Montage (Nye's redevelopment) - 116 E Hennepin Avenue

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David Greene
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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby David Greene » December 5th, 2014, 10:50 am

nordeast homer wrote:I would think you could make them into some apartments or even create some commercial office space in them.
That's exactly what was done with Galtier Plaza and the historic buildings are the pieces of the project that are in the best shape!

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby twincitizen » December 5th, 2014, 10:56 am

If they truly can't integrate the buildings# into a new development, there are vacant lots literally* one block up Hennepin. These buildings are pretty small/narrow and could fit in many places, as long as people are willing to give up their precious surface parking. Heck, they could even donate the buildings to whoever owns the parking lots where the buildings could land.

*correct usage of literally
# "buildings" refers to the two distinct historic buildings, and does not include the two one-story additions. I honestly don't care for preserving "Nye's", just the two historic Mill District-era structures.


EDIT: Like here, where there's already some kind of unified ownership for a collection of historic buildings and a metered parking lot: http://gis.hennepin.us/property/map/def ... 2924130952 If they could get the buildings moved there at no cost of their own (i.e. the developers pay for the move and sells them for $1), why not take 'em?

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby mattaudio » December 5th, 2014, 11:07 am

Would a facade like Nye's even be allowable under modern zoning codes? The big "Polonaise Room" sign above that one story middle building would probably violate height restrictions relative to the roof, sign ordinances, etc. Part of the charm and character comes from the nature of buildings that can't be (easily) re-created new. The fine-grain of a bar that incrementally grew into an institution that spans four small storefront spaces. The signage that would be gaudy new, but is charming as it ages and becomes part of the character of the neighborhood.

My ideal is that the three buildings closest to the corner stay as Nye's, wrapped into a new project. Moving the two old buildings to other vacant lots would also be good, but would still be a loss of character for the neighborhood. I realize we can't preserve businesses, but there is a real tangible sense of preservation that's slightly more than just keeping buildings. It's keeping things that were built even decades ago but would not be built the same way in modern times. Just a thought.

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby David Greene » December 5th, 2014, 11:11 am

mattaudio wrote:I realize we can't preserve businesses, but there is a real tangible sense of preservation that's slightly more than just keeping buildings. It's keeping things that were built even decades ago but would not be built the same way in modern times. Just a thought.
I do not mean to push buttons and start a war, but I'd guess that some people working to preserve SFHs feel the same way. We don't build 'em like we used to. To me, preservation is worthy beyond a property being "historic" in the official sense of the word. There's value in design and character. We can't preserve everything but we should preserve some things.

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby lordmoke » December 5th, 2014, 11:12 am

As far as moving the buildings goes, the lot at the corner of Hennepin and 2nd is the best candidate. The historic buildings are angled oddly, and wouldn't situate comfortably on a traditional square block. Furthermore, that lot is owned by the same entity that owns all of the historic structures on that block. I'm sure they wouldn't mind replacing a few metered parking spots with more leasable space. I'm guessing the town homes on that block have an easement for vehicle access to their garages, and putting the Nye's building on the corner would block the current driveway. That would necessitate its relocation to the Hennepin face of the block, between the current structures and the Nye's buildings. There used to be a street there, so I don't really think that would be a big deal.

twincitizen
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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby twincitizen » December 5th, 2014, 11:37 am

Amended Idea: Move the 3-story building a block up the street. Keep (the facade of) the 2-story corner building in place, since there's some elevation change at the corner which could make relocation impossible.

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby MplsSteve » December 5th, 2014, 12:44 pm

...or you could keep the corner building where it is and move the three story building over adjacent to it. That would free up most of the parcel. I love the way we're discussing moving masonry buildings around like they're furniture.

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby EOst » December 5th, 2014, 1:01 pm

Moving a house--a much easier project than this--costs somewhere on the order of 100k for a good-sized house. When you take into account the cost of digging new foundations, lifting the buildings, demolishing the newer 1-story buildings while still maintaining the structural integrity of the old ones, etc., you're talking at least a million, right? Maybe more? That seems like a lot to ask.

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby lordmoke » December 5th, 2014, 1:03 pm

EOst wrote:Moving a house--a much easier project than this--costs somewhere on the order of 100k for a good-sized house. When you take into account the cost of digging new foundations, lifting the buildings, demolishing the newer 1-story buildings while still maintaining the structural integrity of the old ones, etc., you're talking at least a million, right? Maybe more? That seems like a lot to ask.
The Fine project over in Cedar Riverside demolished a two story brick saloon that they were originally going to be required to move. The estimated cost to move that building was given to be around $300K. My guess is that this would be costed similarly.

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby twincitizen » December 5th, 2014, 1:06 pm

I think we all understand that it's incredibly expensive and difficult, and only done in very, very special situations. But it's relevant here and worth conversation because I think the city is at least 50% likely to mandate preservation of these two buildings. Preservation often allows for relocation. At the 515 on the Park development (adjacent to Riverside Plaza), the City initially declared the Gluek saloon building as historic, but allowed it to be moved. After it appeared that was actually going to happen, the developer later came back and asked again for a demo permit, which was granted. In that case, there was so damn much public subsidy and momentum going toward that development, the City was kind of put in a bind. Cam Gordon gave an excellent summary on his Second Ward Blog. Last year, the current City Council mandated preservation of a rather unremarkable building in Dinkytown. I really don't think it's too far-fetched that they'll mandate preservation here. Relocation of buildings will certainly come up once that happens, if the developer can't or won't integrate them into the development.

^Looks like lordmoke beat me to it on the Fine project. It does seem like this would be an ideal area if it came to moving a building - big wide road, few trees, no overhead powerlines along the street. It would be a lateral move of like a couple hundred feet, so I wouldn't throw the possibility out the window. We're talking about a development value of $60MM +

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby MplsSteve » December 5th, 2014, 1:16 pm

Just recently in Chicago they moved this very large house and it's adjacent coach house one block at a cost of 6 million.

http://chicago.curbed.com/archives/2014 ... inutes.php

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby mattaudio » December 5th, 2014, 1:21 pm

The Shubert move in Minneapolis cost $4 million back in 1999.

twincitizen
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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby twincitizen » December 5th, 2014, 9:54 pm

Phenomenal reporting by Eric Roper here: http://www.startribune.com/local/west/284945451.html

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby sushisimo » December 6th, 2014, 2:38 pm

A quote from a recently posted archived article about the Forum:

“The case for the Forum building and the Nankin restaurant [which eventually relocated in the City Center complex and later closed] thus becomes a eulogy. The values of these places are intuitive more than rational, and they transcend legal arguments and ledger sheets. Values that can be felt not measured. The shades of romance and nuance that make life worth living, but seem to die in the hard light of a city council meeting. The things that everybody seems to know, but politicians have to find out.”

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby lordmoke » December 8th, 2014, 4:57 pm

This is going to be discussed at the Thursday NIEBNA meeting:
http://www.niebna.com/docs/agendas/NIEB ... Agenda.pdf

I would go, but I have Doomtree tickets for that night.

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby mplser » December 8th, 2014, 7:29 pm

Is there any reason why they wouldnt be able to build a tower on the parking lot and possibly a stick-built portion in between the historic buildings?

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby seanrichardryan » December 8th, 2014, 8:00 pm

profit motive.
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby RailBaronYarr » December 9th, 2014, 10:37 am

With the general consensus being that neither of the one-story buildings seem to contribute much, I'd be shocked if a solution to building behind/around/above the Harness Shop building couldn't work. It's only 25 feet wide. You'd think that from that building to the property line against 2nd plus the parking area behind it would be more than enough to build a tower, and filling in the current Nye's sign 1-story structure with 3-4 stories of stick and decent historic facade to meet back up with the steel/concrete podium wouldn't be too costly.

Obviously, I'm not an architect or financier. But it's been pointed out that this project will be in the $60m range - high enough that moving structure(s) or filling in around them can't be that difficult. The dimesions of a simple rectangle behind the historic buildings (not including the surface parking area abutting Hennepin), are 62'x166'. For reference, the Alatus tower has a base proposed at roughly 100'x170' (taken using rough estimation in Google Maps).

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby mattaudio » December 9th, 2014, 10:50 am

You know, it could be really cool to have an entrance to the residential tower in a new building between the existing Nye's 2 and 3 story buildings, in place of the 1 story building. It would use the exterior brickwork of those two buildings as an architectural element... put a glass roof on that and it would be an awesome atrium that really accents the historical nature of the block, leading into a modern tower.

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Re: Nye's Polonaise Room - 100 block of E Hennepin Avenue

Postby FISHMANPET » December 9th, 2014, 11:13 am

Yeah, I've been kinda thinking the same thing. A slender L shaped tower that takes up the space currently occupied by parking and the northern 1 story part, take down the 1 story part in the middle, and make that a nice entrance way somehow.

But that still guts Nyes and I think that's the thing people don't want. I'm sure there are a lot of people that are worried about losing the two older buildings, but I think the vast majority of opposition to this (opposition a mile wide and an inch deep) is Nye's closing and going away. No amount of historic preservation is going to save Nye's as an establishment, so really I don't know what people are expecting from this.


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