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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Nathan
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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby Nathan » June 30th, 2016, 2:29 pm

Which other building would you prefer, there are entire books of well preserved well occupied buildings... the old post office? The old library... the old Depot... I could go on. The arguments you are making are exactly what they made during the urban renewal process. That they aren't current with what we know for architectural innovation, or modern urban planning, they seem inefficient, not in style.

I love that not having all architectural styles in our city, and possibly never having them, is some how an excuse to get rid of what we do have, to you. Great logic.

I also don't think those buildings are a "mistake". I think they're well designed buildings and serve their purpose well. They were from an era of optimism just like we're in now. The fact that they don't have perfect 2016 urban qualities is the tiniest mistake that I'm totally willing to forgive for the character, the variety and the vibrance they give our city's streetscape.

Filling the surface lots in the area would do a hell of a lot more to make walking in the area better than tear these down for some probably generic opus tower or something.

amiller92
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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby amiller92 » June 30th, 2016, 2:47 pm

It's funny that you're acting like I'm arguing against preserving these buildings, or arguing that they aren't worthy of preserving in some way, because I'm not. I think you're right that they both speak to a specific time and that it's not hard to envision a way to both keep that memory and make better use of the land they occupy.

But since you bring up well preserved buildings, can we address how they got that way? Because the answer is almost always either (1) continual use (that wasn't interrupted by planners' bulldozers) or (2) neglect. Almost never was it because a government process was used to protect them from being replaced by something new. The first lesson of the urban renewal era is not to interrupt those processes. But we also should not overreact and treat our cities as though they are museum.

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby EOst » June 30th, 2016, 2:53 pm

amiller92 wrote: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.
The Gateway redevelopment happened precisely because of a design argument, because the city wanted to replace areas of mixed uses with single-use buildings.
amiller92 wrote:And it would make a great base for a tower built above it ;)
I absolutely agree. ;)

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Nathan
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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby Nathan » June 30th, 2016, 2:55 pm

I was responding to what you said, that's why is confusing to you, you say you're technically for leaving the buildings but then argue against preservation.

I'm not talking about buildings that are well preserved now. I'm talking about the slew of buildings that were actually in really good shape during gateway process that are now gone. We'd have one hell of an historic district if they were still here. Not all those buildings were slums. And they could have been a huge asset to the city if that were a government preserved area.

amiller92
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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby amiller92 » June 30th, 2016, 4:15 pm

Nathan wrote: And they could have been a huge asset to the city if that were a government preserved area.
No, they could have been a huge asset if that wasn't an area torn down by the government. Regulating that they remaining as they were may have helped, or may have hurt.
you say you're technically for leaving the buildings but then argue against preservation.
I've argued against statements in favor of preservation that I think are much too broad.

All of which is a little silly, as these are government-owned buildings that don't need historical preservation rules to be preserved, if that's what we want to do.

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 1st, 2016, 12:55 pm

Bringing the discussion back to Vos' criticism of leaving money on the table.. It may or may not be obvious to everyone, but getting rid of 1,300 parking spaces in downtown may be something that has a >$0 value to the city. If it's super likely that some private parking company is just going to snatch up some surface lot and build a ramp (and nothing else) anyway, then sure sell this ramp. Otherwise, this is one of the few opportunities the city has to do some social engineering (yes! I said it!).

acs
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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby acs » July 1st, 2016, 1:18 pm

New Standalone ramps have been banned for a while now, and any new mixed use building would have to adhere to the downtown parking maximum. If you take 1,300 parking stalls off line they aren't coming back.

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby Silophant » July 1st, 2016, 1:33 pm

That's an even better reason to do it, then.

acs
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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby acs » July 1st, 2016, 2:19 pm

Exactly. If you really want to play social engineer how is this not the best option?

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Anondson
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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby Anondson » July 1st, 2016, 2:31 pm

What has been the parking ramp, surface lot vacancy rate? There must be some calculations done like office vacancy and apartment vacancy.

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby twincitizen » July 1st, 2016, 3:28 pm

The ramp being too financially beneficial to the city is probably the strongest argument against this site. All of the other points in favor of this project are good (consolidate workforce, sell off Fire Station, City of Lakes & PSC buildings for repurposing/redevelopment). I think Vos' criticism is probably sound. There has to be another site nearby that makes more financial sense for the city than ending this revenue stream.

RBY's point of the social/environmental benefit is well taken. It probably would have a small effect on downtown's mode share. But removing 1,300 parking spaces doesn't produce the exact result of removing 1,300 cars coming in and out of downtown. Demand will mostly shift to other existing private and government-owned ramps nearby, pushing them closer to 100% occupancy, hopefully/eventually increasing prices, etc. If all nearby parking ramps (the tubular one, Gateway, etc.) were all city-owned, then I'd probably feel more comfortable tearing down this one, as many parking contracts would shift to other city-owned ramps, increasing occupancy & pushing up rates, etc. Under that make-believe scenario, it could be close to a wash for the city financially. But as it stands in reality, most of the nearby ramps are private, so the parking revenue to the city will be completely lost to the for-profit owners of Gateway Ramp, etc.

mnlife
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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby mnlife » July 1st, 2016, 5:26 pm

Demolishing a profitable parking structure makes no sense. There are plenty of vacant lots downtown available to build on.

acs
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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby acs » July 1st, 2016, 5:33 pm

And the city owns none of them.

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby seanrichardryan » July 2nd, 2016, 7:35 am

The ramp was built in 1974. Could it be nearing the end of it's useful life? What would renovation cost to remain viable as a parking ramp?
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby seanrichardryan » July 2nd, 2016, 7:47 am

Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

sushisimo
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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby sushisimo » July 2nd, 2016, 3:30 pm

The 3rd story is intriguing.
Image

PhilmerPhil
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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby PhilmerPhil » July 2nd, 2016, 8:35 pm

Nice catch!

twincitizen
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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby twincitizen » August 24th, 2016, 7:46 am

http://www.minneapolismn.gov/www/groups ... 185513.pdf
RFP for pre-design and report containing the JLL study

min-chi-cbus
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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby min-chi-cbus » August 24th, 2016, 9:02 am

2018 construction start planned, 2020 finish.

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Re: City of Minneapolis Offices Consolidation

Postby martykoessel » September 1st, 2016, 3:34 pm

I keep a mental folder of the most awful buildings in downtown Minneapolis. I'm thinking of those buildings that go beyond unfortunate (City Center, Centre Village, the Metro Apartments at 90 South Ninth) and enter the realm of repellent, the ones that pedestrians cross a street to avoid. These eyesores are so bad that if someone were to replace one with a barren grass lot, the result would be an aesthetic improvement.

My folder tends toward brutal concrete structures with no street presence, running from the one-story ex-Finance and Commerce Building on South 7th Street near HCMC and the morgue across from US Bank Stadium to half- and full-block structures like the Gateway Ramp, the Energy Center and Ramp, and, relevant to this thread, the Government Center Ramp.

Despite my personal feelings, I'd hate to see the Government Center Ramp go earlier than makes financial sense. The City always has more needs than can be addressed by its budget and shouldn't be tearing down revenue-generating buildings unless justified by a thorough cost-benefit analysis.

That said, I hope the evaluation that results from the City's RFP process concludes that this warthog of a parking ramp should go. Fingers crossed.


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