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Minneapolis Riverfront News

Covering life, work, and play in the Historic Mill District and Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront neighborhoods. Have an opinion, local news or events to share?  Contact us.

Entries by David Tinjum (471)


In the News - Downtown & the Riverfront Neighborhoods

Our weekly digest of stories about Downtown Minneapolis and the Central Riverfront neighborhoods:


Almost 50,000 people now calling downtown Minneapolis home
The number of residents moving near city's center has risen for past decade.

Downtown Minneapolis is one step closer to new skyways at the Central Library
Two new skyways would connect Central Library with nearby buildings.

Minnesota Opera aims to protect, develop artistic space with purchase of Lab Theater
The Minnesota Opera wants input from local arts organizations after purchasing the Lab Theater, its next-door neighbor in the Minneapolis North Loop.

After leading a Minneapolis riverfront revival, MSR Design heads downtown
Leaving its historic home isn't easy, but the design firm has decided to embrace change.

Click to read more ...


Opinion: Act to Protect the “Power of the Falls”

By Cordelia Pierson

Growing with Integrity to Protect Our Historic Mississippi Riverfront

Our elected officials will soon decide how our Mississippi riverfront community will grow, as they review a proposal to redevelop the General Mills Riverside Technical Center, just one block from the Mississippi River.  Despite a 15-17 story height maximum, Doran/CSM is proposing a 32-story tower for the 311 2nd Street SE project, transforming two full city blocks between Second Street and University Avenue.  The site is next to the Pillsbury A Mill complex, a National Historic Landmark, in the St. Anthony Falls Historic District’s Water Power Character Area, where the historic mill buildings define the district on both banks of the Mississippi River.  The 32-story tower would dwarf the historic industrial buildings surrounding the Pillsbury A Mill, now prominent features in the protected “key viewshed” from the Mill City Museum and Stone Arch Bridge.

Now is a great time to ask our elected officials to vote to protect the “Power of the Falls” by supporting growth that honors this riverfront area’s integrity.

What is the “Power of the Falls?”

What places do you choose when you are welcoming visitors from other countries or cities here?

The Stone Arch Bridge? Mill City Museum and the Guthrie Theater? Perhaps Gold Medal Park?

All of these places are along the Great River Road, in the St. Anthony Falls Historic District.  The Great River Road is an 80-year old National Scenic Byway, connecting communities from the Headwaters at Lake Itasca to Forest History Center in Grand Rapids, from Oliver Kelley Farm to Fort Snelling, from Oheyawahi (Pilot Knob) to the National Eagle Center in Wabasha.  Along the Great River Road, people can experience beautiful views and nature; learn about American Indian culture today; discover stories about how farming, sawmilling and grain milling here changed our state and nation; and enjoy biking, paddling and walking.  I serve as regional commissioner on the Mississippi River Parkway Commission, which protects and enhances the Mississippi valley and the Great River Road.

Here in Minneapolis, by the Mississippi River’s only falls, our riverfront boasts an incredible blend of all those values – scenic, natural, spiritual, cultural, historic, recreational.  We are lucky to have two National Historic Landmarks – the sister mills facing each other, one now the Mill City Museum, and the other affordable artist housing at Pillsbury A Mill.  We can easily see these mills and grain elevators that define the area’s “Water Power Character” area, at the heart of this national and state-designated St. Anthony Falls Historic District.  This protected, historic character makes this area unique, and private and public investment – well over $2 billion - has followed. 

While we have a National Scenic Byway Great River Road that is hundreds of miles long, we have only one national park on the entire length of the Mississippi River.  Our Mississippi River in the metro region earned its National Park status – the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area - because of this concentration of amazing, diverse assets at the falls.  Standing on the Hennepin Bridge and looking downstream at night, you can see “Gold Medal Flour” towering over the West bank, and “Pillsbury” atop the Red Tile Elevator on the East bank.  These mill complexes define this Water Power Character area, tying us to our sister communities in Greater Minnesota, where grain elevators dominate the landscape of rural towns. 

So why the “Power of the Falls?” That phrase captures more than the hydropower we draw from the Mississippi here.  It is the title of the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board’s interpretive plan for the area because the “Power of the Falls” also captures the area’s spiritual, cultural, historic and natural significance and inspires new plans for the area’s future. “The enduring sense of place that drew people here many hundreds of years ago is prompting new generations to embrace the riverfront and care about its future.”  According to the plan,

  • Spiritually significant place for indigenous people: This relationship with the river is felt by many and is inspiring a new understanding of the river among others. St. Anthony Falls continues to be a place of homecoming for Dakota people.
  • Historically significant: The Mississippi River’s steepest drop attracted waterpower for industries that helped build a city, shape the region’s economy, and change how we eat.
  • Uniquely scenic: This is an urban landscape shaped by human and natural forces. The dramatic tension between these two forces resulted in a setting that is unlike any other in the region.

This is indeed a place of power – unique, and worth protecting, investing our lives in, and sharing with our visitors from afar.  Did that power draw you, too?

What does “Growing with Integrity” mean?

The City of Minneapolis adopted St. Anthony Falls Historic District Guidelines to protect the integrity of this area and the “Power of the Falls.” These rules apply to all private and public development here – parks, like Father Hennepin Bluffs Park, now in planning for $1M in 2019; public facilities, like WaterWorks and the Lock and Dam visitor center, now proposed; and private development, like the General Mills Riverside Technical Center redevelopment.  The City has also adopted a Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area plan, which applies to the entire historic district as well. 

Our elected officials are charged with applying these rules to all developments, private and public.  Everyone considering whether to invest here knows about both the historic and river protections. 

A key test for whether to grant permission to build here is whether the project “will ensure the historic district’s continued integrity” as well as being “compatible with the historic designation” and “consistent with the spirit and intent of preservation policies and laws.” 

“Growing with Integrity” means two things:  following the rules that apply to us all, and ensuring the historic district’s continued integrity. 

The proposal Doran/CSM submitted in December 2018 does not meet that standard. 

  • Height: The rules clearly require a maximum height of the Red Tile Elevators, which is 15 – 17 stories, and a 32-story tower does not meet the requirement of being “compatible with the character area.”
  • Visual impact: The rules list specific “key view opportunities” to gauge visual impact, particularly from public ways, and require new structures to be low to maintain views, such as from Mill City Museum and West River Road, our Great River Road.  Whether the project reduces the prominence and scale of the historic resources is the key test.  The 32-story tower would loom over the Pillsbury A Mill complex, and indisputably impact these historic resources.

Other towers have been approved in the historic district, close to the activity center along University and Central Avenues.  To use them as an excuse for allowing excessive height closer to the National Historic Landmark Pillsbury A Mill and deeper into the historic district and residential neighborhood is simply to abandon the design guidelines that aim for building compatibility in height, mass and scale. Previous loss of integrity underscores the importance of adhering to the guidelines and maintaining the integrity that remains in the district. 

Act to Protect the “Power of the Falls:” Urge Our Elected Officials to Support Growing with Integrity

You were drawn to the “Power of the Falls.”  You can act to protect it.

Members of the Heritage Preservation Commission on January 22 said they would deny permission for the 32-story proposed, and the developer agreed to return on February 19 with a revised proposal.  The City of Minneapolis now has until April 12 to approve or deny the developer’s project, a planned unit development.

Contact our elected officials – Council Member Steve Fletcher; Zoning and Planning Committee Chair Jeremy Schroeder; Council President Lisa Bender; Mayor Jacob Frey.

Encourage them to deny approvals for this 32-story project.  Encourage them to ask the developer to submit a revised proposal that preserves the integrity of the St. Anthony Falls Historic District by meeting historic district guidelines, including honoring the Red Tile Elevator maximum height (15-17 stories) and meeting visual impact requirements. 

Learn more at Power of the Falls – East Bank Development Task Force of the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association.

Join me in acting to protect the “Power of the Falls” and welcome growth with integrity.  And the next time you tour the area with a visitor, you can be proud that you have helped protect the future of our Mississippi riverfront, leaving an inspiring legacy for generations to come.

Cordelia Pierson, Mississippi River Parkway Commissioner, Metro Region

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cordelia Pierson, 1st elected to the Mississippi River Parkway Commission in 2011, serves as Vice Chair. Contact Cordelia at


2019 Event Planner: Downtown Minneapolis & Riverfront Neighborhoods

Updated on Monday, February 4, 2019 at 8:55AM by Registered CommenterDavid Tinjum

Our first annual event planner for Downtown Minneapolis & Riverfront Neighborhoods is a list of 20 top events for 2019. We'll be adding to the list during the year as event dates & details become available. Did we miss your favorite event? Let us know, click here to submit event info...



Mill City Farmers Market is Minneapolis’ trusted source for healthy, local and organic groceries, bringing a wide assortment of fresh food, cooking education and live entertainment to one beautiful space.




View artwork of nearly 800 artists in every medium at more than 60 locations throughout Northeast Minneapolis, including studio buildings, art galleries, homes, storefronts, and local businesses. The artists’ open studio tours may include demonstrations, mini workshops, installations, and special exhibitions. Studio tours offer a great opportunity to ask questions, discuss techniques, experience art first-hand, and purchase unique artwork directly from the artists.





Northern Spark is known as an all-night arts festival that lights up the Twin Cities. In early June, tens of thousands of people gather throughout the city to explore giant video projections, play in temporary installations in the streets, and enjoy experimental performances in green spaces. From dusk to dawn the city surprises you: friendly crowds, glowing groups of cyclists, an unexpected path through the urban landscape, the magic of sunrise after a night of amazing art and experiences. Experience the artful magic of Northern Spark for two nights until 2 am!




A huge celebration of art and music on the Mpls Riverfront! Join 200+ artists, live music on 3 stages, family fun, food trucks, beer/wine gardens and the Art of the Car display.



Click to read more ...


Downtown Living: Stonebridge Lofts - 1120 S 2nd St #908

It’s all about the VIEW. Full unobstructed views of Gold Medal Park and the Mississippi River from this Stonebridge gem. Corner location and prime orientation allow for sunrise and sunset views from all windows.Two private balconies and open floor plan featuring 2 bedrooms and den, hardwood floors, and many thoughtful details. Bright and cheery with fresh paint throughout. Lovely amenities and new art exhibit in the lobby make this property a very special place to call home. Walking distance to the Light Rail, Trader Joe’s, Farmers Market, U of M, and US Bank Stadium.

2 bed | 2 bath | 2 parking | 1,640 sf

Visit this listing online for more details...


Great River Coalition Weighs in on 2040 Plan

Dear Minneapolis City Council Members, and Mayor Frey:

The Great River Coalition (GRC) is a member-supported 501 c3 nonprofit organization. Our mission is to advocate for preserving, protecting and promoting the historic, commercial and environmental vitality of the Mississippi River, the Metropolitan area and its relationship to the people and our communities. GRC appreciates the opportunity to comment on the Minneapolis 2040 Plan draft.

Dear Minneapolis City Council Members, and Mayor Frey:The Great River Coalition (GRC) is a member-supported 501 c3 nonprofitorganization. Our mission is to advocate for preserving, protecting and promotingthe historic, commercial and environmental vitality of the Mississippi River, theMetropolitan area and its relationship to the people and our communities. GRCappreciates the opportunity to comment on the Minneapolis 2040 Plan draft.

Download the complete letter...


Downtown Living: Phoenix on the River

Phoenix on the River prime floor plan! Corner location flooded with morning light & panoramic views. Floor plan features 2 bedrooms and den, 2 bathrooms, open layout, private balcony, loads of custom storage & walls of glass. Perfect eye-level view of the recently renovated Pillsbury Flour sign & illuminated water tank atop the Pillsbury A-Mill. Walking distance to U of M campus, groceries, movies, great restaurants & bars, nature & best of riverfront festivals.

2 bed | 2 bath |2 parking | 2,100 sf | $1,150,000

Listing by Cynthia Froid Group

Click for more details, photos...


Book Launch: "Double Exposure - Images of Black Minnesota in the 1940s

Minneapolis Central Library

Saturday, October 6th, 2-3pm

Doty Board Room, 2nd floor


After serving in World War II, John Glanton returned home to Minnesota and used his camera to capture the sights and scenes of everyday life for African Americans in Minneapolis, highlighting black-owned businesses, the music and club scene, weddings and other family occasions. Glanton's photos in Double Exposure: Images of Black Minnesota in the 1940s offer a rare look into the lives and lifestyles of families and individuals often left out of histories of Minnesota's past. Books will be available for purchase.

Music by the George Scott Trio.

Light refreshments will be provided.

This program is being co-sponsored by the Minnesota Black Community Project.

Register online


Opinion: Finger Pointing will ensue if "14 Boss" Plan for Police Passes

Submitted by Joe Tamburino

Dear Editor:

The Minneapolis City Council is about to decide whether to allow the city’s charter to be amended by ballot question in November to give the council shared power with the mayor over the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD).  Mayor Frey and Chief Arradondo strongly oppose this amendment and argue that the enforcement of laws must remain the prerogative of the mayor’s office - they are absolutely right.

The city’s charter, which has remained intact since 1920, is the foundational law of the city.  It directs the mayor (executive authority) to be responsible for the police and the council (legislative authority) to institute policy and legislation. The proposed charter amendment would drastically change these sound and well-established governing rules and permit the 13-member council to govern the MPD.  This would be a disaster.

One can imagine the finger pointing that would occur if the council obtained even partial control over the MPD.  For example, if something goes wrong and someone, a police officer or citizen, is harmed or injured, any council member can blame other council members, who can then blame the mayor, who can in turn blame the 13-member council.  No one is ultimately accountable. 

Interestingly, this imprudent proposed amendment, in its current form and wording, hangs by a thread.  Its passage appears to depend on one person - Council Member (CM) Steve Fletcher of the Third Ward, our council member for downtown.  Thankfully, CM Fletcher has publicly stated his position and opinion that all executive authority over the MPD must remain with the mayor. We should expect him to keep his word. 

It is concerning, however, that CM Fletcher has also supported language in the current proposal that gives the council the “authority to adopt policies, rules and regulations of the police department subject to the approval of the mayor as defined in section 4.4(c).”  Section 4.4(c) allows the council to override a mayor’s veto on any proposed law by a two-thirds vote. In other words, the council would still ultimately control all of the rules, policies, and regulations of the MPD. 

I have been practicing law for 29 years, have litigated thousands of matters in court, and have argued many cases in the appellate courts.  I can unequivocally state that CM Fletcher’s position that the mayor should have all executive power while the council would have all regulatory power over the MPD is what’s called a legal incongruity. It’s literally contradictory.

By definition, executive authority makes and enforces rules over a government agency.  The mayor cannot have executive authority over the MPD if the council dictates the MPD’s rules and regulations.  The council’s authority is, and should remain, limited to making ordinances for the city.  The rules and regulations by which the MPD operates must rest with the mayor if the mayor is to retain executive authority. 

CM Fletcher has already stated his position that the mayor must retain executive powers over the MPD.  We should hold him to his word and urge him to vote against this proposal without any further amendments or changes.

Joe Tamburino
Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association, Chair.
Neighborhood Alliance, Chair.
Hennepin Ave. Stakeholders Committee, member.
Hennepin Ave. Safety Committee, member.

Opinion: Mayor should retain executive authority, City Council should assume policy making authority, says Council Member Steve Fletcher

By Ward 3 Council Member Steve Fletcher

In the wake of the death of Thurman Blevins, Council Member Cam Gordon has proposed a charter amendment on the Mayor and Council’s authority over the Minneapolis Police Department. Before we have even seen proposed language, the debate about it has become highly politicized, and I think that is a shame.

Charter amendments should never be about the current Council and Mayor. These are choices that will impact governance ten mayors from now, and who knows if you’ll feel the same way about that Mayor or your Council Member, or not? Who knows what the political dynamic of the day will be?

Opponents of the amendment claim that shifting authority over MPD to the Council would cause complete chaos, and that the responsible thing is to maintain the status quo. Complete chaos sounds really bad. The status quo is really bad. I would not vote to put a choice between chaos and the status quo on the ballot, if that were actually the choice. I don’t think it is.

What if, instead, we focused on responding to the clear community demand for increased public oversight and transparency for the Police Department? What if the question we asked was: “How do we maximize Minneapolis residents’ access and voice in decisions about MPD?” I like that question a lot better.

The Mayor and the Council serve different functions, and giving either one “complete control” over the Police Department, as our charter currently gives the Mayor, misses the opportunity to take advantage of each office’s strengths. The City Council is, by design, a deliberative legislative body. We do our business in public, hold public hearings, hold our meetings at set times, televise our proceedings, and publish public agendas in advance. The cost of our transparent, predictable processes is speed. Nothing moves very quickly through the Minneapolis City Council. The Mayor, by contrast, is an executive, and much less encumbered by process. The Mayor can be decisive, and can fulfill their duties largely behind closed doors.

I am inclined to believe that shifting legislative authority to the City Council would increase transparency and public access to decision-making. Right now, policy decisions can happen between the Mayor and the Police Chief in a back room. The Council can hold public discussion on police-related issues, but the Chief has no formal obligation to attend our discussions in person or to enact policies recommended by the City Council.

Many of the people who have contacted me about this issue have incorrectly asserted that the Council already has legislative authority over the Police Department. The current charter clearly states that we do not. We can make recommendations, and use the budget for leverage, but cannot enact policy. Most of the constituents who call my office about police policy are asking me to change it - not asking me to politely ask the Mayor to change it. Shifting policy-making authority to the Council would bring public safety discussions out of the back room and into the daylight, and align the charter better with what, in my experience, many residents already assume it says.

I am also inclined to believe that the Mayor should retain executive authority -- that the chain of command should end with the Mayor. The Police Department is different from other departments. High-stakes decisions regularly have to be made very quickly, and the consequences of inaction are sometimes very high. Situations where lives are at risk, or that have huge, immediate public consequences can’t wait for a committee cycle. Having the Mayor in a strong executive role overseeing the police ensures that an elected civilian is involved in police oversight.

I have heard many people repeat the line that the Police Department should report to one boss rather than thirteen. I understand why people are concerned about that, but I think it misdiagnoses the problem. In urgent situations, instead of thirteen bosses, the Chief would, in practice, report to no boss at all. The Council would not be able to respond under our rules in a timely way to urgent situations, and quick tactical decisions would end up being made by the Chief alone. Taking the Mayor out of the executive oversight role would decrease police oversight by elected civilians.

My instinct is to seek to improve public oversight and transparency by working with my colleagues to craft language that preserves the Mayor’s executive power, while shifting legislative power to the Council. I think we owe it to our constituents to present a better choice than either chaos or the status quo, and I’ll vote in favor of the introduction on Friday to see if we can get that done. I think we can, though I am much less convinced that we can or should do it on the aggressive timeline necessary to put it on this year’s ballot.

Changing the charter is a big deal. I think it makes sense to give voters the choice to increase their access to our democracy by affirming the Mayor’s executive role and moving Police Department policy into the daylight of Council chambers.

Minneapolis Council Member Steve Fletcher


Editorial: Mayor Frey Correct in Opposing Police Oversight Proposal

Mayor makes the right call opposing the "14 Boss" plan

A proposal is working its way through the Minneapolis City Council that would have the Chief of Police report to 14 individuals - all 13 council members and the mayor. Presently, the charter provides the mayor with authority to “make all rules and regulations and … general and special orders necessary to operating the police department.” This proposal is ill conceived at best. To put it simply, no law enforcement entity can function with 14 bosses.

The stated reason for the change is improved accountability, but it's impact would be exactly the opposite. Right now Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Arradondo are the responsible individuals for the police department. It's clear to the voters, it's clear who to credit when things go well and who to blame when they don't. The proposal, however, would dilute responsibility by spreading it across 13 council offices.

Day to day policing decisions would also suffer because the Chief would not have clarity of reporting. Does the Chief report to a different boss depending on the ward? Are we creating a situation in which policing decisions in the 3rd Ward half of downtown are entirely different from those made in the 7th Ward half? These questions have remained unanswered.

The present structure of reporting also allows for the Mayor to make quick, decisive decisions in minutes if necessary. The council process (which is legislative in nature) would take over a month for the same outcome. There is a reason why no other large city in the country uses this structure - it simply doesn't work practically.

Mayor Jacob Frey has mounted an opposition to the proposal, and the Star Tribune reports that the council vote breakdown is relatively close, with 3rd Ward Council Member Steve Fletcher being the swing vote. Let's hope this City Council acts responsibly and recognizes this proposal for the bad idea that it is.


MILL CITY TIMES/COUNCIL MEMBER STEVE FLETCHER: Mayor should retain executive authority, City Council should assume policy making authority

STRIB: Mayor Frey speaks out about council bid for more power over police

STRIB: Minneapolis City Council bid for more oversight of police is wrongheaded

STRIB: Reject proposal to spread oversight of Minneapolis Police Department to City Council

SOUTHWEST JOURNAL: Seeking more oversight of police, council members eye charter amendment

FOX 9: Mayor Frey, Chief Arradondo speak out against proposed shared authority over police


2nd Round of RFP's for Guthrie Liner Parcel

Several developers are interested in building on a vacant, city-owned lot next in between the Guthrie Theater and Washington Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.

Developers submit proposals for city-owned site near Guthrie in Minneapolis
Four developers have submitted possible plans for the vacant strip. Read article from last week in the Strib...

Downtown Minneapolis residents want a say in city's sale of Guthrie Liner Parcel

Initial plans fell through when Mortenson Development announced it was abandoning a plan to build a 10-story tower with a 235-room Hyatt Centric hotel on the property. Read article from last year in the Strib...



Thursday, June 28, 4:30 p.m. | City Hall, Room 319 | Planning Commission COW

Developers TE Miller and Solhem Cos. are proposing a 8-story, z-shaped building that would wrap around the historic Day Block Brewing building. The plans call for 150 market rate apartments.

Excerpt from the staff report:

The applicant is proposing to construct an 8-story building with 150 market-rate apartments. The gross floor area proposed for the building is 120,254 square feet resulting in a floor area ratio of 4.88. In the B4N district building height is limited to 10 stories and there is no maximum FAR. One commercial space of 1,423 square feet is proposed along Washington Ave S. The space would be occupied by OX-OP Gallery. A tenant common space of 2,398 is also proposed along Washington Ave S. Three two-story live/work apartments are proposed along 11th Ave S. The proposed second story is a mezzanine level containing 7,475 square feet of floor area. The third through seventh floors are each proposed to be 21,184 square feet in size. Parking for the building is proposed within one story of underground parking and a partial story of at-grade garage parking resulting in a total of 103 parking spaces. The project has no minimum off-street parking requirement. There are 220 bicycle parking spaces proposed as part of the project.

The applicant has proposed to add a new curb cut along 11th Ave S to access the upper garage. There is a protected bikeway that runs along 11th Ave S. The project proposes to create a curb elevated bikeway in front of the building. The area along 11th Ave S is also proposed to have an uncovered loading and ride share drop off zone accessible via the new curb cut. There are improvements planned to the protected bikeway along 11th Ave S. The plastic bollards will be replaced by a concrete curb this summer.

Download staff report, including photos (4.5MB)...

View complete agenda...


Timeless New High-rise Riverfont Condominium Planned for Minneapolis


Download staff report/site plan (57MB)...

View all floor plans & project images...

Previous Mill City Times article...

The proposed project is a 43-story mixed-use tower with 2,500 square feet of commercial space and 105 residential units. The project is proposing to provide 415 structured parking stalls in 7-story above-grade enclosed parking podium.  185 of those spaces would be reserved for the office tenants of the existing building as a replacement for the existing surface parking lot. The remaining 230 parking spaces would be reserved for the residential units.

The commercial tenant space is located along the W River Parkway frontage on the ground level.  Residential amenity space, including a bike storage room, makes up the remainder of the ground-level frontage facing the parkway.   Primary vehicle access to the residential parking is proposed off of W River Parkway.   The parkway access leads to a large motor court with an additional principle residential entrance. The office tenant parking will be accessed off of 11th avenue S, as will the loading area. The project is proposing 12 surface parking stalls for guest parking as well as a small dog recreation area.

The project is proposing to establish a new public access pathway from the rear of the site connecting to West River Parkway.  Depending on agreements reached with adjacent property owners this right-of-way could connect through the block to adjacent properties and streets. There are currently no windows or active uses proposed along this public right-of-way.

The tower design employs limestone and granite at the base with an architectural precast concrete on the upper floors. The design utilizes a variety of setbacks and recesses to create balconies and terraces for the residential units.   The parking garage will be treated with false residential windows on all facades in order to create the appearance of active residential uses. The windows are not evenly distributed on the non-river facing facades. 7 floors of “accessory suites” are proposed at the northeast corner of the parking garage fronting partially on W River Parkway and partially onto the proposed motor court.



The building is proposed to be 39 stories tall, with one to five homes per floor, for a total of 101 distinguished residences. It will feature architectural details and amenities designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, including a large landscaped rooftop deck with a pool affording dramatic views of the downtown skyline and river. Other details include, masonry facades with a hierarchical variety of windows; expansive private terraces on most floors; and other unique features. The private terraces will create setbacks that will form a memorable tower silhouette for the Minneapolis skyline. Construction could begin as early as the end of this year, with occupancy in 2020.

Full size Project images...

Strib article...

Journal article...

Via a March 7 News Release from Padilla:

World-Renowned Robert A.M. Stern Architects Will Design First Twin Cities Tower

Luigi Bernardi and Ryan Companies US, Inc. will co-develop an ultra-luxury high-rise residential condominium tower in the Mill District of downtown Minneapolis. It will give residents unparalleled views of the Minneapolis skyline, including the Mississippi River, Stone Arch Bridge and Gold Medal Park. The future landmark will be designed by the world-renowned Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA), acclaimed for designing some of the most iconic residential buildings in the world, including signature properties such as the record-setting 15 Central Park West in New York, One Bennett Park in Chicago and One St. Thomas Street in Toronto.

The elegant masonry and glass building, to be named “Eleven,” will be located near 1101 West River Parkway and Gold Medal Park.

“Eleven will establish a new standard for upscale urban living in Minneapolis,” said Carl Runck, Ryan Companies’ director of real estate development. Preliminary design concepts are being shared with the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association and City of Minneapolis officials.

The building is proposed to be 39 stories tall, with one to five homes per floor, for a total of 101 distinguished residences. It will feature architectural details and amenities designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, including a large landscaped rooftop deck with a pool affording dramatic views of the downtown skyline and river. Other details include, masonry facades with a hierarchical variety of windows; expansive private terraces on most floors; and other unique features. The private terraces will create setbacks that will form a memorable tower silhouette for the Minneapolis skyline. Construction could begin as early as the end of this year, with occupancy in 2020.

Photo credit Spacecrafting Photography 

“Not only will this building feature exceptional views of downtown and the Mississippi River, the design and quality of this building will add enduring value to the community,” added Luigi Bernardi, co-developer.

“I started my career with RAMSA in New York, and therefore know them well. I’ve witnessed firsthand the impact a RAMSA building can have on a market and a skyline. It sets a tone for others to follow.  It’s been decades since an architect of this caliber designed a project for the Twin Cities that was privately funded (since the Wells Fargo Tower was designed by Cesar Pelli), and we are thrilled to share our plans,” said Mike Ryan, Ryan’s SVP and market leader.

Paul L. Whalen, lead design architect for the project at RAMSA, sees the new building as an appealing bookend to the Mill District waterfront. “We want to bring urban living in Minneapolis to a new level,” said Whalen, “but just as importantly we want to anchor the east end of the city's riverfront with a visually powerful statement and a community that will enliven the neighborhood's streets, paths and parks.”

Robert A.M. Stern Architects, recognized for its modern traditional buildings in New York and other major international cities, is known for undertaking exhaustive neighborhood history studies to inform their designs. The residences will be offered exclusively by Lakes Sotheby’s International Realty, and reservations will be accepted starting in late March. “This will become the premier address in the Mill District,” said John Wanninger of Sotheby’s.

About Luigi Bernardi

Luigi Bernardi, serves as president of two real estate development and investment companies, Arcadia LLC and Aurora Investments which began developing Twin Cities commercial real estate in 1987. Now, focusing on medical-related facilities and multi-family residential development, recent projects include the Velo luxury apartments in downtown Minneapolis’ North Loop neighborhood and Aurora on France in Edina.

About Ryan Companies US, Inc.

Founded in 1938, Ryan Companies offers comprehensive commercial real estate services as a national developer, architect, capital investment consultant, builder and real estate manager with a focus on bringing lasting value to its customers and the communities in which it works. Ryan market depth includes retail, industrial, health care and senior living. Ryan development and corporate build-to-suit work spans a wide range of product types including office, mixed-use, hospitality, multifamily housing and mission critical facilities. Ryan has nearly 1,300 employees in 13 offices and has completed projects in 38 states. For more information, visit

About Robert A. M. Stern Architects

Robert A.M. Stern Architects is a 265-person firm of architects, interior designers and support staff that has earned an international reputation as a leading design firm with wide experience in residential, commercial and institutional work throughout the U.S. and around the world. The firm's extraordinary portfolio of residential buildings, combining its longstanding dedication to the design of private residences with its deep commitment to urban place-making, includes such record-setting landmarks as 15 Central Park West in New York for Zeckendorf Development and residential towers in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto and Vancouver. "Eleven" is the firm's first project in Minneapolis.

Robert A.M. Stern, FAIA, practicing architect, teacher and writer, served as dean of the Yale School of Architecture from 1998 through June of 2016. As founder and senior partner at Robert A.M. Stern Architects, he directs the firm's architecture, planning, interior design and landscape design projects. Mr. Stern was the 2011 Driehaus Prize laureate and has received both the Athena Award from the Congress for the New Urbanism and the Board of Directors' Honor from the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art.

Paul L. Whalen, FAIA, is a partner and studio leader at Robert A.M. Stern Architects whose work includes the design of record-setting multifamily residential buildings across the United States as well as in Canada, South America, Europe and Asia. Along with Mr. Stern, Mr. Whalen is co-author of the 2016 monograph City Living: Apartment Houses by Robert A.M. Stern Architects. He currently serves as the president of Sir John Soane's Museum Foundation.


Mix of housing types and retail proposed for 205 Park Ave

UPDATE - MARCH 5, 2018

Groundbreaking set for May 22, 2018.

UPDATE - AUGUST 11, 2016:

The City of Minneapolis just released the decision to grant Sherman Associates exclusive negotiating rights to develop the city owned parking lot at 205 Park Ave S. in the Mill District of Downtown Minneapolis.

Download the Staff Report recommending the Sherman proposal...

Download the Sherman proposal (13MB)...

View the photos on Flickr...

Quick summary from the CPED Staff Report:



• 6-story mixed-use building

• 115 mixed-income apartment rental units (levels 2-6), with stated commitments for 20%

(23 units) affordable to households earning 60% of Area Median Income (“AMI”). The

average rents for the affordable units would be $950/month. The remainder of the units

(92) would be market rate rentals. 

• 4 two-level, for-sale townhomes fronting Park Ave.

• 130 underground parking stalls (two levels) for residents.

• Sustainable, energy efficient design, integrating components of LEED.


• Approximately 4,800 sq. ft. ground floor restaurant at the corner of Park Ave. and

Washington Ave. with outdoor patio.

•  Approximately 1,500 sq. ft. bakery/coffee shop at the corner of Park Ave. and 2 St. S.,

with loading dock patio space.

• Letters of Intent from Kim Bartmann for both the restaurant and bakery spaces.

• Bank of America ATM (Letter of Intent) on Washington Ave.

• Police substation (500 sq. ft.) on 2 St. (MPD commitment unconfirmed)

Public Amenities

• Pet relief area (open to the public) lining the adjacent municipal parking ramp

(discussions with nonprofit Dog Grounds about co-managing the dog park. 

• Landscaping, bike parking, outdoor restaurant seating, proposed exterior screening of

adjacent parking ramp in collaboration with the City.

Purchase Price:  $3,246,840 ($90 per sq. ft.)

Total Development Cost:  $35,932,762




•  5- or 6-story mixed-use building (stated preference for 6-story building)

• 42-52 for-sale units

• Preliminary discussions with City of Lakes Community Land Trust about partnering on 4 land trust units (no stated commitments or letter of intent from CLCLT).

• 85 below-grade parking stalls.


• Approximately 2,900 sq. ft. ground floor retail along Washington Ave. (in preliminary discussions with owner of Yum restaurant - no letter of intent or commitment).

Public Amenities

• Dog relief area (open to the public) lining the adjacent municipal parking ramp.

• Landscaping, bicycle parking, outdoor seating area for retail space, GREA is looking to the City to provide exterior screening for neighboring parking ramp.

Purchase Price

• 5-story building:  $1,554,000 (~$43 per sq. ft.)

• 6-story building:  $1,924,000 (~$53 per sq. ft.)

Total Development Cost

• 5-story building:  $26,645,150

• 6-story building:  $31,989,898



At least 1 proposal was submitted prior to last Friday's deadline for redeveloping the city owned surface parking lot at 205 Park Ave S. Below is a high level description from the document, along with a link to download the entire report, with graphics:

Download the proposal (13MB)...

View the photos on Flickr...

Developer: Sherman Associates

Mixed Income Apartment Homes: 97,606 square feet, 115 apartment homes on levels 2 through 6. Twenty percent (20%) of the apartment homes will be dedicated as affordable housing for household incomes of 60% AMI or below (details of affordable housing below). The units themselves will included fully furnished kitchens (range/oven, refrigerator/freezer, dishwasher and microwave), ample natural light, in-unit washer and dryers, stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops. There will be two levels of underground, heated parking, providing approximately 130 parking spots for the residents. The apartment homes will also include amenities to allow the building to be competitive in the vast marketplace. These amenities include: 6th floor club room and amenity deck with spectacular downtown views, first floor fitness center, club room, and patio.

For Sale Townhomes: 7,904 square feet, 4 two-level townhomes of approximately 1,900 square feet on two levels. These walk up townhomes on Park Avenue South will include two dedicated heated parking spaces, and will have access to the amenities of the mixed-income apartment building.

Kim Bartmann Restaurant 1: 4,782 square feet, first level restaurant on Washington and Park Avenue South operated by highly regarded restaurateur, Kim Bartmann. This restaurant will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner in a casual eating environment. To foster street level activation, a large patio on the corner of Washington Avenue and Park Avenue South will be incorporated into the dining experience. The kitchen will also serve as the bakery for the restaurant on 2nd Street South.

Kim Bartmann Restaurant Bakery 2: 1,521 square feet, first level bakery/coffee shop on the corner of Park Ave South and 2nd Street South. To echo the loading dock streetscape of Mills City Museum, a loading dock patio space will be integrated into the design on 2nd street and will serve as an outdoor patio for the bakery/coffee shop.

Bank of America ATM: 597 square feet, first level ATM on Washington Ave South. This ATM will be open 24 hours a day and will further promote street level activity.

Police Substation: 500 square feet, first level Police Substation on 2nd Street South. After discussion with numerous residents of the Mills District and support from DMNA, Sherman Associates plans to provide a Police Substation for the Mills District.

Pet Relief Area (open to the public): Sherman Associates initiated preliminary discussions with the Minneapolis urban off-leash management entity, Dog Grounds, to partner on a public pet relief area at 205 Park. Sherman Associates envisions a dog park lining the municipal ramp, funded and co-managed by Sherman Associates in partnership with Dog Grounds. This tremendously needed asset will help manage the escalating pet waste concern within the Mills District.


Two Dates Left: Winter at the Walker

Celebrate Winter at the Walker with myriad activities both indoors and out during Target Free Thursday Nights. Trek out into the cold or thaw out inside with a warm drink. The Main Lobby transforms into a hygge haven in the Walker Warming House with art-making, music, and more.


Moonlight Snowshoe Tours, 6 & 7:30 pm

Bundle up in your winter best and join us for moonlight snowshoe tours of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Meet your guide in the Main Lobby, then venture out to see the snow-covered sculptures. Snowshoes are available free of charge, courtesy the University of Minnesota Center for Outdoor Adventure.

Little Box Sauna, 5–9 pm

Not into the cold? Sweat it out in the portable Little Box Sauna! Check it out for free on Thursdays in February and meet the architect. Book a proper sauna experience on weekends (Fridays–Sundays) through March 4 at (fee applies).

February 15: Snowshoe Showcase

Art Demonstration, 5–9 pm

John Beltman of the North House Folk Art School makes the snowy trek down from Grand Marais to share his decades of expertise about the crafting and history of snowshoes. Available all night in the Star Tribune Foundation Art Lab.

February 22: Weather Cartography

Art-Making: Weather Maps, 5–9 pm

Ever curious about the color patterns in meteorological reports? Join artist Alyssa Baguss and Jenny Undis of Lunalux when they present their specially debossed maps of the state of Minnesota that allow us to track changing weather patterns through colorful cartography. Available all night in the main lobby.

Music from DJ Brian Engle, 5–9 pm

Relax and vibe out to tunes spun on vinyl by DJ Brian Engle.

Don’t forget, you can also escape the cold in the Walker galleries - Gallery admission is free from 5 to 9 pm.


Minneapolis Super Bowl Media Coverage

In-depth coverage of the Minneapolis Super Bowl

WEEK OF 12/11/2017

Minneapolis officials ask for National Guard help during Super Bowl
Host Committee will pick up cost; move would free up police for other duties.

Prince tribute, J.Lo among performances set ahead of Super Bowl
Jennifer Lopez will headline a VIP concert series at downtown’s Minneapolis Armory the night before next February’s Super Bowl game at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Keeping Super Bowl Fans Connected at U.S. Bank Stadium
What's a Super Bowl without a selfie to prove you were there?

612Brew, Vikings’ Kyle Rudolph to release beer for Super Bowl
A Northeast Minneapolis brewery is celebrating the Super Bowl a way only a brewery could: by brewing a limited-edition beer.

Oft-burned Vikings fans temper joy to avoid Super Bowl jinx
Vikings fans whisper "Skol!" trying not to tempt their Super Bowl karma.

Click to read more ...


Dayton's Project, Downtown Minneapolis | News Tracker

The former retail flagship in Downtown Minneapolis is scheduled to open in the middle of 2019.

WEEK OF 12/18/2017

Andrew Zimmern to develop food hall at Dayton's Project on Nicollet Mall
Andrew Zimmern – the producer, creator and host of Travel Channel's "Bizarre Foods," and a self-described adopted Minnesotan for more than 25 years – is teaming with the Dayton's Project to debut a new food experience inside the historic site that formerly housed Macy's.

And the first official Dayton's Project tenant is...
it seems exceedingly on-trend that the first official tenant announced for the Dayton's Project in downtown Minneapolis is -- what else? -- another food hall.

New Food Hall by Andrew Zimmern for Dayton's Project
Downtown Minneapolis is truly getting its own food hall! Confirmation dropped today that Andrew Zimmern and his Passport Hospitality company would be partnering with Robert Montwaid, creator and co-founder of Gansevoort Market in New York City, to create The Dayton's Food Hall & Market in the what we already knew to be the developing Dayton's Project on Nicollet Mall.

A Downtown Minneapolis Food Hall Taps a Celebrity Chef to Run It
The ground floor and subterranean levels of the historic downtown Minneapolis Dayton’s will be transformed into a massive food hall courtesy of Minnesota’s best-known culinary personality. Andrew Zimmern’s Passport Hospitality has teamed with Robert Montwaid of New York’s Gansevoort Market for the The Dayton’s Project.

Chef sees recipe for success at Dayton’s Project
Chef and TV star Andrew Zimmern is collaborating with a partner out of New York on a food hall and market concept destined for The Dayton’s Project in downtown Minneapolis.

Andrew Zimmern joining Minneapolis Dayton's Project with food hall concept
The food hall is slated to open along Nicollet Mall in the middle of 2019.


Now Open: Nicollet Mall

An in-depth look at the new Nicollet Mall
After $50 million and 28 disruptive months of construction, the barriers have finally come down on Nicollet Mall, marking its third remake in a half-century.

Two-plus years in the making: Nicollet Mall back in business
Nicollet Mall reopened at noon Thursday, marking the end of a construction headache that's cost millions of dollars and closed the downtown Minneapolis corridor for more than two years.

Watch: Nicollet Mall opens after 2 years of construction
Nicollet Mall reopened, marking the end of a construction headache that's cost millions of dollars and closed the downtown Minneapolis corridor for more than two years.

The new and improved Nicollet Mall is finally unveiled
It will be an asset for downtown Minneapolis, but public safety is still a concern.

Mary Tyler Moore statue is back on Nicollet Mall
She's back. The beloved bronze statue of Mary Tyler Moore exuberantly tossing her hat into the air is back at its original home at Nicollet Mall and 7th Street in Minneapolis. On Saturday morning, she smiled and tossed it under a dusting of snow.

Metro Transit buses to return to Nicollet Mall Dec. 2 — for a bit
They'll be detoured again for a month as of Jan. 15 due to the Super Bowl.

One weird trick to fix downtown Minneapolis
Have you walked around downtown lately? I don't know. It's not great. The Nicollet Mall reconstruction is, without a doubt, something that has happened. Some of the streets have improved and will continue to improve in the next few years. A number of new Starbuckses have recently opened.


2017 Election Recap

Media coverage on the 2017 Minneapolis elections:

'People wanted a fresh start': Election ushers in new mayor and five new council members in Minneapolis
It took a while, but once Minneapolis election results started flowing on Wednesday, the winners came in quick succession.

New Minneapolis leaders pledge work on affordable housing, public safety and police reform
At Minneapolis City Hall under at least the last two administrations, the mayor’s office has been largely closed to the City Council.

Jacob Frey wins mayor election in Minneapolis
Mpls. mayor-elect triumphant, conciliatory after bruising campaign.

Frey elected mayor
Jacob Frey, who led in first-choice votes on election night, was declared the unofficial winner of the 2017 mayoral contest Wednesday.

Mayor-elect Frey calls for end to 'ideological purity' in Mpls.
Minneapolis mayor-elect said he would seek to quell pointed rhetoric and showcase the city's strengths during the Super Bowl.

Voters elect Fletcher in Ward 3
Fletcher, a technology consultant who lives in Downtown East, won over Socialist Alternative candidate Ginger Jentzen in a third round of voting. Jentzen appeared to lead at first, garnering 34 percent of first-choice voters to Fletcher’s 28 percent, according to unofficial election results.

Goodman wins again
Council Member Lisa Goodman is heading into her sixth council term after receiving 52 percent of first-choice votes.

Reich wins third term in Ward 1 race
Council Member Kevin Reich will get a third term in leading the East Side on the Minneapolis City Council.



We view these candidates as having the best combination of experience & policy positions affecting Downtown & adjacent communities, as well as our #1 ranked Park System.

Mayor: Jacob Frey

City Council Ward 3: Tim Bildsoe

City Council Ward 6: Abdi Warsame

City Council Ward 7: Lisa Goodman

Park Board District 4: Tom Nordyke

Park Board at Large #1: Meg Forney

Park Board at Large #2: Mike Derus

Park Board at Large #3: LaTrisha Vetaw

Regardless of your choices, vote tomorrow!