by Dan Rafter
Construction activity is rising across the country. The Midwest is no exception, with cranes soaring into the skies of cities from St. Louis and Kansas City to Omaha and Chicago.
And one of the busiest of all Midwest markets? The Minneapolis and St. Paul region, which is seeing a seemingly nonstop stream of new-construction projects in both its urban and suburban communities.
What’s most interesting about the construction scene in the Twin Cities, though, is the wide variety of projects that developers are tackling.
One of the most interesting projects in the middle of construction here today is the transformation of a former Macy’s department store.
RJM Construction is moving along on schedule on its work converting the former Macy’s store in downtown St. Paul into a new development that will be called Treasure Island Center. The resulting 540,000-square-foot building will include a mix of new office and retail tenants.
It will also include a rather interesting feature: an 1,100-seat hockey practice facility at its very top.
The new building, located at 363 Wabasha St., will boast an NHL-sized ice rink, the TRIA Rink. Earlier this year, crews from RJM reached a milestone when they placed a 100,000-pound crane atop the new building’s roof. The crane will hoist structural steel, mechanical equipment and other supplies.
“This isn’t your typical construction project, but we’re up for the challenge,” said Joe Maddy, chief operating officer, when describing the task of building a new ice rink.
There will be space inside the project for the Minnesota Wild hockey team and Minnesota Housing Finance Agency. RJM will also build a 6,000-square-foot orthopedic clinic for TRIA Orthopaedic Center on the building’s street level.
RJM Construction is also involved in a suburban office project, building a 25,000-square-foot addition to Bremer Bank’s service center in Lake Elmo, Minnesota.
The bank building is located at 8555 Eagle Point Blvd. in Lake Elmo. Construction is scheduled to begin in April, with the addition set for completion at the end of 2017.
As in most Midwest cities, the industrial market is a strong one, too, in the Minneapolis and St. Paul markets. A good example is the work that the Opus Group is turning in on an industrial park in the region.
The Opus Group has completed the third phase of development at Valley Park Business Center in Shakopee, Minnesota. Minnesota-based Fountain Industries will be the first tenant at the park, leasing about 48,000 square feet of the 122,400-square-foot development.
The project represents the final phase of Opus’ development at the 50-acre site, following the completion of a 200,000-square-foot speculative development and a 216,000-square-foot build-to-suit industrial warehouse and office space for Amerisource Bergen.
“We are very pleased to bring Fountain Industries, Amerisource Bergen and other businesses to Valley Park Business Center,” said Joe Mahoney, senior manager of real estate development with Opus Development Company.. “The leasing of this development underscores the ongoing interest for industrial space in the southwest market of the Twin Cities.”
Located southwest of Minneapolis near major state highways, the warehouse has approximately 74,000 remaining square feet available for lease. The development suits tenants who desire to be in the Shakopee submarket and are seeking functional, first generation space. The property features 28-foot clear height, along with 193 parking stalls, 24 dock doors and six drive-in doors.
Building construction of the final phase of the speculative industrial development began in July 2016. Previous phases of the Valley Park Business Center were completed in 2014 and 2015. Opus’ recent portfolio of work includes more than 6.9 million square feet of industrial developments currently under construction or completed in the past 24 months across the United States.
Kraus-Anderson Construction Company has been busy throughout the region, too. The construction firm recently completed a major warehouse addition for Dahlheimer Beverage at 3360 Chelsea Road West in Monticello, Minnesota.
The 97,250-square-foot expansion nearly doubles the size of Dahlheimer’s warehouse.
The expansion of the beer distributor’s existing warehouse and office space was designed by HDA Architects. Chesterfield, Missouri-based Gabriel Project Management is the owner’s representative.
The new addition was performed while the distributor was in full operation. Construction was completed in a tight schedule of only 22 weeks and included the installation of approximately 32,000 square feet of in-floor heating systems in the truck wash bays and truck drive-thru bay.
Of course, the Minneapolis and St. Paul regions are seeing plenty of multifamily development, too, as are all Midwest markets. A good example is a new development new the Mayo Clinic, about 80 miles from the center of Minneapolis.
Multifamily development the Lofts at Mayo Park in Rochester, Minnesota, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Feb. 21. The ribbon-cutting marks the opening of the new market-rate apartment complex.
The site is located within the Destination Medical Center Development District located between 107 and 121 Sixth Ave. SE. The four-story project is being developed by Helen and Chris Roland, trustees of the George F. Pougiales Trust. Welsh Construction worked with the Rolands to execute their vision for the short-term and extended-stay residential development near Mayo Clinic.
The ribbon-cutting, hosted by the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, included remarks from Laurie Ackerman, Director of Sales and Marketing for Opportunity Services and Chamber Ambassador; Helen and Chris Roland, trustees of the George F. Pougiales Trust; and Judy Braatz, Membership Development Director at the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re always happy to have additional housing choices in Rochester. The Destination Medical Center Initiative will generate tens of thousands of new jobs. The workforce needed to fill those jobs will require a myriad of housing options,” said Rob Miller, president of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce.
The development features 29 units, and was designed by Minneapolis-based Snow Kreilich Architects. Amenities of the Lofts at Mayo Park include modern exterior finishes, underground parking, roof deck patios, a glass-front lobby and conference room and private patios and balconies. Additionally, 14 of the 29 units are fully-furnished for future tenants.
The development is located on Mayo Memorial Park, one of Rochester’s oldest and most well-connected parks. The building’s common spaces provide expansive views of the park, the Zumbro River and downtown Rochester.