but neither of those things are true.

Is there really not an existing office building nearby that the city could purchase?

Also, Point of Clarification: is the parking ramp site also intended to house a new Fire Station #1? Separate structure? Somehow incorporated into the office building?

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby Silophant » June 30th, 2016, 8:24 am

It seems to me that the fire station would be incorporated into the building. Which I've never seen before, but I guess there's no reason not to. Station #1 as of right now is pretty much just a living area and some extra-large garage bays, which should be fairly easy to integrate into a new building design.

As far as other sites go... Seems like a the primary desires are to be in one contiguous space, and to not be too far (via skyway/tunnel) from City Hall. Unless USBank Plaza has several vacant floors, I don't see many other options. Could tear down and rebuild on the Public Service Center site, but what do you do with the employees while that's happening.

Maybe Hennepin County could be convinced that they don't really need the enclosed garage on the east half of the jail block, and they could build there? That's probably a stretch, though it would be great to dump that ped-unfriendly hulk/ screen that side of the building.

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby seanrichardryan » June 30th, 2016, 8:30 am

To throw a wrench in these efficiency/ cost scenarios: the City of Lakes Building and the Public Service Center are two important modernist buildings downtown deserving of restoration/ renovation. City of Lakes could easily expand with a thoughtful addition. Perhaps Qwest would sell their dinky parking ramp for redevelopment?
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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby twincitizen » June 30th, 2016, 8:41 am

Counterpoint: both buildings have terrible street frontage (~2.5 block faces) and are fairly underwhelming uses of the land they sit on, not to mention the hard-to-redevelop surface parking lot between them.

I could maybe get behind an architectural argument for keeping the PSC around (though I'd remove this marble protrusion), but not City of Lakes building...it does absolutely nothing for me.

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby EOst » June 30th, 2016, 8:50 am

Agreed that at least the Public Service Center should be saved. But I don't know if I'd mourn the Fire Station, even at its age. Is any of the brickwork left underneath the stucco? The arches would have been lovely if they'd survived.

Image

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby mattaudio » June 30th, 2016, 8:54 am

I could see an argument for preserving one, or part of one, but not both. Those buildings have awful street presence.

Didn't Hennepin County buy the 701 Building in all its teal and pink glory a number of years ago? Do they occupy the entire building, or rent out a bunch of it? Seems like it would be ideal for Mpls to get into that building on a few floors.

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby seanrichardryan » June 30th, 2016, 12:14 pm

Would we actually expect a new office building on the site to have better street presence? Especially with a fire station and the more-than-likely short-term permits dept. contractor parking on it's first floor.
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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby seanrichardryan » June 30th, 2016, 12:16 pm

I'd also argue the current City of Lakes actually generates considerable ped traffic and the pocket green space is a nice respite.
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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby mattaudio » June 30th, 2016, 12:17 pm

Personally I'm a fan of the free parking in the interior of the block. Really a great free parking lot.

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby Nathan » June 30th, 2016, 12:56 pm

twincitizen wrote:Counterpoint: both buildings have terrible street frontage (~2.5 block faces) and are fairly underwhelming uses of the land they sit on, not to mention the hard-to-redevelop surface parking lot between them.

I could maybe get behind an architectural argument for keeping the PSC around (though I'd remove this marble protrusion), but not City of Lakes building...it does absolutely nothing for me.
These modernist buildings can easily and respectfully be made street friendly. I understand your concern but the format of the buildings is why they're historic. They were made in a different era for different purposes that what you like, but that doesn't mean it's not valuable city history.

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby amiller92 » June 30th, 2016, 1:24 pm

seanrichardryan wrote:I'd also argue the current City of Lakes actually generates considerable ped traffic
Really? I went in once (to file a homestead application that was promptly lost by the city) and saw literally no other humans.

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby amiller92 » June 30th, 2016, 1:28 pm

Nathan wrote:These modernist buildings can easily and respectfully be made street friendly. I understand your concern but the format of the buildings is why they're historic. They were made in a different era for different purposes that what you like, but that doesn't mean it's not valuable city history.
Please tell me you did not just imply that we have to preserve our mistakes because they're part of our history.

That said, I don't think these two buildings are really part of the mistakes of our past and wouldn't mind if they were "preserved" via modification and expansion.

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby Nathan » June 30th, 2016, 1:34 pm

The metropolitan building and gateway area were a mistake of the late 1800s in the 1950s. are you trying to tell me that what we preceive as a mistake in our current reality is all knowing? That you know without a doubt that future Minneapolis and Minnesota residents won't value mid century architecture as an historic asset that the people of the 20teens fucked up? It's not about what we want it's about telling history and what resulted and having a complete historic roster of buildings.

*rant not aimed at anyone, I should say.

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby FISHMANPET » June 30th, 2016, 2:05 pm

It feels like arguments against this are the same kind of arguments that were made against the Met in the 1960s. It's easy to look back 100 years and see what worked and what didn't, it's much harder to look back 0-50 years and see what's worked and what hasn't.

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby EOst » June 30th, 2016, 2:05 pm

The City of Lakes building is the perfect distillation of the Jetsons future that 1957 Minneapolis thought it would create through the Gateway project: gemlike, clean, and still. It's an important part of the city's history.

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby amiller92 » June 30th, 2016, 2:17 pm

Nathan wrote:The metropolitan building and gateway area were a mistake of the late 1800s in the 1950s.
I don't think anyone thought that at the time. I think people thought those buildings were run down, in ill repair and attracting a "undesirable" clientele. I don't think anyone thought they were poorly designed or ill-suited to their intended purpose.

Also, we need a Godwin's law for mentioning the Metropolitan building in all preservation discussions. It almost literally never adds anything.
are you trying to tell me that what we preceive as a mistake in our current reality is all knowing?
I'm trying to tell you that the fact that we currently think something is a mistake is not a reason to preserve it as an example of that mistake. Perhaps you did not mean to imply that it was.
it's about ... and having a complete historic roster of buildings.
We will never have that.

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby amiller92 » June 30th, 2016, 2:19 pm

EOst wrote:The City of Lakes building is the perfect distillation of the Jetsons future that 1957 Minneapolis thought it would create through the Gateway project: gemlike, clean, and still. It's an important part of the city's history.
And it would make a great base for a tower built above it ;)


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