Future of Graco campus - St. Anthony West

Northeast, Near North, Camden, Old St. Anthony, University and surrounding neighborhoods
twincitizen
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Future of Graco campus - St. Anthony West

Postby twincitizen » June 9th, 2021, 9:05 am

Back in February, Graco announced that they would relocate 225 jobs to a new facility in Dayton MN. What does that mean for the future of their ~40 acre compound of buildings and parking lots along the Northeast riverfront?

https://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/ ... -room.html (unlocked)
Graco Inc. will relocate at least 225 jobs, along with its Industrial Products and Process divisions, to a new facility in Dayton, Minn. The company says the expansion is needed because it's running out room at its headquarters in Minneapolis. The 225 jobs represent more than 25% of its Minneapolis-based workforce, which currently has about 800 employees at its facilities near Boom Island Park.

"The new land is about three times the size of the Minneapolis campus' footprint and will allow for future growth, too, according to Boyd. The 530,000-square-foot building we're planning will include manufacturing, engineering labs, demonstration labs and office space for our Industrial Products and Process divisions," Boyd said. "We currently have 660,000 square feet total in Minneapolis, spread across four buildings." The company would not comment when questioned about the status of its Minneapolis headquarters.
The new facility in Dayton won't open until next year, but I'm curious which building(s), if any, in Minneapolis will be vacated. Didn't they invest somewhat recently in a building expansion or renovation here? (Edit: maybe not any major expansions since like 2001, but idk about renovations or other major investments that would keep them in Minneapolis vs. moving entirely).

I don't know how full their parking lots get, but with 225 fewer employees coming here, I wonder if they'll sell off either of those large parking lots along Marshall for development. The one in the SE corner of their property seems most likely, as it's a full block and furthest from any of their buildings.

Image

Simultaneously the Park Board is moving forward with construction of Graco Park and connections to Hall's Island (bottom of image).
Page: https://www.minneapolisparks.org/park_c ... velopment/
Plan: https://www.minneapolisparks.org/_asset ... rfirst.pdf

uptownbro
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Re: Future of Graco campus - St. Anthony West

Postby uptownbro » June 9th, 2021, 9:15 am

If its pretty new I could see them just filling it/keeping it for the post covid world

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Re: Future of Graco campus - St. Anthony West

Postby mattaudio » June 9th, 2021, 9:34 am

I realize this wasn't a development hot spot 20 years ago like it is now, but it's wild we have such a low-use low-employment land use along prime riverfront property.

BigIdeasGuy
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Re: Future of Graco campus - St. Anthony West

Postby BigIdeasGuy » June 9th, 2021, 12:32 pm

Damn that really is an incredible parcel that Graco is sitting on, I didn't realize how much land they had. Is it weird to be thinking the best idea is for Graco to hold on to everything they have until they ready to sell all of it to a big time developer with a BIG vision.

Maybe something like dedicating everything west of Sibley to Park Board save for a parcel abutting Broadway for decently tall high end condo's/apartment.

Then everything between Sibley & Marshall turns into a huge amount of housing (5 over 1 minimum) with Ramsey Street becoming a woonerf with plenty of shopping. Hopefully who ever the developer is can get the parties who own the rest of the block at 8th and Sibley to sell as well. It really could be something special

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Re: Future of Graco campus - St. Anthony West

Postby RedDutch » June 9th, 2021, 12:43 pm

Basically the Ford project in Minneapolis.

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Re: Future of Graco campus - St. Anthony West

Postby seanrichardryan » June 9th, 2021, 2:17 pm

Basically the Ford project in Minneapolis.
Well, it's be about a third of the size, but sure.
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BigIdeasGuy
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Re: Future of Graco campus - St. Anthony West

Postby BigIdeasGuy » June 9th, 2021, 6:48 pm

Basically the Ford project in Minneapolis.
Well, it's be about a third of the size, but sure.
And denser and more urban. And more shopping. I'm almost thinking The Shops at The West End but with significantly less parking and a ton more housing

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Re: Future of Graco campus - St. Anthony West

Postby RedDutch » June 10th, 2021, 5:21 am

Basically the Ford project in Minneapolis.
Well, it's be about a third of the size, but sure.
Clearly its smaller.....I meant same concept

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Re: Future of Graco campus - St. Anthony West

Postby SurlyLHT » June 10th, 2021, 9:38 am

Be great if some sort of density could include industrial jobs as well somehow. I like density and housing and offices, but these places also have good jobs. Metal Matic Inc also has a large space near the river, unlike Graco theirs is a bit rundown.

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Re: Future of Graco campus - St. Anthony West

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » June 10th, 2021, 11:36 am

Be great if some sort of density could include industrial jobs as well somehow. I like density and housing and offices, but these places also have good jobs. Metal Matic Inc also has a large space near the river, unlike Graco theirs is a bit rundown.
Yes, this does beg the question of what the proper geographical location is for blue collar jobs with benefits that pay enough to raise a family. Are we making a conscious decision to move them all out to Rogers and beyond? Often this type of work is the first rung up from things like fast food and hotel housekeeping for new immigrants. Exurban populations don't currently welcome these New Americans with open arms.

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Re: Future of Graco campus - St. Anthony West

Postby twincitizen » June 10th, 2021, 12:01 pm

Preventing displacement of "production" jobs was a theme in the 2040 Plan process, and from what I could tell was a strong priority of CPED staff (my impression was that staff cared more about it than policymakers did). If you look at the Future Land Use map (not the 'Built Form' map), you can see that significant preservation of production-oriented land use is in the plan. In fact, this entire Graco area is guided as "Production and Processing", so it would take a Comp Plan amendment to shift away from that. In the near term, if Graco did want to sell off one of their parking lots for development, they could probably do so without a comp plan amendment, as long as the proposed mixed-use building included production space on the ground floor like some recent developments in Northeast have done.

That said, even with the importance of retaining employment areas in mind, this would be one area where I think it would be appropriate to re-designate the land as Mixed Use. It's relatively small and fairly isolated from other areas of the city guided for production/industrial uses. I don't think re-designating this area away from production harms efforts to preserve and promote current and future production jobs in other parts of the city. If Graco someday leaves this property, it's unlikely the 'highest and best land use' will remain production-oriented. There's still a lot of purple on that future land use map even if you re-designate this 40 acres to mixed use.

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Re: Future of Graco campus - St. Anthony West

Postby Silophant » June 10th, 2021, 12:27 pm

Residential is strictly prohibited in Production and Processing, so even that would require a comp plan amendment to Production Mixed Use, which is the category that allows residential as long as there's production space on the ground floor. Like you say, though, this is an isolated industrial use, not at all the same thing as Broadway east of 35W or Marshall north of 30th. An amendment to Production Mixed Use is a no-brainer, and even Community Mixed Use like the Grain Belt complex across Broadway should be an easy sell.

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Re: Future of Graco campus - St. Anthony West

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » June 11th, 2021, 9:46 pm

It's relatively small and fairly isolated from other areas of the city guided for production/industrial uses. I don't think re-designating this area away from production harms efforts to preserve and promote current and future production jobs in other parts of the city.
"I love factories. Factories are awesome. Let me tell you, some of my best friends work in factories. Just put the darned thing someplace else, OK?"

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Re: Future of Graco campus - St. Anthony West

Postby Blaisdell Greenway » June 15th, 2021, 8:38 am

As an individual I think there could be much better land use here, yes, but there are very few billion dollar companies headquartered in Minneapolis and it is in the best interest of our tax base to keep Graco around.

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Re: Future of Graco campus - St. Anthony West

Postby BigIdeasGuy » June 15th, 2021, 11:50 am

It's relatively small and fairly isolated from other areas of the city guided for production/industrial uses. I don't think re-designating this area away from production harms efforts to preserve and promote current and future production jobs in other parts of the city.
"I love factories. Factories are awesome. Let me tell you, some of my best friends work in factories. Just put the darned thing someplace else, OK?"

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I think there is significant difference between "tear the damn thing down right now" and "if they ever where to move/close I hope they dream big with what to do" that's just me though

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Re: Future of Graco campus - St. Anthony West

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » June 15th, 2021, 1:13 pm

They're not closing anytime soon, they're thriving and profitable constructing actual physical objects near the heart of a major city. They are literally doing the impossible, and doing it with style. If they left, how could we replace the economic and social benefit of that blue collar payroll?

It would indeed be a fascinating experiment to substitute a factory full of CNC machines and assembly workstations for the usual parking ramp at the base of a high rise residential tower. Perhaps Tokyo, Seoul, or Singapore could provide some insights into how manufacturing is done in dense urban areas.

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Re: Future of Graco campus - St. Anthony West

Postby twincitizen » June 16th, 2021, 11:10 am

I mean, the reason for me starting this thread didn't come out of thin air...they are literally moving >25% of their Mpls workforce (at least 225 jobs) to this new facility in Dayton, which will have room for further expansion should they need it. They also have facilities in Anoka and Rogers. While I certainly hope Graco keeps their HQ office based in Minneapolis, it doesn't seem that farfetched to imagine that they will someday move more manufacturing jobs to Dayton or other locations. That doesn't mean I'm wishing for it to happen...just saying it's at least in the range of 'somewhat likely'.


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