Minnesota excluded its east side comprised of the Mill District to the north, Elliot Park to the southeast and the deserted area in-between from development. A turnaround was anticipated after the Minnesota Vikings and state legislators agreed to demolish the Metrodome and build a new football stadium in 2012.
However, development has surged in the last few months based upon the Star Tribune leaving its 100-year old building and allowing for the construction of the Wells Fargo Tower and a two-bloc park that will be called the Commons. Almost two dozen construction projects also began in the last two months. Low interest rates, and an increased demand for downtown residential living have also contributed to this boom.
During the next several weeks, developers are anticipated to announce a number of new projects on the Commons. The Thresher Square complex and a parcel near the Guthrie Theater are also slated for development. Developers are planning a skyway loop from the central business district and through the new stadium that will form a residential corridor of low-income, workforce, luxury housing and retail services.
The Hennepin County Medical Center intends to construct a 7-level ambulatory clinic with below-grade parking spaces this autumn. Developers also plan construction of at least two large condominiums, among other projects.
This renaissance, however, is not without challenges. Interest rates may rise again, the demand for downtown residential living can drop, and the inability of the city’s transit and school systems to keep pace with this growth can stop this momentum. Development in the suburbs, northeast Minneapolis and its North Loop and in Lowertown St. Paul can also compete with this growth.
This type of growth is a merger of commercial, health, government and citizen needs and demands. Financial, economic, zoning laws, ecological, construction law and numerous other legal issues abound in commercial real estate transactions. Developers, accordingly, may want to seek prompt legal assistance to help overcome these obstacles.
Source: Minnesota Star Tribune, “On east side of downtown Mpls., a new wave of development begins,” By Kristen Leigh Painter, April 11, 2015