Westminster Church

Downtown - North Loop - Mill District - Elliot Park - Loring Park
MNdible
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby MNdible » September 30th, 2012, 9:36 pm

I don't think that the rendering should be taken to literally suggest that they're planning a parking lot.

My sense is that they're intentionally being non-committal, but I wouldn't be surprised if we still saw a high-rise affordable housing project on the site, along with a number of active community functions. If so, I'd say that's an improvement over what's currently there -- an office building that to my eyes has appeared to be a non-entity on the Mall.

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Re: Westminster Church

Postby John » September 30th, 2012, 9:42 pm

I guess I'm a little confused by the"rendering" as there is no model of any proposal on the 1/2 block just south of the church. There is nothing that indicates whether it will be a building, parking lot, landscaped plaza, or combination thereof. All they show is a model of the existing church. I know they plan to demolish the office building along Nicollet Mall and the white apartment building behind it. However, they did hire architect James Dayton to create some conceptual ideas for the half block. I don't recall him to be involved in landscape architecture, so I assume they are planning to build something on at least part of this site.

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Re: Westminster Church

Postby min-chi-cbus » October 1st, 2012, 8:18 am

MNdible wrote:I don't think that the rendering should be taken to literally suggest that they're planning a parking lot.

My sense is that they're intentionally being non-committal, but I wouldn't be surprised if we still saw a high-rise affordable housing project on the site, along with a number of active community functions. If so, I'd say that's an improvement over what's currently there -- an office building that to my eyes has appeared to be a non-entity on the Mall.
Mine as well, especially after the onslaught of comments here about a "tower" or residential/commercial portion to this project TBD. I was thinking the parking lot was just a placeholder until those plans were more concrete (pun intended).

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Re: Westminster Church

Postby woofner » October 1st, 2012, 9:06 am

As long as rumors are the only basis for believing the Church is considering any active uses there, I will be skeptical. Even if the rumors are true, ask Juan Fernando de Magellan if it's easy to build a high-rise residential building, and then consider whether a bunch of admittedly very wealthy amateurs will have any luck at it.

I think the fact that four of the uses they're considering for the parcels include the word 'space', and the fifth is 'access', indicates that this will be a landscaped parking lot. Maybe the parking lot will be a nominal placeholder for some fantasy nursing home in the sky, but parking lot will be the reality for many years.
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby Unity77 » October 1st, 2012, 9:23 am

Things just keep getting worse for downtown MPLS.

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Re: Westminster Church

Postby MNdible » October 1st, 2012, 9:37 am

Ah, but Senor Magellan needed to pay for the land, and he needed to turn a profit, and he didn't have access to a pile of grants, forgivable loans, and tax credits available for low-income/senior housing. He also didn't have a congregation of wealthy blue-bloods who were feeling guilty about having knocked down an affordable housing project. The economics of this thing are completely different.

My guess, and this is pure speculation based not on rumors but just a reading of the reported facts, is that the sale back to the church from Presbyterian Homes was just a shell game in the financing of this deal, and that they and Mortenson will be very much involved in whatever goes forward. So now it's a bunch of wealthy professionals.

BTW, I believe that this site is within the downtown parking overlay district, which would limit any accessory parking lot to 20 spaces.

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Re: Westminster Church

Postby 1200onthemall » October 1st, 2012, 10:57 am

I think people need to breathe just a little here......

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Re: Westminster Church

Postby woofner » October 1st, 2012, 11:24 am

MNdible wrote:BTW, I believe that this site is within the downtown parking overlay district, which would limit any accessory parking lot to 20 spaces.
That's good, and I hope you're right about something more than a park being built there, but I don't see any suggestion that that's the case. Especially when I see quotes like this:
He said the land will also have some component of open space, potentially serving as a link between the Nicollet Mall and the Minneapolis Convention Center.

"The other thing that we're deeply committed to is that this will be green space," Hart Andersen said. "This is going to be environmentally responsible. It will be inspiring space. People will walk by it and walk into it"
Otherwise why wouldn't they release an actual rendering? Why wouldn't they say they're committed to building the 150 units they promised this summer on this site?
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby reeckman » October 1st, 2012, 11:50 am

Marimark portion will become a parking lot for a couple years per the posted strib article:

"Hart-Andersen said about 58 percent of the Marimark apartment residents have relocated from the site, which will serve as a temporary parking lot until a broader master plan is devised for the area....

...The funds to buy the [1221] building came from members of Westminster's congregation, which will engage downtown neighbors on a "listening tour" next year to determine how the new properties can best serve the city and its residents."

"The church has about three years to figure out what to do with the [1221] building because it plans to honor the leases of the office tenants in the 1221 building, which run into 2015. "
from http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/b ... tml?page=2

This agenda feels too boastful of the church's congregation. It seems they want their own parking near term, their church to be visible from all sides, possibly future low income residents, who presumably are to be part of the expanded ministry effort, living in housing presumably to be bid on by the Mortensons, who are members of the congregation.

They are displacing residents and businesses. I don't like the strib article insinuating there is upscale development going in like Soo LIne, Nic residences, and 222 because these displace NO residents.

Rather than purchase other undeveloped or blighted property, the church is paying to get rid of their neighbors, and maybe (?) build something else that contributes to the mall density.

I worry about the green space proposals--why not keep senior housing at the top of the list? The congregation probably is excited to park where the Marimark was instead of walk from 11th and Marquette, and could plant some grassy church grounds along Nicollet to gather on nice Sunday mornings.

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Re: Westminster Church

Postby 1200onthemall » October 5th, 2012, 5:42 pm

Great old photo of Westminster looking south on Nicollet
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby seanrichardryan » October 6th, 2012, 1:05 am

Yes please.
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Nathan
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby Nathan » October 6th, 2012, 6:17 am

You kidding? Do you see all the congestion behind that bus? ;)

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Re: Westminster Church

Postby PhilmerPhil » October 6th, 2012, 1:07 pm

Wow. We need to get on that History section for this forum for more pics like that.

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Re: Westminster Church

Postby PhilmerPhil » January 30th, 2013, 12:06 pm

Still bummed about this...

http://d.pr/i/LlAB

PS: I'd recommend the app Droplr for anyone that wants to easily post pics (as above) on the fly. Just downloaded it today and it makes sharing photos via the mobile site very easy by uploading it and providing a button that copies a link to be pasted here.

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Re: Westminster Church

Postby mnmike » January 30th, 2013, 12:57 pm

So, can they build a surface parking lot? I thought there was some kind of ban on new surface lots downtown?

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Re: Westminster Church

Postby seanrichardryan » January 30th, 2013, 1:08 pm

It's hard to tell, but that building was actually quite old. Must have been some kind of apartment hotel from before the turn of the last century. The facade was modernized with stucco and chic glider windows. The demo pic shows the layered brick construction of the outside walls.
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby John » January 30th, 2013, 1:31 pm

mnmike wrote:So, can they build a surface parking lot? I thought there was some kind of ban on new surface lots downtown?
I'm not usually a fan of tearing down old buildings, but in this case no one should lose sleep over it. I agree it would be a shame for this to remain a surface parking lot. But I'm pretty optimistic that Westminster will redevelop the southern end of this block sooner than later though. At least I think that is their intention.

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Re: Westminster Church

Postby woofner » January 30th, 2013, 1:32 pm

Image

Thank you Emporis for the lead on the original name. This photo is from 1903, maybe the AIA guide would say when it was built; the city and county just say 1900.
mnmike wrote:I thought there was some kind of ban on new surface lots downtown?
The Downtown Parking overlay prohibits surface lots of more than 20 spaces, but the city seems willing to grant variances, as in the case of the new Lunds or Park Vista. My guess is that the deep pockets of the Westminster members who drive in from Wayzata would help grease that wheel.

Off topic, can you believe that buildings like the townhouse on the left were once found in Minneapolis:

Image
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby mnmike » January 30th, 2013, 1:46 pm

There is one kind of like that on Park, just south of 94. Had a fire several years back, but survived and was restored. I always notice it, because like you said, not many like that in Minneapolis.

As for the building being torn down...I don't really mind that, aside from the fact that it displaced people quite abruptly. It had lost all it's character (inside and out) long ago, and I don't think there was really any bringing it back. I just don't like the idea of surface parking in this spot. For Lund's...that was already a surface parking lot, and the new surface parking lot is smaller than the existing one was, so that is a bit of a different situation than tearing down a building for surface parking.


Do we think they are demolishing the glass building soon as well?

PS, thanks for finding the photos!

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Re: Westminster Church

Postby John » January 30th, 2013, 2:04 pm

^^The glass building (1221 Nicollet) was designed by the distinguished local architect Milo Thompson ( architect for the Lake Harriet Bandshell and Greenway Gables). When this was built ( around 1980??) I remember it was lauded for its sensitive respect to the Westminster Church with its angled design, large plaza, and reflective glass ( acting like a mirror for the church). I'm going to lose some sleep over the demolition of this one! :(
Image


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