Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Downtown - North Loop - Mill District - Elliot Park - Loring Park
John
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby John » January 28th, 2015, 10:35 pm

I'm thrilled with the revival of retail in City Center, but I have yet to hear any announcements about upgrading the exterior along Nicollet Mall to coincide with this. I'm crossing my fingers this is finally in the works. Shorenstein said there's been a lot of interest in the retail spaces. I can't imagine any potential retailor would want to project a public image on Nicollet Mall with it's current bunker style fortress wall :?

twincitizen
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby twincitizen » January 29th, 2015, 8:16 am

Yeah, they really need to remove/replace the entire facade along Nicollet. If it is largely left as is, just with Saks opening up the corner entrance and maybe popping in a window here and there, and some new signage, I will be a lot less excited about this. This building is a disaster and it invites bad behavior and crime due to its terrible urban design. It needs to really open up to the street with more glass and way less tan concrete. Improving City Center is a critical component in the reconstruction of Nicollet Mall, and I'm afraid just leasing the corner spaces while leaving the facade as is won't do it.

xandrex
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby xandrex » January 29th, 2015, 8:31 am

Is is really the Nicollet side that sees bad behavior? I've always noticed a lot more issues happening more on 7th at the bus stop. So if solving the issue is part of the reason for design, it would seem that its more than the Nicollet facade that would need replacing.

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trkaiser
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby trkaiser » January 29th, 2015, 8:42 am

Do any of you have an idea of what might be physically possible to fix this building up? With it all being concrete, it's hard to guess what may be structural and what's just facade...

twincitizen
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby twincitizen » January 29th, 2015, 8:55 am

Yeah, I have no idea. I was hoping an architect could chime in on that. Even though it's concrete, isn't the exterior made of panels or something? Or is the exterior actually structural concrete? In which case you'd actually have to cover it up, kinda like Mayo Clinic Square's mesh screens and such.

scottiem
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby scottiem » January 29th, 2015, 9:12 am

Structural engineer here. From the streetview I'd say that all of the facade panels on the street level would be able to be removed without major retrofit. In other words, there aren't visible structural walls on 6th, Nicollet, and 7th, which leaves just the concrete columns. Several of the bays appear to already have some sort of blank and unused storefront windows/doors, too.

mnmike
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby mnmike » January 29th, 2015, 9:29 am

They took off much of the concrete on the 6th street side above the entrance between the large round columns several years ago...I imagine they can do the same on this side.

John
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby John » January 29th, 2015, 11:06 am

twincitizen wrote:Yeah, I have no idea. I was hoping an architect could chime in on that. Even though it's concrete, isn't the exterior made of panels or something? Or is the exterior actually structural concrete? In which case you'd actually have to cover it up, kinda like Mayo Clinic Square's mesh screens and such.
I watched City Center being built. I do remember they used pre-cast concrete panels for the exterior of both the tower and on The Nicollet Mall side. If they removed those panels it probably would reveal a simple rectangular shell with a structural steel frame (I can't quite remember that for sure though). However, I don't think removing and replacing them with another material/design etc would be very difficult. The big ? is the expense and if the landlord is willing to invest the money.

TroyGBiv
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby TroyGBiv » January 29th, 2015, 1:28 pm

John - you are right - that harsh precast facade has always been a problem. A wall of windows that opens up the retail spaces would make a huge difference. The problem with the Nicollet is that there is no retail excitement or drama. Michigan Avenue is exciting... the power of retail is everywhere... The city should bother with street designs right now.. they should focus on ways to redesign the spaces and recruit more retailers back... not against the new design - just think that it may be better to reverse the order.

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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby Silophant » January 29th, 2015, 1:45 pm

Well, I don't disagree, but the city actually has the ability to redesign the street it owns. Not so much the privately owned buildings.

twincitizen
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby twincitizen » January 29th, 2015, 2:01 pm

Absolutely, but the reconstruction project definitely gives the city some leverage with building owners, to ask for reasonable upgrades or even just regular maintenance. The City could lean on a particular block, like City Center, and say "If you improve X, we'll include more Y on your block" or something to that effect. I don't mean to suggest the city should play hardball with anyone, especially since buildings on Nicollet Mall are paying for a significant amount of the project, but the city isn't totally powerless either.

HiawathaGuy
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby HiawathaGuy » January 29th, 2015, 3:21 pm

twincitizen wrote:Absolutely, but the reconstruction project definitely gives the city some leverage with building owners, to ask for reasonable upgrades or even just regular maintenance. The City could lean on a particular block, like City Center, and say "If you improve X, we'll include more Y on your block" or something to that effect. I don't mean to suggest the city should play hardball with anyone, especially since buildings on Nicollet Mall are paying for a significant amount of the project, but the city isn't totally powerless either.
I think that would be a fine option if the owners of buildings along NIcollet weren't going to be assessed $25MM to pay for the reconstruction of said street. Not to mention that Nicollet facing buildings will be assessed two fees. So it's hard for the City to say we'll give you more Y, if you improve X, when the City isn't paying for the whole thing.

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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby TroyGBiv » January 31st, 2015, 5:29 pm

These are good points - I know that these kind of massive projects need to be kept simple enough to be achievable... one thing that is missing from all of the new developments over the years is significant retail space facing the mall. Back in the early 80's block after block was faced by department stores. Can't go back to that time - retail has changed and that model isn't right for the way that people shop anymore. I think that maybe the city would benefit if there was a stiffer design and usage code for the facades and mall front space. Not sure if anything currently on the books is enough to improve this problem. The best way may be to reduce some of the tax based on percent of space dedicated to retail. At least that would shape the design to potentially increase retail density.

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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby Silophant » February 4th, 2015, 8:21 am

There's a steel stud tunnel being constructed parallel to the skyway path through the old Saks space today, and jackhammering noises coming from downstairs.

twinkess
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby twinkess » February 4th, 2015, 11:30 am

Radioshack in Gavidaii having a store closing sale.

sanguinic
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby sanguinic » February 5th, 2015, 7:26 am

The jackhammers in the former Saks store were removing the street level's tile floor. What is to become of the store's third and fourth floors? Office space, like the rest of Gaviidae?

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Andrew_F
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby Andrew_F » February 9th, 2015, 11:45 am

There's a "pop-up" British consulate set up in one of the retail spaces on the skyway level of RCB. Looks like it's this week only.

grant1simons2
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby grant1simons2 » February 10th, 2015, 8:20 am

Sports Authority planning to open on Nicollet Mall!!!!! This is the space that's going to take up the larger space next to Saks.

http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/n ... store.html

xandrex
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby xandrex » February 10th, 2015, 8:56 am

Definitely big (and good) news for downtown!

twincitizen
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby twincitizen » February 10th, 2015, 9:25 am

Great news!

If anyone's looking for City Center floor plans, I posted them a few pages ago: https://forum.streets.mn/viewtopic.php?f=13& ... 420#p78834

The article confirms Sports Authority will take the 22,000 sf space on the street level only, just in case anyone was fantasizing about a 2-level store. With signed leases in hand from Sports Authority and Saks Off 5th, Shorenstein can now aggressively market City Center for sale this year. I'd guess the building will have a new owner by the end of 2015.


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