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Re: 420 E Hennepin Ave

Posted: April 23rd, 2015, 6:34 am
by twincitizen
Nathan wrote:Single story retail building proposed here. Decent frontage to the street, but disappointing project overall.

http://www.journalmpls.com/news-feed/on ... arking-lot
The lede in that article is "Minneapolis may say goodbye to more surface parking."

The proposal includes 19 parking spaces and the building only covers 30% of the lot.

Since I'm sure it will come up again, back in the Northeast General thread, we talked about narrowing the 5th St ROW to make this parcel even larger/pointier, which would leave more room for a larger patio/plaza type thing: https://forum.streets.mn/viewtopic.php?f=14& ... 260#p80876

Re: 420 E Hennepin Ave

Posted: April 23rd, 2015, 6:48 am
by trigonalmayhem
Well this is the ugliest and least exciting use of that corner that isn't a parking lot like it already is. So a very tiny step up, awesome. This is the same lot I had to pester the city about all winter because they didn't bother shoveling the snow even once.

Re: 420 E Hennepin Ave

Posted: April 23rd, 2015, 8:19 am
by xandrex
twincitizen wrote:Since I'm sure it will come up again, back in the Northeast General thread, we talked about narrowing the 5th St ROW to make this parcel even larger/pointier, which would leave more room for a larger patio/plaza type thing: https://forum.streets.mn/viewtopic.php?f=14& ... 260#p80876
Even if you accept closing off one of the few connections between SE and NE in the area, you've still got to deal with the bike boulevard. Extending a plaza/patio would sever that.

Re: 420 E Hennepin Ave

Posted: April 23rd, 2015, 11:36 am
by trigonalmayhem
Actually I had a similar idea that kept the bike path cut through with a curb cut and turned the last bit of the corner into a bit of a buffer planter sort of thing

Re: 420 E Hennepin Ave

Posted: April 23rd, 2015, 12:06 pm
by mplsjaromir
Based on the address a dispensary should fill one of the retail bays.

Re: 420 E Hennepin Ave

Posted: April 23rd, 2015, 12:32 pm
by seanrichardryan
The headline should read 'Parking lot and one-story building to replace one story building and parking lot.'

Re: 420 E Hennepin Ave

Posted: April 24th, 2015, 10:35 am
by mnmike
Little drama here...not sure how one could say this is worse than an abandoned gas station and a weedy parking lot! And, it is very much tear-downable should a new land owner come in at some point in the not too distant future. It'll be nice to see the corner spruced up a bit at least, and the building really seems almost like a semi-temporary use.

Re: 420 E Hennepin Ave

Posted: April 24th, 2015, 1:04 pm
by lordmoke
mnmike wrote:Little drama here...not sure how one could say this is worse than an abandoned gas station and a weedy parking lot! And, it is very much tear-downable should a new land owner come in at some point in the not too distant future. It'll be nice to see the corner spruced up a bit at least, and the building really seems almost like a semi-temporary use.
It's worse because a newer building is much, much less likely to be removed than the one currently occupying the site. We will be stuck with this for decades, whereas what's there now could be (and will be) replaced at any time. The building- parking lot ratio is about the same and they're both one story. So the new structure doesn't win the land use competition and sticks us with it for years- that's just my opinion though.

Re: 420 E Hennepin Ave

Posted: April 24th, 2015, 2:30 pm
by mnmike
This could easily be just like Tryg's...how many years was that there? 10? Eh, I mean it's not thrilling, but the one story building built up to the corner isn't the end of the world here. Just sayin.

Re: 420 E Hennepin Ave

Posted: April 28th, 2015, 7:17 am
by twincitizen
Anyone know how the hearing went last night?
EDIT: It was approved on consent, no discussion took place.

As I said on the previous page, it sounds like the city must approve the building - lest they want to get sued - but it could be possible that they can technically deny the "Alley Vacation", which would effectively kill the project because you can't build a building over a public alley (duh). Even though this alley doesn't physically exist, it is still platted and is public property (or an easement at the very least).

I think the city has every right to threaten to not approve the alley vacation, if only to get the developer's attention that they're serious about wanting a better building.

Note: The Alley Vacation application still needs to be approved by the City Council, though the Planning Commission's approval of the building itself is final, unless appealed.

Re: 420 E Hennepin Ave

Posted: May 15th, 2015, 9:32 pm
by grant1simons2
"Revised" plans going to the Zoning & Planning committee. The neighborhood is against this project. It's still a bad project. Yet somehow it's going on consent

http://www.minneapolismn.gov/meetings/zp/WCMS1P-141493

Re: 420 E Hennepin Ave

Posted: May 18th, 2015, 7:47 am
by twincitizen
The building has already been approved by the Planning Commission. Only the "alley vacation" portion of the application requires action by the Z&P Committee.

I suggested to CM Frey that perhaps the city could find some technical reason to deny the alley vacation. Basically I asked if the City was in any way legally obligated to vacate the alley. Even if the city were able to feign a battle over the alley, perhaps that would be enough to show the developer that the city is serious about getting something better here - even if just a story of office space above the retail building. It doesn't appear that's going to play out however. The city has no cards to play in stopping this building. The city really ought to institute a minimum FAR in major commercial nodes. It's absurd that you can legally put up a building that covers just .3 of the lot.

Re: 420 E Hennepin Ave

Posted: May 18th, 2015, 8:52 am
by woofner
Grambsch of NIEBNA raises an interesting objection:
This site is in the Pedestrian Overlay (PO) district which permits no more than 10% of the street facing
perimeter of the site to be developed into surface parking. T this site the limit is approximately 60 lineal
feet in total.
The proposed design has a relatively large surface parking lot with a facing of approximately 58 lineal
feet to both Central Ave and East Hennepin or approximately 116 in total. Since this is in excess of the
limit allowed in the PO district, in its present configuration, the design does not meet the requirements of
the PO district.
Staff says this about the code provision Grambsch mentions:
The accessory parking lot does not exceed 60 feet in width (551.140).
Here is the code, which does not specifically address parcels with multiple street frontages:
Parking lots shall be limited to not more than sixty (60) feet of street frontage.
Based on a straight reading of the code, I would side with Grambsch. Further, from my secondhand knowledge of the code's development, I'd think that his interpretation is also more in line with the intent of the provision (maybe there is someone on this board with a more direct knowledge of the development of PO overlays who could enlighten us). However, there may be some case law that requires the staff interpretation. If Grambsch is right, though, I'd think that the planning commission ruling could be revisited.

Overall, though, this building doesn't matter that much. It'll be cheap to put up and cheap to tear down. It certainly won't be as good as it could be, but it will be better than what's there now. Yes, there should be a minimum FAR and if this building inspires twincitizen to organize an effort to enact one, then it will be a very useful building.

Re: 420 E Hennepin Ave

Posted: June 5th, 2015, 8:45 am
by seanrichardryan
On the Z&P agenda: http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/meeting ... S1P-142294

Bender drafts a resolution approving vacation.

Re: 420 E Hennepin Ave

Posted: June 11th, 2015, 10:44 am
by grant1simons2
The Z&P commission got heated!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8On0u2OUoHo

Alley vacation D-E-N-I-E-D :D

Re: 420 E Hennepin Ave

Posted: June 11th, 2015, 11:25 am
by Silophant
Hey, awesome! Who voted against it?

Re: 420 E Hennepin Ave

Posted: June 11th, 2015, 11:34 am
by Wedgeguy
Silophant wrote:Hey, awesome! Who voted against it?
All but Bender voted to deny the alley vacation. So it was 4 to one on that motion.

Re: 420 E Hennepin Ave

Posted: June 11th, 2015, 11:35 am
by grant1simons2
They also mentioned that this property and alley are set for study of zoning and density changes in the near future.

Re: 420 E Hennepin Ave

Posted: June 11th, 2015, 11:36 am
by twincitizen
Frey got lawyer-y and presented a decent case that public works was considering making drastic changes to the intersection. While the alley vacation was not directly related to potential intersection changes, there was still "public interest" in maintaining the alley until intersection and pedestrian realm planning was further along. Since Frey is not on the Z&P Committee, Reich made the motion to deny, which was supported by all but Bender. Bender supported the staff & Planning Commission recommendation. While she completely agreed the 1-story building was unfortunate, she did not believe the alley vacation was relevant to any potential future changes to the public realm in the area. In order to vacate an alley, the city must show that there is no public interest in maintaining it. Since the alley has obviously been de facto vacated for decades and decades, it is a stretch to now state that it is needed.

Vote was 4-1 (Barb Johnson absent). It's pretty safe to say the votes are there to uphold the denial at the full city council. Unless the city attorney comes up with a strong opinion that the city will get sued, I'd expect the denial to stick.

I doubt that the developer will return anytime soon with a proposal for something greater. All they had to friggin' do was add a single story of office space or a couple residential units on top of the building and this would be approved right now.

Re: 420 E Hennepin Ave

Posted: June 11th, 2015, 12:10 pm
by John
twincitizen wrote: I doubt that the developer will return anytime soon with a proposal for something greater. All they had to friggin' do was add a single story of office space or a couple residential units on top of the building and this would be approved right now.
Java Properties does mostly one story retail development. They have no expertise or capability in high density projects. If I were them , I would sell this valuable property for a good price and take the freeway back to the suburbs ;)