By Liz Wolf
There’s no shortage of development and redevelopment activity along the Interstate 394 corridor, which is an east-west freeway linking Minneapolis with the Twin Cities western suburbs.
Here’s a rundown of some recently completed projects as well as those that are under construction or about to break ground.
Minnetonka-based The Opus Group, which acquired the 310,000-square-foot former Target West Campus building on the western border of Minneapolis, has just landed a second major tenant.
Large hair salon chain Regis Corp. announced in late March that it will relocate its headquarters to the building in 2020. The building is located at 3701 Wayzata Blvd., in the highly sought-after office corridor along I-394.
Opus, which purchased the property last December, is in the process of renovating it into a multi-tenant office building. Planned upgrades include a new cafeteria with indoor/outdoor seating, a rooftop deck and a clubhouse with a bar.
Regis will occupy 65,000 square feet on the top four floors of the eight-story building.
Regis has owned its current headquarters at 7201 Metro Blvd. in Edina since 1992 and will be listing it for sale with Jim Vos and Steve Strom at Cresa Minneapolis.
“We are pleased that our real estate team identified a location that will provide an outstanding environment for our employees and constituents including our growing portfolio of franchise partners,” said Eric Bakken, executive vice president and president of franchise for Regis, in a prepared statement.
Opus previously landed Tactile Medical, which is leasing about 100,000 square feet on the second and third floors of the rehabbed building and will move into the space this fall.
St. Louis Park
Development continues in St. Louis Park’s burgeoning West End area, which includes The Shops at West End, restaurants, entertainment venues and newly developed hotels and apartments. “Most of our growth has been in the West End area,” says Greg Hunt, economic development coordinator at the city of St. Louis Park.
For example, the Central Park West Apartments, which includes 199 luxury units, opened in early 2018. The developer is Florida-based DLC Residential. The six-story complex is at 1511 Utica Ave. S., and amenities include a golf simulator, dog wash, yoga studio and rooftop deck. Nearby, the 126-room AC
Hotel by Marriott West End, developed by Willmar-based TPI Hospitality, opened in spring 2018. The hotel includes a rooftop bar and lounge.
Hunt says two more apartment complexes have been approved for development including Elan West End, which is just north of Central Park West Apartments. The project will include 164 high-end units, and the developer is an affiliate of national multifamily housing developer Greystar.
Across the street, developer Luxe Residential — which was created by one of the founders of DLC – anticipates breaking ground this fall on the six-story, 207-unit Luxe Apartments on what’s currently the Olive Garden site. The restaurant will be demolished and construction of the apartment complex is expected to run through 2021. (The Olive Garden plans to relocate to the site where Avenida Mexican restaurant operated near I-394 and Hopkins Crossroad in Minnetonka. Avenida closed and the building will be razed to make way for the Olive Garden chain.
Hunt says with all of the nearby walkable amenities, the West End is a hot spot where companies want to locate their offices.
“Given the location and all of the amenities around it, it’s exactly what companies are calling,” he says. “It has got basically everything that their employees would want to have around them to be an attractive place for them to conduct business.”
In new office development, Minneapolis-based Ryan Cos. US Inc. is partnering with The Excelsior Group, based in Eden Prairie, to develop 10 West End, an 11-story, Class A office building. The city approved the development in 2016. The site is south of the Central Park West Apartments and the AC Marriott Hotel.
The building will be located four miles west of downtown Minneapolis in the attractive I-394 office submarket.
Ryan and The Excelsior Group hired Transwestern to lease the approximately 335,000-square-foot building. Hunt says they’re actively looking for a tenant or tenants to kick off the project. It will be the first Class A office building built in the I-394 corridor in 17 years.
Key features will include a shared outdoor amenity space, ground-floor retail space, a fitness facility and indoor bike room.
Just south of this site, an entity owned by The Excelsior Group and Goldman Sachs & Co. purchased The Parkdales, a 560,000-square-foot, six-building office complex.
“They totally renovated those office buildings and rebranded it West End Office Park,” Hunt says. “They spent over $13 million in upgrades. They took a struggling office park and thoroughly renovated it and leased up the majority of that. They’ve attracted some nice companies.”
New tenants include CoBank, Magnet 360 and nVent.
Moving a little further down to the northwest quadrant of I-394 and Highway 169, Excelsior-based Stoddard Cos. acquired the former Santorini restaurant property with plans for an apartment building and hotel dubbed Platia Place. The restaurant was razed and Stoddard’s plans were approved by the city. They call for a 149 units of apartments and a 100-room hotel. Hunt says Stoddard is looking to break ground this year.
Lastly in the city, Life Time Inc. opened its first Twin Cities co-working location in 28,000 square feet at the 1600 Tower at West End.
While most of the West End is located in St. Louis Park, the easternmost 6 acres are in Golden Valley, so the two cities work closely together, says Jason Zimmerman, planning manager at the city of Golden Valley.
For example, one-third of the units at the Central Park West Apartments are in Golden Valley and two-thirds are in St. Louis Park, Zimmerman says. For the new AC Marriott, the hotel is in St. Louis Park and the parking lot is in Golden Valley, and for the approved 10 West End office building development, the ramp will be built in Golden Valley.
In other activity in Golden Valley, the Talo Apartments opened last year at 5100 Wayzata Blvd. The 303- unit luxury complex was developed by Forum Real Estate Group in Denver. Amenities include a lazy river pool, sauna, indoor rock climbing, a yoga studio and a rooftop lounge.
Zimmerman says the second part of that development will be the Global Pointe Senior Community, which is being developed by Minneapolis-based Global One Commercial. The building is being built in the northwest corner of I-394 and Highway 100.
The 100-unit, senior-living facility will be a five-story building that includes 20 independent-living units, 50 assisted-living units and 30 memory-care units. It’s scheduled to open in fall. Amenities will include a sky lounge, art studio, move theater, fitness room, billiards room and large outdoor deck.
Global One Commercial officials say it’s designed to be a boutique senior-living building experience; however, it will have all of the amenities of the bigger competitors in the senior-living sector.
Moving further the west, about a block north of I-394 off of Xenia Avenue and Golden Hills Drive, is a development called the Xenia Apartments. It’s 369 units and the developer is Omaha, Neb.-based The Slosberg Co. Zimmerman says the parking ramp is up and most of the building is framed, and it’s slated to open in summer 2020.
Amenities will include an outdoor pool/indoor pool and pickle ball courts on top of the parking ramp. Zimmerman says the project is expected to have an urban feel. It will be built closer to the road, and the developer’s renderings show a Parisian streetscape-style project.
Ridgedale Center has created some restaurant/entertainment pads in the northwest corner of the mall’s parking lot. One of the newest users to open is indoor skydiving venue iFLY.
“The introduction of entertainment to the area is something new,” says Julie Wischnack, community development director at the city of Minnetonka. “The city understands that entertainment has to be part of the new lifecycle of a mall to help keep things active.”
On another underutilized area of the mall’s parking lot, Dallas-based Trammell Crow is developing the Avidor Minnetonka, a six-story, 169-unit, luxury senior-living building for the 55-plus demographic as well as a public park.
Across the street and to the south of Trammell Crow’s project, Minnetonka developer Rotenberg Cos. is developing The Luxe, a 77-unit, high-end apartment building where Redstone Grill previously was located before moving to Ridgedale Center. Wischnack says they just poured the footings for the project.
In other activity, Bloomington-based Doran Cos. plans to break ground later in April on Marsh Run, a 175-unit, luxury apartment building at Wayzata Boulevard and Fairfield Road near Hopkins Crossroad and I-394. The site is currently occupied by three small office buildings at 11650 and 11706 Wayzata Blvd.
The project will be the first Doran project led by Doran RE Partners LLC, a new independent development venture that pursues joint venture development deals relying on capital independent of founder/owner Kelly Doran, according to a prepared statement.
Leasing for the new apartments will begin in early 2020. Amenities will include a pool, spa, sauna, fitness center, clubroom, co-working spaces and outdoor lounge areas.
Twenty percent of the development’s units will be affordable, and the city approved $4.8 million in TIF to support that effort.
In other activity, The Opus Group is developing a 147-unit senior-living development called The Orchards of Minnetonka Senior Living near Hopkins Crossroad and I-394. The facility will include a full continuum of care including independent living, assisted living and memory care. Ebenezer Management Services will operate the community. An April opening is planned.