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$70M North Loop Proposal Features More Green Space, Parking

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- It's one of the most booming neighborhoods in the Twin Cities. Now another new development in the North Loop is being proposed.

Two things that make this approximately $70 million project different: parking and a big park.

Both United Properties Inc. and Greco Development have been responsible for nearly a dozen projects in the North Loop area already.

United Properties has been responsible for places like: Freehouse, Caribou Coffee next to Target Field and Historic Ford Center, just to name a few. As for Greco Development, this would be their sixth project in the neighborhood.

United Properties is currently in the works to acquire the third parcel of the project. The renderings of the development show a new landscape set to cover three blocks between North 3rd Street, North 8th Avenue and Washington Avenue. The centerpiece of this joint project: much needed green space for neighborhood filled with pets and even strollers.

729 Washington North Loop Development Proposal 9
(credit: Greco Development /ESG Architects Inc.)

"We started in this neighborhood in 1996 with a project called Riverside Condominiums," President of Greco Development, Arnie Gregory, said.

Gregory has seen the transformation of this Minneapolis neighborhood first hand. His two latest rental properties along Washington Avenue, including Elseware House, have currently reached max capacity.

It's not just apartments, but condos too. Sotheby's International Realty says condos are also going fast.

"The North Loop and Mill District are the two most in demand neighborhoods," Josh Neaumann, Realtor at Sotheby's International Realty, said. "If there's a good unit that comes on -- anything with a good view, it's going to be sold that same day."

One example of just how popular living close to the river has become: Neumann said on the newer properties in the Mill District -- Stonebridge Lofts -- is already at 99 percent occupancy.

"There's not enough inventory, we could use more developers to come in and build more product," Neumann said.

With all that demand, vehicles have to park somewhere.

"The neighborhood is starved for public parking," said Gregory.

That's exactly why his company, Greco Development, is hoping to break ground on a 330-stall public parking ramp in September.

If the joint development with United Properties is approved by the Minneapolis City Council, it will include: a 10-story rental building and a restaurant with room for a large patio space.

729 Washington North Loop Development Proposal 9
(credit: Greco Development /ESG Architects Inc.)

So, how about that view? There will be a park covering two city blocks.

"We envision having some water features, some paver stone walkways, a lot of green grass and irrigation and trees," Gregory said.

Gregory calls the project a game changer. It's expected to be presented to a neighborhood advisory board Wednesday, March 18.

"What we're seeing is the core of downtown shifting closer to the river front," Minneapolis City Councilman, Ward 3, Jacob Frey, said. "The more green space the developer is able to propose, they're far more likely to punch this thing through the process at city hall."

As for the park, it's expected to be right around 20,000 square feet. If the development is approved by the city and park board the entire project is expected to be complete by the summer of 2017.

729 Washington North Loop Development Proposal 9
(credit: Greco Development /ESG Architects Inc.)


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