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What used to be an empty car dealership on a major downtown intersection when I moved here several months ago is now already progressing steadily and vertically. Here's a pic of the dealership months ago when it was being torn down.

 

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  Downtown Whole Foods to become a reality

The Texas-based chain confirmed plans for the vacant site at Hennepin and Washington.

 

 

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Organic and natural foods grocer Whole Foods confirmed Wednesday that it will open a store at the former Jaguar dealership site in downtown Minneapolis.

The store will serve as the ground-floor retail anchor for the $70 million complex called 222 Hennepin, which will also include 286 luxury apartments. Now home to an abandoned car lot surrounded by a chain-link fence, the site at the corner of Hennepin and Washington avenues is seen as a potential hub connecting disparate areas of downtown -- from the North Loop to the Mill and central business districts to the Mississippi riverfront.

more: http://www.startribune.com/business/138966594.html

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It's now open and I've already shopped here at least a handful of times since moving just a few blocks away: I found the professor's mention of how people able to afford living in the area as being "upscale" quite funny. I pay under $600 for my studio apartment and it's much closer than a lot of luxury apartments. Yes, it does have that crowd too, but it's actually diverse and I'm sure he wasn't picturing me as one of their regulars. Anyway, here's a picture I took and an article on the soon-to-open (it's a bit dated, you see) and very first large grocery store in Downtown Mpls.

 

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New Lunds Store Set To Open In Downtown Minneapolis

June 14, 2012 6:57 AM

 

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Grocery stores are key to the city of Minneapolis’s long-range plan to grow in the downtown area.

 

The hope is that stores like the Lund’s opening Thursday morning will help the population double in size to 70,000 by 2025. Whole Foods is also opening a grocery store in downtown Minneapolis next year, down the street on Hennepin at Washington Avenue.

 

This Lund’s store has been in the works for more than seven years. The slow economy delayed the opening until now. This will be the first major grocery store in downtown Minneapolis even though the Target downtown does offer a limited grocery section.

 

more: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/06/14/new-lunds-store-set-to-open-in-downtown-minneapolis/

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This is going up pretty fast just across the ped-cyclist bridge from Downtown next door to the historic St Anthony Main business district. Here's a before and after I took.

 

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Another chance for Pillsbury A Mill

 

    Article by: JENNIFER BJORHUS , Star Tribune

    Updated: April 7, 2011 - 9:54 AM

 

Two developers are pursuing the historic Pillsbury A Mill in Minneapolis for apartments.

 

1amill0407.jpg

The Pillsbury A Mill complex, sitting in foreclosure after redevelopment plans fizzled, is getting another shot at life.

Two local developers are striking deals with the bank that now owns the landmark spot, that would bring the long-vacant stretch of riverfront property to life with nearly 600 apartments, many with views of downtown Minneapolis and the tumbling waters of St. Anthony Falls.

The concrete grain elevators may or may not make the cut.

 

 

more: http://www.startribune.com/business/119370504.html

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Uptown in SW Mpls is already awash in multi-story "luxury" apartment buildings. Here's one of the newest additions.

 

Track 29 officially breaks ground

 

Featured, Real Estate — By Thatcher Imboden on July 18, 2012 7:29 am 

 

The $38.5 million dollar Track 29 City Apartments project officially broke ground yesterday. The project includes 198 new apartments in a two-building addition to the existing 27 unit townhouse project. It is located on the north side of the Midtown Greenway between Bryant Avenue S and Aldrich Avenue S.

 

RMF Group and Phoenix Development Company are developing the market-rate project in partnership with Michigan-based Village Green and the property owner, Bryant Partners. Greiner Construction is building the project.

 

 

track29-071312.jpg

more: http://www.ouruptown.com/2012/07/track-29-officially-breaks-ground/

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I'll have to see if I can dig up a before photo I took months ago when none of the exterior was up. Right now it looks all  done on the outside and I guess I haven't ridden by on this stretch of the North Loop neighborhood Downtown since then (just north of me). It is an all residential street after all and the closest destination is the Jaeger Club a block north. I'll have to head out there myself and see what I think. New pics of my own are on hiatus til I buy a new camera.

 

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Soltva Apartments - spectre000

 

more pics: http://urbanmsp.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=29&start=20#p2816

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good mix here and nice to see it - can't say i am surprized, they have been doing urban right up there even since back when everybody else had abandoned the city for the 'burbs.

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Some Bike Oriented Development (BOD) along the Midtown Greenway which is a major east-west bike-pedestrian only corridor in South Mpls. Here are a couple of examples:

 

IMG_8004.jpg

 

These are now finished: the Flux apartments mentioned in the article below. Just goes to show if you build it, they will build.

 

IMG_8029.jpg

 

 

Development surging around Midtown Greenway By Nick Halter

 

 

// Projects, however, haven’t reached east of Lyndale Avenue //

 

Development along the Midtown Greenway is surging this summer, as five different projects are under construction that would add nearly 900 apartments to the back yard of the former railroad line turned bicycle highway.  A new study shows a growing population in Minneapolis — 5,300 people in 2010 and 2011— and projects along the Greenway in Uptown are proving to be a big part of that growth.

“The Greenway has turned into a major amenity for bikers and for commuters,” said Tom Streitz, the city’s housing director. “What we’ve seen is that biking has now become an amenity that people want to be around.”

 

More: http://www.swjournal.com/index.php?publication=southwest&section=81&story=18744&page=152&category=63

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You'll still have time to enjoy the lakes culture in Uptown: showed a friend around the city this weekend and he came away very impressed.

 

Here's a little more of what's going on in my new neighborhood.

 

Loring Park landmark's new life
  • Article by: JIM BUCHTA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 5, 2012 - 6:55 AM

An iconic office building near Loring Park is being redeveloped into apartments by the original builder, 88 years later.

 

A 1920s-era limestone building that was once home to the Northwestern National Life Insurance Co. in Minneapolis is in the midst of a $20 million conversion that will create 75 luxury apartments overlooking Loring Park and the downtown skyline.

 

It's one of a handful of office buildings in the area to undergo such a renovation. And few have come full circle quite like this one.

 

The iconic structure at 430 Oak Grove St. is being revived by the same company that built it nearly 88 years ago. Kraus-Anderson, then known as the J.L. Robinson Co., built the four-story, 90,000-square-foot building in 1924. By 1961, Northwestern National Life had moved out, and the once-open floor plan was carved into individual offices.

 

height=403 width=695http://stmedia.startribune.com/images/1loring0404.jpg[/img]

 

More: http://www.startribune.com/business/146206735.html

 

The Loring Vue Apartments U/C til 2013: just up around the corner on the right from the building pictured above.

 

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Loring Vue Apartments - spectre 000

 

http://urbanmsp.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=30&start=40#p4369

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More BOD developments on the greenway:

 

Elan Uptown broke ground not too long ago: about 1 story done so far according to UrbanMSP. This is going up in an empty lot right next to a completed project.

 

elan.jpg

 

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Elan Uptown phase 1 and 2 - dmdhashw

 

 

These are going up just east of here and they were still working on the foundation when I last went by.

 

track29.jpg

 

file.php?id=124

 

Track 29 Apartments - fotoapparatic

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More North Loop development with new apartments on a current parking lot.

 

Hines pays $14M for Dock Street site near Target Field  Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal by Sam Black, Senior reporter  Date: Wednesday, August 1, 2012, 5:02pm CDT - Last Modified: Wednesday, August 1, 2012, 9:47pm CDT 

 

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Dock Street Apartments - Hines

 

An affiliate of Hines Interests of Houston closed this week on the land it needs to develop the Dock Street Apartments in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis near Target Field.

 

 

Hines paid a combined $13.7 million for the site in two different transactions that closed July 27, according to two certificates of real estate value submitted Aug. 1 to Hennepin County. The land was sold by two partnerships run by Rich Pogin and Bruce Lambrecht.

 

 

Hines plans to develop 178 market-rate apartments in a 5-story building. The project includes 3,000 square feet of retail space and a two-level parking garage with 200 spaces.

 

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/blog/real_estate/2012/08/hines-pays-14m-minneapolis-apartment.html

 

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Soo Line Building on track for luxury apartments

 

    Article by: JIM BUCHTA , Star Tribune

    Updated: October 6, 2011 - 9:26 AM

 

Village Green plans 250 units at Soo Line Building next to LRT line downtown.

 

height=942 width=701http://stmedia.startribune.com/images/1Sooline1006.jpg[/img]

Soo Line Building-Joel Koyama, Star Tribune

What was once the tallest office building in downtown Minneapolis is on its way to becoming the city's next luxury apartment high-rise.

 

Michigan-based Village Green closed on the sale of the 19-story tower called the Soo Line Building, which it plans to gut and transform into about 250 upscale apartments with the location and kinds of amenities that are now difficult to find downtown.

 

The deal was consummated after more than a year of negotiations and at a time when thousands of apartments have already been proposed for downtown Minneapolis as developers try to outpace each other in their attempts to meet the needs of a hungry rental market. Questions remain about the depth of that market, but the project is being tackled by a developer with a long track record of successful projects and in a part of downtown that is foreign turf for housing developers.

 

http://www.startribune.com/business/131190503.htm

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Some Bike Oriented Development (BOD) along the Midtown Greenway which is a major east-west bike-pedestrian only corridor in South Mpls. Here are a couple of examples:

 

IMG_8004.jpg

 

These are now finished: the Flux apartments mentioned in the article below. Just goes to show if you build it, they will build.

 

IMG_8029.jpg

 

 

Development surging around Midtown Greenway By Nick Halter

 

 

// Projects, however, haven’t reached east of Lyndale Avenue //

 

Development along the Midtown Greenway is surging this summer, as five different projects are under construction that would add nearly 900 apartments to the back yard of the former railroad line turned bicycle highway.  A new study shows a growing population in Minneapolis — 5,300 people in 2010 and 2011— and projects along the Greenway in Uptown are proving to be a big part of that growth.

“The Greenway has turned into a major amenity for bikers and for commuters,” said Tom Streitz, the city’s housing director. “What we’ve seen is that biking has now become an amenity that people want to be around.”

 

More: http://www.swjournal.com/index.php?publication=southwest&section=81&story=18744&page=152&category=63

 

What makes the development 'bike oriented', other than the fact that it's by the bike trail?

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oh i remember that loring park insurance bldg -- it stood out -- great to see that redevelopment.

 

how many times can i happily say i am not surprised mpls-stpl? no hassles and arguing and waiting. just doing it and keeping it moving. and doing it urban style too.

 

question -- how far along is the new light rail reconnecting the twin cities?

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As for the bike-oriented development he article mentions how many developments are being built right next to it and that, from the article, “The Greenway has turned into a major amenity for bikers and for commuters,” said Tom Streitz, the city’s housing director. “What we’ve seen is that biking has now become an amenity that people want to be around.”

 

More: http://www.swjournal.com/index.php?publication=southwest&section=81&story=18744&page=152&category=63.

 

For fun, here's a cyclist and pedestrian count of the Midtown Greenway. What makes it so desirable is that it's a separated major cross-town route for cyclists and pedestrians: you can quickly reach heavy concentrations of destinations in South Mpls and Downtown almost immediately off the trail with minimal interaction with motoring traffic, not to mention suburbs and towns whose trails connect to the Greenway farther out , along with routes to St Paul neighborhoods including their downtown. In Columbus there's the Olentangy Trail, which is pretty useful as is, but it's several blocks from High St and there are no connections between the trail and High St destinations to attract more utilitarian cyclists as you see with the Midtown Greenway. Couldn't find a cyclist/ped count, but found this instead. http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2011/03/07/some-think-olentangy-trail-needs-greater-protection-from-rt-315.html

 

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The SW Corridor is now going to be the city's 3rd light rail line after securing contracts to construct the eastern and western halves. Construction starts in 2015 and is due to debut in 2018 after the Mpls-St Paul line opens next year. Needless to say, I'm much more exited about that than a line out to the SW burbs.

 

SWLRTmap600.png

 

image from metrocouncil.org

 

Assessing the impact of light rail 

  January 2, 2013                // UPDATED 2:36 pm - January 14, 2013                By: Dylan Thomas

SouthwestLRT_2.JPG

image by Dylan Thomas

 

The Southwest Corridor light rail line will be the region's third when it opens in 2018, after Hiawatha (shown here near Target Field) and the Central Corridor line schedule to open next year.

 

Local entities submitted their responses to a Southwest light rail study in December Not nearly as voluminous as the 1,000-plus-page document that inspired them, responses from the city, Park Board and neighborhood groups to a study of the Southwest Light Rail Transit line nonetheless added up to an impressive stack of paper by late December.

In those scores of pages there seemed to be broad agreement on several of the major issues outlined in the draft environmental impact statement, or DEIS, released in October: Freight rail cannot remain in the Kenilworth Corridor when light rail arrives in 2018; some alternative must be found to a massive bridge over Cedar Lake Parkway; access to trails and parks must be maintained during and after construction; and the impacts of noise, vibrations and rail users on homes and parklands near the railway could be considerable, and deserve much more study.

Those potential impacts will get a closer look during the preliminary engineering phase of the $1.25-billion project. Two firms with experience in light rail, Kimley-Horn and AECOM, were each awarded $16.8-million contracts by the Metropolitan Council in mid-December to carry out that work.

And before construction on the 15.8-mile light rail line between downtown Minneapolis and Eden Prairie begins in 2015, a final environmental impact statement will identify what, specifically, can be done to mitigate the concerns of stakeholders.

More: http://www.journalmpls.com/news/news/assessing-the-impact-of-light-rail-0

 

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