Lake & Nicollet Redevelopment (Kmart site)

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woofner
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Lake & Nicollet Redevelopment (Kmart site)

Postby woofner » June 18th, 2012, 2:30 pm

This is very preliminary, but it appears that the city is about to launch another planning effort for reconnecting Nicollet at Lake St. It's an item in the agenda for tomorrow's Transportation & Public Works committee. It looks like this effort is being triggered by a developer purchasing the site - there is a proposed timeline for the planning efforts that lists "Developer site control - part of site" as having happened on June 13th. The same document lists "Developer site control – entire site, including store leases" as occurring on January 1st, 2013. It's encouraging that they will be planning for the blocks north and south of the Kmart site as well - a map shows the target area between Blaisdell and 1st and 31st and Cecil Newman, but including the south portion of HCMC.

Looking forward to this process - hopefully this tremendously important public improvement will be open to input from the general public and not just "neighborhood and business association representatives" "as needed" as the document states.
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Re: Lake & Nicollet

Postby 1200onthemall » June 19th, 2012, 2:05 pm

Minneapolis moves forward with plans to reopen Nicollet Avenue at Lake Street
City Council hears report on early stages of work

 

June 19, 2012 (MINNEAPOLIS) A City Council committee today heard about the City’s efforts to reopen Nicollet Avenue at Lake Street, through the current Kmart property. For many years, reconnecting Nicollet Avenue has been a priority for the City, and as part of the 2012 budget process, the Mayor and City Council directed several City departments to work together to move the project forward. Today, the work group made its first report to the City Council’s Transportation and Public Works Committee. The update will also be presented to the Ways and Means Committee at 1:30 p.m. on June 25 and the Community Development Committee at 1:30 p.m. on July 10.

Nicollet Avenue was closed and vacated between 29th Street and Lake Street in the late 1970s to make way for a retail development. Reopening Nicollet Avenue would not only restore the street grid, but it would help revitalize nearby businesses along the corridor from south Minneapolis to Downtown. A new Nicollet Avenue would make for better neighborhoods and improved driving, biking, and pedestrian experiences. It would pave the way for redevelopment that grows the tax base, reweave a missing connection, and focus and leverage the transit investments being made in the immediate area, which is near several large employment centers, including downtown Minneapolis.

Reopening Nicollet is a major undertaking that will require strong partnerships between the public and private sectors, and this work is still in its early stages. Potential pre-development funding for the project may be included in the Mayor and City Council’s discussions about the 2013 budget, and a developer is working to assemble control of the site, which currently involves multiple owners. As part of today’s presentation, the work group shared a timeline of early steps in the process. It includes a preliminary community engagement process starting this summer, which would broaden as the project becomes more defined.

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Nathan
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Re: Lake & Nicollet

Postby Nathan » June 19th, 2012, 2:51 pm

Phew, for a while I thought I was going to have to do my own sort of vigilante excavation of this site! Exciting news! Let the streets flood with tears of joy. I can only imagine the numerous possibilities and ways they could develop this site, while reconnecting neighborhoods. Seriously awesome.

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Re: Lake & Nicollet

Postby minntransplant » June 19th, 2012, 4:06 pm

Get it done!

I've often heard that this is one of K-Mart's highest performing stores, which, perhaps, helps explain why it has been extremely difficult to undo this planning failure.

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Re: Lake & Nicollet

Postby dmdhashw » June 19th, 2012, 4:11 pm

minntransplant wrote:Get it done!

I've often heard that this is one of K-Mart's highest performing stores, which, perhaps, helps explain why it has been extremely difficult to undo this planning failure.
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Re: Lake & Nicollet

Postby mullen » June 21st, 2012, 6:28 am

well it can be one of their best performing stores and still allow a major city street to flow freely. really this is such a huge thing and if the city can finally open nicollet that corridor will flourish from downtown all the way south.

it was one of the biggest city planning mistakes of the 70's. that huge surface parking lot is a waste and not needed. kmart can accomodate shoppers with a parking a third of the size. a lot of people who shop at that location arrive on foot.

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Re: Lake & Nicollet

Postby Wedgeguy » June 21st, 2012, 6:55 am

My opinion is that Kmart would benefit from a new store that could be better prepared for an urban enviorment. This store is all 70's suburban. Building a new store would provide a more effiecent layout and much more effiecent lighting, HVAC, and upgraded technology. With the rework of 35W and Lake these new buildings would make it more desirable to stop and shop. More people would come down from the north side of the greenway to want to shop in the area. Incorporate some housing on the cornrs of Lak, and you will truely have a more walkable Lakestreet and Nicolett [sic].e and Blaisdell and 1st so there is no shadow to the greenway

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Re: Lake & Nicollet

Postby min-chi-cbus » June 21st, 2012, 7:32 am

Does anyone have any idea what scale or scope any redevelopment/redesign would be for this site? Or do you know what you'd LIKE to see? Would it be something akin to the "Portland Gateway" project on Portland and Franklin, or the Nicollet and Franklin redevelopment? Could it be bigger? Could it be smaller? I'd kind of hate to see us go through this daunting process of removing K-Mart and opening up Nicollet again just to F__k it up! I realize anything is better than a suburban big box store, but the hype is really building for this localle!

I know cities and developers generally don't encourage this type of development, but what about a moderate/high concentration of affordable or even low-income housing....with base-level retail and FEW major chains, if any? I'm thinking about a cross between Eat Street and Portland Gateway and "downtown" Richfield (66th & Lyndale) -- 4 blocks, 500-800 units of housing, 80K-100K SF retail space, and maybe a pavillion or plaza.

I'm not sure if that level of development can be sustained here though...

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Re: Lake & Nicollet

Postby woofner » June 21st, 2012, 11:07 am

A Strib article from 3/4/03 says that Sherman's plans for the site included "construction of a Cub Foods store, a Hennepin County medical clinic to replace an existing clinic across the street, 300 to 400 housing units, and some smaller retail shops." Not too extravagant - it would have to be low rise, probably roughly the scale of Franklin-Portland, although I could see some townhomes in there too, based on the time period.

I'd like to see at least one mid-rise (~10-12 stories) on the site, I think it absolutely justifies it based on the location and would justify extra subsidy. But I don't think it will happen. I also would prefer that the reconnected block be a transit mall rather than open to all cars - that would certainly make for a better retail environment. But I don't think that will happen either.
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Re: Lake & Nicollet

Postby MNdible » June 21st, 2012, 11:10 am

From a 12 year old Biz Journal story, here's a quick outline of the original Sherman plan to redevelop K-Mart.

Nicollet Avenue and Lake Street

Yanisch's observation applies to Sherman's proposal to reconnect Nicollet Avenue to Lake Street and to relocate Kmart.

Dean Dovolis, CEO of DJR Architecture Inc., Minneapolis, created the original plan and asked Loren Brueggemann, vice president of development for Sherman Associates, to get involved. "I knew they would have an appetite for this," said Dovolis, who is working with Sherman Associates on other proposed projects, including the two in northeast Minneapolis. "George and Loren were willing to take the risk to invent and create the trends. And I am in the same ballpark."

While the vitality of Lake Street and Nicollet Avenue continues to grow, that intersection "pleads to be open," Sherman said. "Everyone would like to take a left turn on Nicollet Avenue," he said. "I think Nicollet Avenue will be open someday because I think it is a priority for the city."

Although an official plan hasn't been submitted to the city, the architect and developer have a preliminary proposal. The project, which has an estimated cost of $100 million, would include 300 rental units and 100 to 120 for-sale housing units, Brueggemann said. It also includes 190,000 to 200,000 square feet of two-story big-box retail, including Kmart, and 40,000 square feet of office and retail space. About 20,000 additional square feet would be devoted to "microtenants," or shops that can be purchased by the small business owners that use them, he said.

"I am encouraged by the fact that we are getting more interest than from just the city," said Jim White, senior project coordinator with the MCDA, adding that Sherman brings credibility with it.

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Re: Lake & Nicollet

Postby 612transplant » June 21st, 2012, 12:36 pm

mullen wrote:well it can be one of their best performing stores and still allow a major city street to flow freely.
How do you figure? Nicollet at its current alignment goes smack dab through the middle of the KMart. If they're serious about reconnecting it with Lake Street, then the time it takes to do that and the closure of parts or all of the store that it entails kills the KMart at this location, end of story...

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Re: Lake & Nicollet

Postby Wedgeguy » June 21st, 2012, 12:44 pm

The only main problem I see with the Sherman project that I saw many years ago is the shadows that it would cause on the Greenway. That seems to be a deal killer right off the bat. But I did like their parking proposal and I sure want some housing included in the redevelopment. There needs to be more than just big anchors, there needs to be smaller Mom and Pop establishments to give the area a neighborhood feel.

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Re: Lake & Nicollet

Postby PhilmerPhil » June 21st, 2012, 2:42 pm

redisciple wrote: I also would prefer that the reconnected block be a transit mall rather than open to all cars - that would certainly make for a better retail environment. But I don't think that will happen either.
I love this idea. My favorite thing about Nicollet Ave. north of K-Mart right now is how pedestrian friendly it is compared to similar retail corridors in Minneapolis. (Lyndale, Hennepin, Lake, etc.) This is possibly the only major retail corridor in the city where pedestrians can and do freely cross the street mid block. With lower traffic volumes and the 3 lane configuration it makes for a great urban and ped friendly experience. While removing the K-Mart would be a blessing, I worry that Nicollet will become choked up and used as a means of moving cars into and out of downtown.

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Re: Lake & Nicollet

Postby Nick » June 21st, 2012, 2:52 pm

redisciple wrote:A Strib article from 3/4/03 says that Sherman's plans for the site included "construction of a Cub Foods store, a Hennepin County medical clinic to replace an existing clinic across the street, 300 to 400 housing units, and some smaller retail shops." Not too extravagant - it would have to be low rise, probably roughly the scale of Franklin-Portland, although I could see some townhomes in there too, based on the time period.

I'd like to see at least one mid-rise (~10-12 stories) on the site, I think it absolutely justifies it based on the location and would justify extra subsidy. But I don't think it will happen. I also would prefer that the reconnected block be a transit mall rather than open to all cars - that would certainly make for a better retail environment. But I don't think that will happen either.
Wedgeguy wrote:The only main problem I see with the Sherman project that I saw many years ago is the shadows that it would cause on the Greenway. That seems to be a deal killer right off the bat. But I did like their parking proposal and I sure want some housing included in the redevelopment. There needs to be more than just big anchors, there needs to be smaller Mom and Pop establishments to give the area a neighborhood feel.
I'll loosely hint that another nearby Sherman-headed project (Midtown Global Market) is having some issues with their mix of subsidized and market-rate apartments. I would check out some apartment review websites about that place. Might be good we avoided a huge project similar to that at this intersection.

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Re: Lake & Nicollet

Postby mplsjaromir » June 21st, 2012, 3:20 pm

Nick wrote: I would check out some apartment review websites about that place. Might be good we avoided a huge project similar to that at this intersection.
Care to elaborate? I have never read a positive apartment review. Is there something in particular about those apartments that them so bad?

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Re: Lake & Nicollet

Postby 4-d » June 21st, 2012, 3:27 pm

I am interested in that the proposed area for redevelopment includes the wells fargo another block south. If Kmart and WF teams up they could probably work something good out for that space and then work to better devote the area facing the greenway to housing, as values are increasing on the green way. There definitely needs to be a deterrent for cars to go whipping through this new road and upping the overall speed of nicollet.
^ 4-d

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Re: Lake & Nicollet

Postby Wedgeguy » June 21st, 2012, 6:14 pm

You are very limited on house height on the greenway as you are as close to the greenway as you can get with the KMart site.. There is no old 29th street for any kind of setback. Would never get the height needed to get the economies to make it work. They will have to be midblock or close to Lake to get proper height. I don't think there need to be as large of mass as the Midtown Exchange. But scattered over 2 or 3 building there should be a few hundered apartments to take advantage of the transit routes. This should be design to look like a series of building that were all build at different times over the century. This should not be a monolith!

I agree with redeveloping the Wells Fargo site with a new mixed use developement. Right now it is alot of roads, parking lots, and unless on fridays too many auto lanes for tellers. The bank taking half of the block facing 31st and building a new facility with 2 to 3 stories of office space above there bank. The west corner by 31st and Blaisdell would be apartments with 8 to 12 stores as there are towers in that part of the neighborhood alreaady and puts many more eyes on the street!! Some ground floor retail at the main level of the apartments which would be most likely used by residence of the neighborhood and not necessarily a drive by car to get to destination store. That is my opinion.

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Re: Lake & Nicollet

Postby 612transplant » June 22nd, 2012, 7:34 am

4-d wrote:I am interested in that the proposed area for redevelopment includes the wells fargo another block south. If Kmart and WF teams up they could probably work something good out for that space and then work to better devote the area facing the greenway to housing, as values are increasing on the green way.
I'm still a little bit confused about why KMart would willfully participate in the demise of a very profitable store? KMart is *not* in the property development game....they're a retailer. I don't know much about this-- have they been hostile or conciliatory when these redevelopment ideas at Lake and Nicollet have popped up before?

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Re: Lake & Nicollet

Postby MNdible » June 22nd, 2012, 9:08 am

612transplant wrote:I'm still a little bit confused about why KMart would willfully participate in the demise of a very profitable store? KMart is *not* in the property development game....they're a retailer. I don't know much about this-- have they been hostile or conciliatory when these redevelopment ideas at Lake and Nicollet have popped up before?
At this point, Sears Holding Company (which owns K-Mart), is very much a real estate holding company first and a retailer second. The value of the real estate sitting under their stores is what drove their merger.

And I don't think anybody's talking about actually getting rid of K-Mart. From their point of view, they're likely looking at the city of Minneapolis and a third party developer subsidizing the construction of bright and shiny new store for them in a revitalized part of town. What's not to like?

It's not clear to me who actually owns what right now -- my understanding was that in the past, the site was a mess of overlapping land and building leases with parking leases layered on top of it. I've been told that in the last few years, some of these leases have been consolidated, which should make new development going forward easier.

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Re: Lake & Nicollet

Postby 612transplant » June 22nd, 2012, 10:48 am

MNdible wrote: At this point, Sears Holding Company (which owns K-Mart), is very much a real estate holding company first and a retailer second. The value of the real estate sitting under their stores is what drove their merger.

And I don't think anybody's talking about actually getting rid of K-Mart. From their point of view, they're likely looking at the city of Minneapolis and a third party developer subsidizing the construction of bright and shiny new store for them in a revitalized part of town. What's not to like?
Ah, got ya. Does KMart have an "urban blueprint" ala Target, though? Something with underground/ramp parking and less square footage?

Also, is this something PPL could partner with the city with like they did on other commercial properties? Or is it too high property value for them?


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