Alia Tower - 200 Central - 483' / 40 Stories

Northeast, Near North, Camden, Old St. Anthony, University and surrounding neighborhoods
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Anondson
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Re: Alatus St. Anthony Tower (Washburn-McReavy Site)

Postby Anondson » November 29th, 2015, 10:57 pm

Well played, everyone.

grant1simons2
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Re: Alatus St. Anthony Tower (Washburn-McReavy Site)

Postby grant1simons2 » November 29th, 2015, 11:03 pm

We have some experience in this field.

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Re: Alatus St. Anthony Tower (Washburn-McReavy Site)

Postby Minneboy » November 30th, 2015, 6:19 pm

Oh funny. Two of the ugliest buildings blighting Minneapolis.

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Re: Alatus St. Anthony Tower (Washburn-McReavy Site)

Postby m b p » January 2nd, 2016, 6:55 am


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Re: Alatus St. Anthony Tower (Washburn-McReavy Site)

Postby Mcgizz » January 7th, 2016, 6:45 pm

It appears that Washburn McReavy has moved out of this location. The lot has not been plowed since it snowed. The lights are all off inside and the door is locked with one of those construction locks. It might be safe to say that Alatus has purchased the land, like they said they would, and are moving forward here.

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Re: Alatus St. Anthony Tower (Washburn-McReavy Site)

Postby seanrichardryan » January 7th, 2016, 10:36 pm

I hope the building is being photographed and salvaged. It's actually quite a gem.
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Re: Alatus St. Anthony Tower (Washburn-McReavy Site)

Postby mplser » January 8th, 2016, 4:35 pm

how old is it old though? Every time I've seen it, I always just assumed it was a 1950's replica of what an older building on that site might look like.

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Re: Alatus St. Anthony Tower (Washburn-McReavy Site)

Postby EOst » January 8th, 2016, 9:23 pm

mplser wrote:how old is it old though? Every time I've seen it, I always just assumed it was a 1950's replica of what an older building on that site might look like.
1929.

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Nathan
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Re: Alatus St. Anthony Tower (Washburn-McReavy Site)

Postby Nathan » January 14th, 2016, 1:52 am

This article was just published with a few details about this project and some of the others in the area.

http://www.thelinemedia.com/devnews/ala ... 52015.aspx

Most notably at the end it discusses multiple projects in the works that rival the scale of Alatus' Project, in size if not height.

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Re: Alatus St. Anthony Tower (Washburn-McReavy Site)

Postby twincitizen » January 14th, 2016, 12:37 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this project has still not been approved by the city in any way, shape, or form.
They still need to gain HPC approval for the demolitions and Planning Commission approval for the tower.

Alatus is sure taking their sweet time to gestate this sucker (18 months now). Especially if it's condos...the sooner they get it approved, the sooner they can begin pre-sales. It's a bit mystifying they are taking so long to get this in front of the city for approval.

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Re: Alatus St. Anthony Tower (Washburn-McReavy Site)

Postby EOst » January 14th, 2016, 12:41 pm

The HPC vote is almost a guaranteed "no," right? Demolishing a historic structure to build a tower five times the allowed height would be pretty hard for them to approve.

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Re: Alatus St. Anthony Tower (Washburn-McReavy Site)

Postby twincitizen » January 14th, 2016, 12:49 pm

Agreed. The HPC will vote no, so the City Council will need to overturn that with a simple majority. I don't think that's a high bar to cross, at least not for this particular development. There's no way this doesn't find 7 votes. Truly all it does is lengthen the timeline for approval...which is why I'm so perplexed by Alatus' timeline here. They could get the ball rolling on the demo approvals now (or 6 months ago, for that matter), while still continuing the design work on the tower for Planning Commission approval. It is two separate approval processes and two separate decisions.

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Re: Alatus St. Anthony Tower (Washburn-McReavy Site)

Postby trigonalmayhem » January 14th, 2016, 1:38 pm

Stop calling things historic because they're more than fifty years old. The word historic has a very specifically defined meaning and when people use it interchangeably with "old" it muddies the issue. Just because it was built in the 1920s doesn't mean there's anything historically significant about it that warrants keeping it around in perpetuity. Declaring everything old as historic is a good way to run out of developable land quickly and screw up the housing market.

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Re: Alatus St. Anthony Tower (Washburn-McReavy Site)

Postby seanrichardryan » January 14th, 2016, 2:26 pm

Run out develop-able land? Nice strawman. I think the acres of open asphalt around this site speak for themselves. There is merit to the building having some historic significance, as well as the height limit from the NPS/ SAFHD. Does it make the site unable to be developed? No. Will there be some due-diligence steps to complete first? Yes.
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Re: Alatus St. Anthony Tower (Washburn-McReavy Site)

Postby amiller92 » January 14th, 2016, 2:40 pm

If we decide to stop this tower to save that not particularly notable building it will be (yet another) big missed opportunity.

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Re: Alatus St. Anthony Tower (Washburn-McReavy Site)

Postby EOst » January 14th, 2016, 4:07 pm

trigonalmayhem wrote:Stop calling things historic because they're more than fifty years old. The word historic has a very specifically defined meaning and when people use it interchangeably with "old" it muddies the issue. Just because it was built in the 1920s doesn't mean there's anything historically significant about it that warrants keeping it around in perpetuity. Declaring everything old as historic is a good way to run out of developable land quickly and screw up the housing market.
At 86 years old, it is older than 99% of the US population. Here's a picture of the groundbreaking in 1929. History! ;)

Image

On a more serious note, while the structure isn't a contributing building to the St. Anthony Falls Historic District (which has a fairly narrow remit) it has a reasonable argument for being historic under NRHP guidelines:
A. that are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our [federal, state, or local] history; or

B. that are associated with the lives of persons significant in our [federal, state, or local] past; or

C. that embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or

D. that have yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history.
The St. Anthony Commercial Club was an important group in early twentieth-century Minneapolis, especially NE Minneapolis, and it was designed by Long & Thorshov, who also did (among others) the Medical Arts Building and the Strutwear Knitting building on 11th and 6th next to the new stadium. The building could meet several of these criteria. "Historic" is a good word for it.

Does that mean this shouldn't be torn down? Not necessarily. But handwaving it away won't change the fact.

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Re: Alatus St. Anthony Tower (Washburn-McReavy Site)

Postby nordeast homer » January 15th, 2016, 9:48 am

What if the building was a glorified garage? Would it still be "historic" because this Club held meetings there? Does everything designed by Long & Thorshov automatically become "historic" because they designed it? Where is the line drawn? This is a 2 story structure that probably held more prominent funerals than prominent meetings. The only uniqueness that I see is that it resembles more of a residential structure than a commercial building.
Could the structure be moved if, in fact, it is deemed "historic"?

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Re: Alatus St. Anthony Tower (Washburn-McReavy Site)

Postby twincitizen » January 15th, 2016, 9:54 am

It doesn't have to be moved (or preserved in any physical way). The City Council would simply have to overturn the HPC decision (which hasn't actually been made yet, mind you) by a simple majority vote. I don't necessarily think there's anything wrong with that process. It's an extra step, with some additional documentation and an additional public hearing. It is the exact same process as was taken for demolishing the Star Tribune building, for that Gluek Saloon in Cedar Riverside, etc. Let's not make a bigger deal of it than it really is. Let the HPC do their job and let the City Council do theirs. I really don't see the need for all the animosity.

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Re: Alatus St. Anthony Tower (Washburn-McReavy Site)

Postby EOst » January 15th, 2016, 10:36 am

nordeast homer wrote:What if the building was a glorified garage? Would it still be "historic" because this Club held meetings there? Does everything designed by Long & Thorshov automatically become "historic" because they designed it? Where is the line drawn? This is a 2 story structure that probably held more prominent funerals than prominent meetings. The only uniqueness that I see is that it resembles more of a residential structure than a commercial building.
Could the structure be moved if, in fact, it is deemed "historic"?
Look, I'm not making an argument for preservation (necessarily, anyway). I'm just telling you what it is.

I know that you and many other people here see little if any value in this old, somewhat run-down Tudor Revival pile, and would view its demolition and replacement as "progress." That's okay! But it's important to recognize that in that respect you differ very little from the people who, fifty years ago, thought places like the Boston Block or the Metropolitan were likewise: dated, out of fashion, not as good as what could be, in the way. It seems alien to us now, but there are plenty of people who thought this vista was tremendously ugly:

Image

And the future was this:

Image

Look at those guys. Young, professional, well-trained, idealistic. They strongly believed that they were saving the city, remaking it in a denser and more livable form. We can laugh or cry at their failures now, but only with hindsight; in their day those dated towers we avoid were new, glittering, the talk of the town and nation. If we have moved on now and distanced ourselves from their beliefs, it's not because we've perfected the formula; we're simply unable to see our own blindspots.

Am I saying that the St. Anthony Commercial Club is a treasure on par with the Exposition Center torn down to build a Coca-Cola plant (progress! jobs!) or the Gateway or any of those other marvels we immediately recognize? Probably not. But the building is old enough, grand enough, and distinguished enough to at least make us pause for a moment and consider the question. That seems, to me, the least we can do.

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Re: Alatus St. Anthony Tower (Washburn-McReavy Site)

Postby mplsjaromir » January 15th, 2016, 10:49 am

There is a big difference between top down urban renewal of the Post War Era, and private entities making arms length transactions on a parcel by parcel basis. It is disingenuous to compare the two.

Historic preservation is a luxury, obviously there are those who believe it to be a high priority to commit public resources. Make no mistake, historic preservation is not free.


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