Stay in the Loop

TMBR taps condo demand in North Loop

A 10-story, timber-frame condominium building two developers want to build at 100 Third Ave. N. in Minneapolis’ North Loop neighborhood would rise next to a proposed apartment building being developed next door. (Submitted illustration: Dwyer Oglesbay Architects)
A pair of Twin Cities developers is keying on the appeal of timber construction and the resurgence of the Minneapolis condo market as they work to make something old new again in Minneapolis’ North Loop.

Project partners Colin Oglesbay of Dwyer/Oglesbay Architects and Kroiss DevelopmentPresident Todd Simning want to build an 84-unit, timber-framed condominium tower on the site of a parking lot at 100 Third Ave. N. The 10-story terra-cotta-clad building, named “TMBR,” would rise on a 0.46-acre site wedged in the southwest intersection of First Street North and Cedar Lake Bike Trail.

The property is about a block southwest of where the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis plans to build a new, 800-stall parking structure next to the Mississippi River.

Oglesbay, who is the managing partner for his Minneapolis firm, and Simning are developing TMBR separate of the companies they lead, although Dwyer Oglesbay is designing the building, Oglesbay said in a Wednesday interview. Simning brings decades of experience building luxury homes with Excelsior-based Kroiss.

Exposed beams inside TMBR will bring some of the warm feel of the century-old timber-frame buildings in the North Loop, Oglesbay said. Construction is likely to be a bit more expensive than using steel and concrete, but the extra expense will give the building a wholly different character, he said.

“Ultimately we’re interested in something that is more unique and authentic,” he said.

The 119-foot-tall tower would include ground floor retail space, underground parking and “a variety” of for-purchase residential units, according to a project description filed with the city. The Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission will consider the project at its March 19 meeting.

The developers draw parallels between TMBR and the T3 office building, which is also in in the trendy North Loop district. The seven-story T3 at 323 Washington Ave. N. in the North Loop, completed in 2016, is considered the first major U.S. office building constructed with timber in 100 years.

Recent condo projects and proposals in Minneapolis have been designed around steel and concrete construction. TMBR will be different.

“TMBR will do for condominiums what the T3 Building did for office buildings,” the project description states.

Dwyer Oglesbay has experience with urban condo projects. The company recently designed a 12-story, 120-unit condominium building for developer AECOM the city of Minneapolis picked as the winner of a request for proposals process for a vacant property at 800 Washington Ave.

The TMBR project coincides with a proposal from another developer to build a six-story, mixed-use apartment building next door. Minneapolis-based 310 Development LLC in February proposed a 59-unit project at 310 Second St. N. that would replace an aging structure that has been used for warehouse space and apartments over the years.

Floor plans for TMBR show a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom condo units in the building. Units will range in size from about 900 square feet to about 2,700 square feet. The developers have not yet determined pricing for the condos.

The ground-floor layout for the building includes five retail bays totaling about 5,000 square feet of space. TMBR would also have 114 vehicle parking stalls inside the building.

The retail space and condos will be welcome in the North Loop, said Tim Bildsoe, president of the North Loop Neighborhood Association. The association will review the project the day after the Heritage Preservation Commission, but Bildsoe has already met with the developers to learn about TMBR, he said in an interview.

“I think in the North Loop there is the demand for for-purchase,” he said. “I think this particular project, where it’s located in the center of the retail spot in the North Loop, would be fantastic.”

The retail component of the project will emphasize “boutique” shops, Oglesbay said.

TMBR is being proposed as condominium development picks up in Minneapolis. Minneapolis-based Ryan Cos. US Inc. plans to start construction in April on the 41-story 118-unit luxury Eleven condominium tower at 1101 W. River Parkway in Minneapolis. Across the river at St. Anthony Main, developer Alatus LLC will start work in early May on the 40-story, 212-unit Alia condo tower at 200 Central Ave.

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