Apr 27, 2021 - News

A big Chicago real estate developer is taking a swing at Minneapolis' downtown

The old city public service center could be demolished and redeveloped. Photo: Google

A Chicago real estate firm with experience building high rises will try to develop a key piece of land in downtown Minneapolis.

Why it matters: What ultimately takes place will say a lot about the health of downtown Minneapolis.

  • Just before the pandemic, developers were paying sky-high prices for land and fighting for the last remaining pieces of vacant land.
  • But COVID has left office buildings mostly empty and downtown feeling ghostly.
  • "This gives us an opportunity to do some more intensive development in downtown," Erik Hansen, director of economic policy and development for Minneapolis, told Nick.

What's happening: The city of Minneapolis recently completed a new office building for its staff, rendering a pair of buildings on 1.6 acres of land at Third Street and Third Avenue unnecessary.

  • It selected John Buck Co. to work on a redevelopment of the site, which could include some combination of constructing new buildings and rehabbing the old ones, though Buck and the city have not gotten into specifics.

What's next: Buck and the city will work for the next 18 months on design plans and an agreement could be executed six months after that.


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