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Re: 301 Walnut (Sally's Building)

Posted: April 29th, 2013, 9:37 am
by mattaudio
I hereby propose a settlement which I assume is agreeable to the developer and fully mitigates this concern:
Developer of 301 Walnut buys a half dozen shovels for the owner of 718 Washington.

Re: 301 Walnut (Sally's Building)

Posted: April 29th, 2013, 10:38 am
by Nick
MNdible wrote:And I thought that Nick had given NIMBY the v-----t treatment.
Stay tuned for my upcoming streets.mn post about that...

Re: 301 Walnut (Sally's Building)

Posted: April 29th, 2013, 12:34 pm
by FISHMANPET
If both this and the Caspian's claims are legitimate, then maybe it's time to revisit building codes that are allowing these buildings that are on the edge as far as capacity of snow loads.

Re: 301 Walnut (Sally's Building)

Posted: April 29th, 2013, 1:44 pm
by MNdible
You'll notice that both of these buildings are quite old. I'm sure that plays into it. But when you're designing a building, you do need to take into account the building geometry to calculate how snow will drift around it. If you change the building geometry (or add a neighboring building that will effect it) significantly, you'll need to recalc and potentially beef up the structure.

It's no different than having to recalc the structure if you were to change the building use from residential to high-density storage.

Re: 301 Walnut (Sally's Building)

Posted: April 29th, 2013, 1:53 pm
by FISHMANPET
So it seems reasonable to me that if a building is significantly going to change the snow load on a neighbor, that the new building should pay to mitigate that in some way. Does current zoning take this into account? Is it even technically a zoning issue, since as the complaint mentions, it's a building code issue?

If there are two legitimate complains about the same exact issue, then maybe there's a flaw in the approval process somewhere?

Re: 301 Walnut (Sally's Building)

Posted: April 29th, 2013, 2:03 pm
by MNdible
As I've suggested elsewhere (and please note that I'm not a lawyer), this seems to me to be a civil matter between two private property owners, and the zoning code shouldn't really be involved in this.

Re: 301 Walnut (Sally's Building)

Posted: April 29th, 2013, 5:45 pm
by talindsay
Tom H. wrote:So, they're saying that the height differential between the two buildings will cause snow to drift up against the new building, increasing the snow load on the old building?

Follow this argument to its logical conclusion, and you see that all adjacent buildings must either be exactly the same height (or within an inch) or have air gaps between them.

This is a fallacy, as far as I'm concerned. Look at some of the buildings along, say, Michigan Ave in Chicago and you'll see adjacent buildings that differ by a dozen stories. They've managed to not have their roofs collapse.
If the shorter building was *ENGINEERED* for the snow load that its neighbor will put on it, it isn't a problem. If it wasn't, it's a really, really serious problem. Snow is very heavy in Minnesota; ever notice how Minneapolis houses have very steeply-pitched roofs? That's both to get more snow to roll of the roof in the first place, and to substantially strengthen the roof's ability to hold the remaining snow. Houses with shallow-pitched roofs need much stronger and more narrowly-spaced trusses than houses with steeply-pitched roofs. Flat-roofed buildings (i.e., most commercial buildings) have a bigger problem, and especially given that the drifts would put more of the weight on one side of the structure than the other, and potentially keep it there longer (since the new building may also cast a shadow that keeps the snow from melting), it makes perfect sense that this could be an issue. And obviously, it *IS* a city approvals issue, since once the new structure is built the other property owner has no reasonable recourse other than to sue their neighbor to rebuild their roof to handle the higher loads. The city would be negligent not to consider this in their approvals.

Now, with all that said, I have no idea whether it's actually an issue in this case; but at the very least, the people proposing the new building should have to pay for a structural engineer to investigate the neighbor's building and determine whether it will be a problem; and if it will, the new building should certainly have to pay for any changes to mitigate the issue.

Re: 301 Walnut (Sally's Building)

Posted: April 30th, 2013, 10:51 am
by Tom H.
I guess I just don't expect to be so big of an issue, for a few reasons:

1) The increased snow-load if likely to be largely distributed very near (within a few feet) the interface with the new building. Being near the edge of the building (and its load-bearing side wall) should help mitigate most of this increased snow-load. Perhaps some snow-load simulations could be useful in determining the likely profile of the snow drifts on this building's roof, with a higher neighbor next door.

2) I'm not exactly sure what bordered this building in the past on that side, but I would imagine that for a building of this age, snow-load due to a taller adjacent building would probably have been a design consideration at the time of its construction. Of course, I'm not an architectural historian, so this could be wrong. It's also worth noting that it might be reasonable to expect systematically higher snow-loads in the future due to wetter winters, but this wouldn't seem to be an issue unique to this particular structure.

Of course, as MNdible mentioned above, this seems like a matter well-suited for a tort suit between the two parties involved, not a zoning / building code dispute brought before the city.

Re: 301 Walnut (Sally's Building)

Posted: April 30th, 2013, 11:26 am
by woofner
talindsay wrote:And obviously, it *IS* a city approvals issue, since once the new structure is built the other property owner has no reasonable recourse other than to sue their neighbor to rebuild their roof to handle the higher loads. The city would be negligent not to consider this in their approvals.
Municipalities are allowed to exercise their police power, but I can't think of any requirement that they proactively seek out situations in which to exercise it. It is only when political pressure is put on them that they enact ordinances to do so. Probably since no one has built any traditional urbanism in the state of Minnesota for the past hundred years it hasn't been an issue, so there's nothing on the books about it. This doesn't mean they're negligent, it just means they haven't yet been pressured to do so. Maybe this will change now that we're not wasting so much space on parking and pointless lawns.

Re: 301 Walnut (Sally's Building)

Posted: April 30th, 2013, 11:45 am
by talindsay
redisciple wrote:
talindsay wrote:And obviously, it *IS* a city approvals issue, since once the new structure is built the other property owner has no reasonable recourse other than to sue their neighbor to rebuild their roof to handle the higher loads. The city would be negligent not to consider this in their approvals.
Municipalities are allowed to exercise their police power, but I can't think of any requirement that they proactively seek out situations in which to exercise it. It is only when political pressure is put on them that they enact ordinances to do so. Probably since no one has built any traditional urbanism in the state of Minnesota for the past hundred years it hasn't been an issue, so there's nothing on the books about it. This doesn't mean they're negligent, it just means they haven't yet been pressured to do so. Maybe this will change now that we're not wasting so much space on parking and pointless lawns.
Heh, your take is a bit cynical but probably accurate. I do hope that we see city ordinances continue and accelerate the gradual shift we've seen towards more urban expectations from the city.

Re: 301 Walnut (Sally's Building)

Posted: April 30th, 2013, 9:39 pm
by Didier
Does this mean Tofu House is screwed?

Re: 301 Walnut (Sally's Building)

Posted: July 3rd, 2013, 5:55 pm
by Silophant
As of today, Gold Country, Toppers, and Steady Tattoo were closed for construction. Looks like this will be getting under way pretty soon. Sally's is still open, and I'll probably go down there tonight for a last drink before they close as well. The signs at Gold Country and Toppers said they'd return after construction, while Steady Tattoo's said they'd be reopening on West Bank in September.

Re: 301 Walnut (Sally's Building)

Posted: July 3rd, 2013, 6:20 pm
by min-chi-cbus
Awesome news, thanks! This is still easily one of the 3 best projects going on in the Twin Cities!

Re: 301 Walnut (Sally's Building)

Posted: July 4th, 2013, 7:17 am
by MNdible
I'm not sure I understand all of the love for this project. Formally, it's pretty good (basically the same as the Station next door). But from the renderings, it looks like the thing is just going to be clad in corrugated metal. That doesn't excite me.

Re: 301 Walnut (Sally's Building)

Posted: July 10th, 2013, 5:09 pm
by Silophant
Since my predictions are never ever right, Sally's is still open. My new guess is that the other businesses' leases all ended June 30th, so construction will presumably start before the end of the month. I could be wrong, though.

Re: 301 Walnut (Sally's Building)

Posted: July 17th, 2013, 6:48 am
by gpete
Buried in this MN Daily article, it says that construction will begin on July 26.

http://www.mndaily.com/city/business/20 ... g-students

Re: 301 Walnut (Sally's Building)

Posted: July 22nd, 2013, 11:05 am
by FISHMANPET
I was walking by last week, wanting to stop at Sally's for one last tuna melt with a cup of chicken & wild rice soup, and they were closed already. The signs say they'll be open next summer. Are these apartments planned to open for September 2014?

Re: 301 Walnut (Sally's Building)

Posted: July 22nd, 2013, 1:57 pm
by Silophant
I would guess so. July/August to the following August has been the approximate construction timeframe for the other six-story stick student housing buildings around Stadium Village. Although maybe they'll massage the construction order to get Sally's and Goldy's open for as much of the summer as possible.

Re: 301 Walnut (Sally's Building)

Posted: July 29th, 2013, 11:49 am
by Tom H.
Workers on site this morning, apparently salvaging re-usable materials. Lots of copper pipes being sorted, cut, and put into bins.

Re: 301 Walnut (Sally's Building)

Posted: July 29th, 2013, 12:55 pm
by RailBaronYarr
Who says big developers aren't environmentally conscious??? :)