United Properties: Bringing a new kind of office building to Minneapolis’ Target Field Station

target field stationby Dan Rafter

The North Loop area of downtown Minneapolis has become one of the hottest neighborhoods in the Twin Cities. The development of Target Field Station — the light-rail commuter station located adjacent to the new home of the Minnesota Twins baseball team — has helped fuel this.

Without the light-rail station, it’s difficult to imagine the growth of the Target Field Station mixed-use project and outdoor park that’s growing in this neighborhood.

Now developer United Properties is providing yet another boost to this growing neighborhood and the mixed-use development with its plans to build Target Field Station Center, a transit-oriented Class-A office building on the final land parcel remaining at the development.

The building, located next to a 288-car public parking ramp, will rise up to 10 stories and include about 240,00 square feet at the southeast corner of Sixth Avenue North and Fifth Street North.

Bill Katter, executive vice president for United Properties, said that this building is the latest example of his company’s interest in Minneapolis’ North Loop neighborhood.

“This area continues to be one of the most exciting places for next-generation office space in the Twin Cities,” Katter said.

Katter listed several reasons why the North Loop area remains such a hot one in the Twin Cities.

“The evolution and emergence of the North Loop is exciting. This is now the hottest development district in the Twin Cities,” he said. “We have transit here. We have a really rich package of amenities. We have alternative types of places to live and different types of places to work. We are seeing everything from new construction projects to renovations to 100-year-old buildings. It’s a unique canvas. Building in this environment is an exciting opportunity.”

Before construction begins, United Properties will buy the .75-acre site from Hennepin County. The company will then begin the planning and entitlement process with the city of Minneapolis in early 2015.

If all goes according to plan, United Properties will break ground in the fall of 2015 and complete the building sometime in late 2016.

The office building itself will boast several high-end feature. United Properties is planning for exposed ceilings and large, open office spaces that will mimic the feel of other North Loop and Warehouse District buildings here.

Building amenities at Target Field Station Center will include a restaurant across from the entrance to Target Field Station; a rooftop terrace with a lounge, bike storage, fitness center; and underground executive parking. United Properties will seek U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification for the building’s shell.

Katter said that the amenities are a necessity. Tenants today are demanding more from their office space.

“People are looking for something other than where their parents worked,” Katter said. “They want higher clear heights. They want different interior materials than sheetrock wall. They want expose brick, timber or steel. They like breakout space and outdoor roof decks. They want collaborative spaces.”

And when work is over? They want to be in a neighborhood that features plenty of restaurant and entertainment choices.

“If they want to get a beer after work or a quick lunch during the day, they don’t want to have to think too hard about where they can get that done,” Katter said. “They want to be able to bike to work. We are on a bike path at this site. That is an important attribute of North Loop areas. All of these things are important.”

And what’s less important to today’s office users?

“People aren’t as interested in that all-glass building look,” Katter said. “Views are still important. But people are looking for other quality-of-life amenities today.”

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