Kraus-Anderson turning “wind-swept parking lot” into another destination in downtown Minneapolis

A rendering of Kraus-Anderson's new headquarters building.

A rendering of Kraus-Anderson’s new headquarters building.

by Dan Rafter

Minneapolis developer Kraus-Anderson celebrated the ground-breaking on its new 100,000-square-foot headquarters April 28.

But the night was about more than the new five-story building at 525 S. 8th St. in downtown Minneapolis. It was about a master plan developed by Kraus-Anderson to transform the entire block surrounding its headquarters building. Kraus-Anderson’s plans to transform this formerly under-utilized block by developing a 17-story apartment building with 307 units, an eight-story hotel with 158 rooms and a Finnegan’s brewery, an events center and a business incubator.

“What makes this unique is that we have an entire block to work with,” said Mike Hille, senior vice president with Kraus-Anderson. “It’s a one-of-a-kind redevelopment for Minneapolis, a complete block that is being redeveloped for four different uses. This is going to be a neighborhood within a neighborhood.”

Kraus-Anderson’s headquarters has sat at the same 527 S. 8th St. for address since the mid-1970s. But that headquarters building has increasingly grown cramped. The new headquarters building on the same site will be large enough to house about 300 employees, doubling the current staff working in downtown Minneapolis.

The larger headquarters building will allow Kraus-Anderson to bring to downtown employees who are currently working at company offices in Circle Pines and Bloomington, Minnesota.

The building, designed by Pope Architects, will include a fitness center, educational training center, rooftop deck, cafeteria and both formal and informal meeting rooms. The building will also include two levels of underground parking for Kraus-Anderson employees.

During construction, Kraus-Anderon’s downtown workers have moved to a temporary office at 3433 Broadway St. NE. The new building is scheduled to open in late 2017.

The new building will serve as the centerpiece of Kraus-Anderson’s planned redevelopment of the entire block. Kraus-Anderson worked with Minneapolis’ ESG Architects to develop the master plan for the block, which Hille says will now become one more pedestrian-friendly section of the Elliot Park neighborhood.

“The new developments will tie into the fabric of Elliott Park,” Hille said. “It’s about creating this cool space that links all of the neighborhood components together.”

Hille said that the rejuvenation of this block will complement the larger-scale work going on at the Downtown East project spearheaded by Ryan Companies. This $450 million mixed-use project will add retail, office, hotel and apartment space, as well as a new park, to the area surrounding Minneapolis’ new US Bank Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings.

The new buildings will also provide a boost to one of the few downtown Minneapolis blocks that is still being under-utilized.

“The exciting full-block redevelopment will transform a largely windswept surface parking lot into a vibrant, urban mixed-used destination and new generation residential community,” said Dan Engelsma, president and chief operating officer of Kraus-Anderson Realty, in a written statement.

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