Page 1 of 5

420 E Hennepin Ave

Posted: April 18th, 2015, 11:07 am
by Nick
There's a "New Development For Lease" sign sitting at 420 East Hennepin, right in that little wedge where Central and Hennepin come together. The store there is also now closed. I'd heard from a friend a while ago that someone wanted to redevelop that into something mixed use-ish, though a land use application started last month only refers to a 5,000 square foot commercial building:

http://apps.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/PIApp/ ... 2924120131

Re: Northeast (and Southeast) - General Topics

Posted: April 20th, 2015, 5:07 pm
by grant1simons2

Re: Northeast (and Southeast) - General Topics

Posted: April 20th, 2015, 5:26 pm
by MNdible
Oh dear.

This is apparently what happens when you let civil engineers design buildings.

Re: Northeast (and Southeast) - General Topics

Posted: April 20th, 2015, 7:13 pm
by web
and let Architects design the civil engineering building at the u of m.........

Re: Northeast (and Southeast) - General Topics

Posted: April 20th, 2015, 10:02 pm
by nBode
I'm not even sure I can believe that's a real proposal. One story? There's no way this gets approved. "Store 2" only has access from a parking lot alley. This is one of the worst urban designs I have ever seen.

Re: Northeast (and Southeast) - General Topics

Posted: April 20th, 2015, 10:08 pm
by grant1simons2
Oh but it'll get approved.. They'll approve almost anything now. It's infuriating. I guess I can try to e-mail and speak opposed to this, but ugh, it doesn't work much.

Re: Northeast (and Southeast) - General Topics

Posted: April 20th, 2015, 10:36 pm
by Silophant
How could they not approve it? Don't get me wrong, it's awful and the developers should be ashamed about building something like that in a hot district like this one, but they're meeting all zoning requirements and not asking for a single variance. Just like with 401 Hennepin, the city has no leverage whatsoever to deny this.

Re: Northeast (and Southeast) - General Topics

Posted: April 20th, 2015, 10:36 pm
by MNdible
Unfortunately, Grant, on what grounds would you propose that they not approve it? I'm sure that every member of the Planning Commission will grit their teeth when they do it, but the City Attorney will remind them that you can't deny approval of a project just because you find it deeply disappointing.

EDIT: What he said.

Re: Northeast (and Southeast) - General Topics

Posted: April 20th, 2015, 10:52 pm
by grant1simons2
Small area plan could be a possibility? I won't be trying hard on this one, but there's some that can be done.

Re: Northeast (and Southeast) - General Topics

Posted: April 21st, 2015, 8:22 am
by lordmoke
Somehow this is worse than what's there now. Jesus.

Re: Northeast (and Southeast) - General Topics

Posted: April 21st, 2015, 8:37 am
by xandrex
At first I thought they were just showing a cut/preview of the materials on a single story. Then I saw the comments here.

Wow.

So bad. Could they at least ask them to make it prettier?

Re: Northeast (and Southeast) - General Topics

Posted: April 21st, 2015, 10:19 am
by twincitizen
While we can't expect every single site to have 5 stories of residential above it, it's really disappointing that they couldn't include a story of office space above. Surely there's an insurance agent, small law firm, etc. that would enjoy the incredibly high visibility from all that traffic on Hennepin/Central, views on 3 sides, etc.

Even in the context of a ho-hum single story retail building, it's extremely disappointing that they're building 19 parking spaces when only 7 are required. They could knock out that entire eastern row of parking (adjacent to the building) and simply build a larger building, benefiting both the building owner (more leasable space) and the city (more tax base, slightly).

EDIT: From the staff report, which addresses my above comment:
It is recognized that the one-story building is not in compliance with Land Use Policy: 1.12.5 which
encourage a height of at least two stories for new buildings in Activity Centers. During pre-application
meetings, CPED encouraged the applicant to consider a two-story (or taller) building on multiple
occasions. However, the applicant did not pursue this option. Given that there is not a minimum floor
area ratio requirement, the proposal complies with the zoning code requirements.
How the crap is there not a minimum FAR? Even if it was .5, that would dictate a larger building, as they are proposing a FAR of .3

EDIT2: Just popped off an email to staff, copying CMs Frey and Bender, basically stating the above.

Re: Northeast (and Southeast) - General Topics

Posted: April 21st, 2015, 1:24 pm
by twincitizen
In addition to the Site Plan Review, which the city must approve (since the building meets code and is not asking for any variances), they are also applying for "Alley Vacation" of a dead-end alley which apparently exists on the site. The alley doesn't show up on Hennepin County's property map (looks like it's already vacated & incorporated into the site), but if you look at Page 22 of the PDF, you'll see what I'm talking about.

Does anyone know if the city has any obligation to approve vacation of the alley? Unlike the Site Plan Approval application, which only goes to the Planning Commission, the Alley Vacation application must be approved by the City Council. Any legal experts out there? Could the city technically deny this building by way of denying the alley vacation?

Re: Northeast (and Southeast) - General Topics

Posted: April 21st, 2015, 2:07 pm
by EOst
Just convince the HPC to declare it historic! Definitely one of the best representatives of its era of Minneapolis. ;)

Re: Northeast (and Southeast) - General Topics

Posted: April 21st, 2015, 2:41 pm
by xandrex
twincitizen wrote:While we can't expect every single site to have 5 stories of residential above it, it's really disappointing that they couldn't include a story of office space above. Surely there's an insurance agent, small law firm, etc. that would enjoy the incredibly high visibility from all that traffic on Hennepin/Central, views on 3 sides, etc.
There's no way it would happen, but the State Farm agent on the other side of this intersection (that dinky triangle lot by Holiday) would be a good fit. Would also allow for a small building or just a bit of green space with a (very much needed) improvement to the bus stop there.

Re: Northeast (and Southeast) - General Topics

Posted: April 22nd, 2015, 11:30 am
by Chava
grant1simons2 wrote:Oh god it's horrible

http://www.minneapolismn.gov/www/groups ... 140407.pdf
Looks about right for a new Dunkin Donuts, or a 7-11(they don't have those here, do they?)

Re: Northeast (and Southeast) - General Topics

Posted: April 22nd, 2015, 11:32 am
by grant1simons2
Well Dunkin is coming soon..

Re: Northeast (and Southeast) - General Topics

Posted: April 22nd, 2015, 11:36 am
by Chava
Exactly. Slap that pinkish and orange sign on it, and it's ready to roll.

Re: Northeast (and Southeast) - General Topics

Posted: April 22nd, 2015, 12:02 pm
by xandrex
If it was a Dunkin, I could at least get a coffee and two donuts while wincing at how horribly designed it is.

402 E Hennepin Ave

Posted: April 23rd, 2015, 6:22 am
by Nathan
Single story retail building proposed here. Decent frontage to the street, but disappointing project overall.

http://www.journalmpls.com/news-feed/on ... arking-lot