United Properties revamps design of 33-story tower for downtown Minneapolis
United Properties revealed a new design Monday for the 33-story tower it wants to build on the north end of Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis, fresh after landing RBC Wealth Management as the anchor tenant.
The building, which for now is being called the Gateway in a nod to the district that for years was known as the entrance to downtown, will likely have a new name announced in the fall, said Bill Katter, president and chief investment officer of United Properties.
“There is still work to do to get this done, but I would say it’s a breakthrough,” Katter said in an interview Monday. “I think it’s a breakthrough for downtown. It’s been many years since it has had a tower with Class A, office, hotel and condos.”
Previously envisioned as a sleek, straight skyscraper with a spire, the new design shows the building with several terraces and setbacks as the floorplates change in size as the building transitions between different uses. The Gateway will be prominently visible from Target Field home plate standing separately from the rest of the downtown skyline.
The 1-million square-foot mixed-use development, estimated to cost about $330 million, will be built on the site of a surface parking lot located on 3rd Street S. between Nicollet and Hennepin avenues.
In addition to RBC, which will take about one-third of the tower, the Gateway is planned to have other office space, a 275-room Four Seasons hotel and 18 condominiums on the top floors. The amount of speculative office space as well as the final number of hotel rooms and housing units is still to be determined.
RBC, which currently has its offices a few blocks away at RBC Plaza, will move 1,500 employees into 310,000 square feet of space when the Gateway is ready in 2021.
“The city of Minneapolis has been our home for many decades and we look forward to continuing to build our legacy here,” Michael Armstrong, chief executive of RBC Wealth Management-U. S., said in a statement. “Our move to our future home — a sustainably built, state-of-the-art building — will be a symbol of our firm’s growth and commitment to the wealth management business in the U.S.”
The development of the city-owned site, dubbed the Nicollet Hotel Block after the hotel that used to occupy it, has been delayed as United Properties sought to secure financing. Last week, city staff executed a redevelopment contract with United Properties after the developer was able to confirm RBC as the office anchor for the project.
In an interview last month, Mayor Jacob Frey called the block “not just an entrance to downtown but a gateway to the entire western half of the country.”
There have been several designs United Properties has proposed for the tower. The company originally said it wanted to build a 36-story project with apartments and hotel rooms.
In a more recent design, the tower was supposed to include a lit spire on the roof, but city staff said in reports that the new design has “an architecturally significant style with a primarily glass facade and stepped rooftop terraces that no longer warrants additional aesthetic enhancements.”
Atlanta-based architectural firm Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart & Stewart, Inc. worked on the latest design.
United Properties still needs to submit its land use applications to the city and anticipates closing on the purchase of the 1.7-acre parcel for $10.4 million between December and February. Construction is expected to start in spring of 2019.
For United Properties, which traditionally has focused largely on suburban development, the Gateway project reflects a growing shift to concentrate more on downtown Minneapolis projects. Since 2010, the developer has completed seven renovation and new construction projects in downtown, Katter said.
Last week, United Properties started construction on Target Field Station, a 150,000-square-foot complex that will feature a Fillmore Theater and Element by Westin hotel.
Last year, United Properties moved its headquarters from Bloomington to the Gaviidae complex in downtown.