Downtown East Project (Ryan Companies / Wells Fargo)

Downtown - Loring Park - North Loop - Mill District

Downtown East Project (Ryan Companies / Wells Fargo)

Postby Didier » December 12th, 2012, 12:57 pm

Discussion of these five blocks has started in the "Vikings Stadium" thread, but since the wheels appear to be officially moving on redevelopment now, and since it's independent from the stadium, I figured we should have a separate thread.

As a starting point, the Star Tribune owns five blocks in Downtown East. One is included in the new stadium footprint and will likely be sold and redeveloped as part of the stadium plans. The Star Tribune is actively trying to sell the other four blocks (including the one with its headquarters), and reports yesterday indicate that the newspaper is entering into an exclusive deal with Ryan Cos. to work out a plan.

Here is the story:
http://www.startribune.com/business/183 ... ml?refer=y

Here is the first take from MinnPost's media reporter:
http://www.minnpost.com/braublog/2012/1 ... es-through

A few key points to take out of the MinnPost story:
• The writer speculates that part of the appeal for this land is that it offers a rare four-block square, possibly for something big?
• The writer also speculates that, given this kind of arrangement, Ryan likely has potential clients who are interested.
• Brauer reiterates that the Strib will remain downtown, but that it will likely lease rather than own its new space. However, a move isn't expected for several months.

Thoughts on what might eventually go in here?

Thoughts on where the Strib might eventually end up?

Mod Edit: Updated site plan
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby Nathan » December 12th, 2012, 1:14 pm

Um, how about Strib moves to block E and does some sort of cool ground floor interactive thing with old editions of the paper and stuff? Plus new news and stuff, maybe they can create a way to generate additional 'retail' revenue...

I HATE that they mention the demolition of the old headquarters...
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby David Greene » December 12th, 2012, 1:16 pm

I always assumed the Strib would relocate to the printing facility in the Warehouse district. I have no idea how much office space is there, though.

I would really like the Strib building to be saved. The facade is unique and it would seem to be a good candidate for office space or maybe higher-end condos or apartments. I assume living space would have to be rather large in the units so they all could have windows. Or maybe put a big community space in the center.
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby David Greene » December 12th, 2012, 1:17 pm

fotoapparatic wrote:Um, how about Strib moves to block E


That's an interesting idea! They could have a nice little retail store at street level selling archived pictures, articles, books by staff members, etc.
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby MNdible » December 12th, 2012, 1:32 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if the Star Tribune stayed in a reduced portion of their existing building (the portion fronting on Portland), just leasing it back from Ryan.
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby MillCityTimes » December 13th, 2012, 12:49 pm

Originally posted this to the Vikings thread, then found this thread.

-------------------------

Planning for this is further along than the Strib reports. According to a high ranking, trusted source, this will be a mixed use development that includes residential. No decision on whether the residential will be rental or owner occupied. Look for tax subsidies to be the main point of contention.
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby MNdible » December 13th, 2012, 1:43 pm

Interesting. I'm usually not a fan of multi-block developments, but Ryan's got a good track record, and it may be that this area needs a catalytic large project to completely change things.
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby Nick » December 13th, 2012, 2:19 pm

I wonder about this area. There's a full block prison right next to it. The Gateway Ramp is hella ugly. Then the Haaf Ramp, then another full block ramp. I hope it does well obviously but I wouldn't be rushing to live on any of these four blocks. I guess it wouldn't be a bad place to buy a condo if the price was right and wait for it to fill in, but that could be a pesky 5-10 years of heavy construction.
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby mattaudio » December 13th, 2012, 2:32 pm

Nick brings up a good point, there's too much of a "back wall of downtown" effect with surface parking, Center Village, the Thrivent wall, the gov ramp block, the jail, the Haaf ramp, and the gateway. This is quite the barrier along 5th Ave, and it's mostly a wasteland east to HCMC and the dome.

A few years ago, I created this rough idea for what could be done: http://goo.gl/maps/DmI4e

I thought the catalyst would be an Armory marketplace and a park on the Thrivent parking block. Then a greenway of sorts connecting southeast to Chicago Ave. This would create instant value in a lot of the blocks to the south of 5th for multi-story mixed use.

I even think there would be a way to squeeze some east-facing mixed use on top of the 1-story half of the jail along 5th Ave.

We've also discussed in other threads creating some type of north-south neighborhood spine between Mill District and Elliot Park... maybe Park or Portland could receive this treatment. This Ryan project could go a long way to start that sort of effect north of 5th St.
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby fehler » December 13th, 2012, 5:15 pm

I think closing 5th to non-transit traffic and converting 6th to 2-way after the Vikings stadium is complete would help these blocks immensely.
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby woofner » December 13th, 2012, 5:18 pm

mattaudio wrote:A few years ago, I created this rough idea for what could be done: http://goo.gl/maps/DmI4e


I've always thought your idea for a diagonal greenway from the bend in Chicago to the Armory was a great one - the Loring Greenway is probably the single most successful urban renewal project, and I've never understood why there's never been an attempt to replicate that success. It would be great to get the concept into some kind of plan ASAP.

Luckily the portion of the blocks fronting 5th Ave were planned as a linear park in the North Loop - East Downtown Small Area Plan, so hopefully the city can get the developer to incorporate something like that in their plans (this could be a condition of city subsidy). On the other hand, obviously this concept was not incorporated in the vague stadium area plans we've seen so far, so maybe no one cares about it any more. Or they've decided a more disconnected linear plaza - oriented east-west and over the grave of the Strib building - is preferable. I guess it would be inconsistent of the city to make any attempt to alleviate the isolation of Elliot Park.
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby TroyGBiv » December 13th, 2012, 10:39 pm

It does seem like Block E would be a great option for the Strib - it was always supposed to function as Times Square with advertising and news feeds and projection screens. They could become a true multi-media company and "populate" that whole block with visual activation. The Fist floor could still be restaurants and other street level businesses.
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby uptown067 » December 13th, 2012, 10:51 pm

I would love to see a round about, similar to Indianapolis Monument Circle or Columbus Circle in NYC, at Portland and 4th St.
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby mattaudio » December 13th, 2012, 11:03 pm

A new Wells Fargo campus?
http://www.startribune.com/business/183450161.html
and I recuse myself from further discussion on this tangent.
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby trkaiser » December 14th, 2012, 12:01 am

This could be an amazing development - I'm excited. And this would have to make them a front-runner on stadium naming rights for sure.
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby Nick » December 14th, 2012, 12:03 am

Oh my. I've always been puzzled by how many employees banks seem to have. How many people do you need to move money pixels around on a screen?

That said, that's a helluva lead. Banks like towers.
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby mattaudio » December 14th, 2012, 12:12 am

Not just employees, but contractors need office space too...
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby twincitizen » December 14th, 2012, 12:31 am

"Wells Fargo has also scouted land on the western side of downtown, now home to surface parking lots at 10th Street S. and Hennepin and Hawthorne avenues, said Bob Lux, a partner with Minneapolis-based Alatus LLC, an entity of which owns the property. "We have made Wells Fargo aware of our sites, which could accommodate their needs," he said."

Ugh, that lot needs to be developed for sure. Stop land-banking and DO something, Bob Lux. YOU are holding downtown back.
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby mullen » December 14th, 2012, 8:12 am

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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby Aville_37 » December 14th, 2012, 9:19 am

mattaudio wrote:A new Wells Fargo campus?
http://www.startribune.com/business/183450161.html
and I recuse myself from further discussion on this tangent.


"One scenario apparently involves building a campus for Wells Fargo, a park, and perhaps residential housing".

Fingers crossed!!
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