Category Archives: News

Minneapolis Building Boom?

For the first time since 2000, Minneapolis construction projects have topped $1 billion. That is right— BILLION. In 2012 to date, 12,161 building permits have been issued in the city. Housing is also up from previous years. Through November 27, the City issued building permits for 3530 new housing units, compared to a previous high of 2732 in 2004.

The top 5 building projects in Minneapolis (by building permit valuation) are:

1. Loring Park Aparments
2. Whole Foods
3. Orchestra Hall addition
4. Soo Line Apartments
5. Childrens Hospital/Abbott Northwestern addition

It is great to have construction back in Minneapolis!

Will Minneapolis Force Commercial Buildings Green?

In a report in the Star Tribune today, city leaders in Minneapolis are thing about forcing commercial building to receive a public “green” rating for their energy efficiency. The proposed ordinance would require all commercial buildings with more than 50,000 square feet to submit their utility usage and other information to Energy Star, the national program that calculates energy use. The city would then publish a 1 -100 rating in hopes of getting owners and tenants to cut their energy consumption.

We are all for going green, but is this the best way to do it?


From the

The local building owners association warns this could have detrimental effects on the marketplace, pinning low scores on buildings whose owners may lack the funds to retrofit or have tenants with high energy demands.

Kevin Lewis, executive director of the Greater Minneapolis Building Owners and Managers Association, said requiring disclosure means “it’s not a level playing field anymore.”

City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, who authored the change, said the proposal falls in line with the city’s pledge to reduce its overall emissions. The city’s target is to cut greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent from 2006 levels by 2015. She said there would also be opportunities for job creation.

“We know when you’re working on buildings and doing energy-efficient improvements — very nuts-and-bolts kind of work — that is green jobs,” Glidden said.

Green Roofing Trends for 2012

The folks over at put together a great list of the top trends in green roofing for this year. We think our favorite highlight of the year is Chicago’s green initiatives!

So without further ado, here is the top ten trends!

The Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design for 2012:

10) Client Specific “Boutique” Greenroofs
9) Green Museums: Art Living Inside & Out
8 ) Educational Facilities as Green Living Laboratories
7) Upward Spirals of Green
6) Hospitals Healing through Living Architecture
5) Gardens in the Clouds: Stacking & Stepping with Vegetation
4) Sky Farms on the (High)Rise
3) Singapore: A City within a Sky Garden
2) Green Elevated Walks: Bridges, Railways & Promenades
1) Chicago’s Trend-Setting Style: A “Miracle Mile High” City of Plants & Leadership

Read more here.

Union Restaurant Opens In Downtown Minneapolis

You know we love a great roof! Union, a new restaurant, opens in Minneapolis tonight with a RETRACTABLE roof! How excited are we to go and see it? I’m sure you can imagine.

If you get a chance and are in the area, stop by and check it out on 8th & Hennepin (the old Shinder’s site)!

From MSP Business Journal:

Union, the new restaurant by the parent company of Crave restaurants, officially opens today on the rooftop of the Hennepin Avenue building that formerly housed Shinders.

The Downtown Journal has a quick backgrounder on the restaurant, launched by Kaskaid Hospitality, while Mpls/St. Paul Magazine‘s Foodie File blog reports on the initial vibe: “”

Twin Cities Construction Hiring On The Rise

According to the Business Journal and MPR,  the Department of Employment and Economic Development reports that Minnesota construction jobs were up 4.3% through September and is well above the national rate which has barely budged. While construction jobs are still down from the recession overall, this is definitely a move in the right direction!

Read more at the Business Journal.

Solhem Cos. Start Construction On New North Loop Apartment Building

It was announced that the Star Tribune has completed their sale of a 3.4 acre parking lot in the North Looop of Minneapolis to the apartment developer Solhem Cos. The land was sold for $1.8 million and will house a new 137-unit apartment building, called the 815 2nd Street Apartments. Construction on the new building is beginning this week.

From The Business Journal:

The newspaper sold the parcel at 815 N. Second St. for $1.8 million to a partnership that includes Solhem Cos. and TE Miller Development Inc., according to a report from the Star Tribune.

The Business Journal broke news of the land sale and apartment development plan in August. At the time, a spokesman for the Star Tribune said this was excess land on parking lots that surround the company’s printing/production/distribution facility at 800 N. First St.

Hyatt Regency Remodel has "Made in America" theme.

The Hyatt Regency in downtown Minneapolis is undergoing a $25 million makeover and they have decided to give it a “Made in America” theme. “We had a specific goal of bringing as much of the manufacturing and sourcing back to America to promote job growth, increase speed to market and celebrate American craft,” says Michael Suomi, design chief for Stonehill & Taylor, which conceived of the architectural and design plans for this renovation. “And, we saved money!”

The Hyatt will have 533 rooms that are completely redone in indigo, grey, & gold. The guest baths will feature granite quarried locally from a 113 year old Minnesota  company. Artwork will be all new, and hallways will get new wall coverings with a distinct Minnesota theme. Scheduled to be complete in September, the redone Hyatt will be a great compliment to downtown Minneapolis.

Source: USA Today

CPM looking at Arby's location for student housing for U of M.

The Arby’s at 1016 Washington Ave se is being eyed by developer CPM for a new student housing center. Although still in the early stages, CPM likes the site as it is with in 2-3 blocks of other student housing and would allow for retail on the first floor and student housing above it, not to mention future plans for a LRT stop right across the street from the site. With approximately 49,000 students attending the U of M and only room for 6,000 in the U residence halls, there is still an on-going need for student housing around the University. In addition to razing Arby’s there is also a Plasma center and a multi tenant building that would have to come down. It is estimated that they could fit 200-250 units on the property.

Source: Finance & Commerce