Ryan’s Downtown East development is on schedule, opening phases
By Liz Wolf
It’s been nearly two years since Minneapolis-based Ryan Cos. US Inc. broke ground on the $450 million, mixed-use Downtown East development next to the Vikings’ new $1 billion US Bank Stadium, which is also well underway.
Downtown East encompasses five blocks totaling 12.5 acres and is Minneapolis’ biggest development in more than a decade. It’s rejuvenating the eastern part of downtown where crumbling surface parking lots and old, worn-out buildings are being replaced with the development of two, 17-story office towers for Wells Fargo; 195 apartments in a project called the Edition; a new Radisson Red hotel, a new multitenant office building called the Millwright Building; a six-level parking ramp for the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA); a 4.2-acre urban park, and about 24,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. (Ryan hired CBRE’s local office to handle leasing).
The project became possible when the Star Tribune Media Co. sold the five city blocks — four blocks to Ryan and one to the MSFA, which is overseeing construction of the new stadium. (The Star Tribune moved its offices to the Capella Tower).
Tony Barranco, vice president of development for Ryan, says the massive development is running on schedule. Here’s an update:
Wells Fargo towers
Wells Fargo’s two towers, totaling 1.2 million square feet, are located on two blocks near the Downtown East light-rail station. The towers will have capacity for 5,000 to 6,000 Wells Fargo employees.
The first of the two office towers (the “west tower” or the “550 tower”) opened in February, and Barranco says Wells Fargo has been gradually moving employees into the building over the last several weeks. The second tower (the 600 tower) will open in approximately 30 days, and “the team will gradually start moving folks into that tower when the first tower is filled,” he says.
Wells Fargo paid Ryan $217 million for the two towers and the land under it, according to several local media outlets.
Ryan recently announced a lease for the first floor of the west tower with Dermot Cowley, who will operate a restaurant concept called McKinney Roe. (Cowley owns several Twin Cities restaurants including O’Donovan’s Irish Pub in Minneapolis).
“We’re saying it’ll open in summer 2016,” Barranco says. “We will start construction fairly soon and it’ll take four or five months to build it out.”
Also, Barranco says several skyway-level retailers have been announced for the towers. Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels will operate a new hybrid store scheduled to open in fall 2016. D. Brian’s deli has a new concept called Greenfield Natural Kitchen, which will open a location in the towers, and Wells Fargo will open a retail branch.
“We have a number of other leases in process,” Barranco says.
Downtown East Commons
Fundraising continues in an effort to pay for Downtown East Commons, a $22 million, public park that will sit west of the stadium and across the street from the Wells Fargo towers. A conservancy group called Green Minneapolis is managing the donations.
“We’ve done well [in regard to fundraising] and are continuing to get interest from a number of stakeholders,” Barranco says. “We’re continuing with plans to construct the Commons as designed by Hargreaves Associates.”
The first Radisson Red hotel, a new brand from Carlson Cos., will have 164 guest rooms and be located on Third Street between Park and Portland avenues -- near the stadium. Ryan broke ground on the hotel in October.
“We’re nearly topped out for construction for that building and plan to open in fall 2016,” Barranco says. “It’s on schedule and going well.”
The Edition consists of three boutique apartment buildings that will total 195 units. (Each building includes underground parking and retail). The entire apartment complex is scheduled for completion in July 2016. The first phase is already open.
“The building connected to Wells Fargo’s 550 tower is now open, and we have our sales center on the lowest level to view model units and see floor plans,” Baranco says. “There’s a second building connected to the 600 tower that will open in June, and the largest building that’s part of the Edition complex is on the edge of the park and geared to open July 15. We have just a tremendous location and some spectacular amenities and views of the stadium and the Commons, and a couple of those buildings are connected to the skyway.”
Downtown East will include a set of four sky bridges and internal skyways through the development, connecting the US Bank Stadium to the core skyway system of downtown Minneapolis.
A six-level parking ramp containing 1,610 parking spaces opened Jan. 1. It’s owned by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.
Ryan plans to develop a four-story office building – called the Millwright Building – as part of Downtown East. Ryan announced it will move its own corporate headquarters to the building, occupying 65,000 square feet of the 172,000-square-foot building.
“We’re still putting on the final touches,” Barranco says. “We’ve gotten through our city submittals and our goal is to get started in early May on the construction… Ryan will anchor the building with around 300 employees to be housed there. That leaves about 110,000 square feet of space available for lease, so we’re working with the team at CBRE to help locate some neighbors for us. We’ve been actively out in the market talking to prospects.”
It will be located across from Radisson Red and its main entrance will be off of Third Street and Portland Avenue.
“We’re really excited about the emergence of the Portland corridor,” Barranco says. “Although the style is more of a vintage, authentic warehouse feel, the building will have all sorts of modern amenities. We’ll have a very modern lobby space with some gathering areas, a bike room with connected showers [for commuters], and a rooftop terrace. It will have really open floor plates. We’ve been listening a lot to what’s not being filled in the marketplace and tried to position the building toward what everyone says they’re looking for.”
Barranco says Ryan has moved through major city approvals and is now working through some final design and permitting. The developer hopes to start construction in early May and would move into the building in summer 2017. Any other tenants signing leases at the building would also move in at that time.
Barranco says Downtown East is by far the largest project he has worked on.
“From our standpoint and in our North region, it’s definitely a legacy project and one that we’ll be incredibly proud of,” he says. “I’m humbled to lead such a good team in developing it.”
Posted at: 10:40 am on March 31st, 2016