Launch Slideshow

Developer Village Green struck a deal with the city of Minneapolis, adjacent condominium owners, local lenders, and private partners to redevelop an unsightly vacant lot into Mill District City Apartments.

Case Study: A Good Neighbor in Minneapolis

Case Study: A Good Neighbor in Minneapolis

  • Developer Village Green struck a deal with the city of Minneapolis, adjacent condominium owners, local lenders, and private partners to redevelop an unsightly vacant lot into Mill District City Apartments.

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    Developer Village Green struck a deal with the city of Minneapolis, adjacent condominium owners, local lenders, and private partners to redevelop an unsightly vacant lot into Mill District City Apartments.

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    Karen Melvin

    Developer Village Green struck a deal with the city of Minneapolis, adjacent condominium owners, local lenders, and private partners to redevelop an unsightly vacant lot into Mill District City Apartments.

  • Throughout the building, Traco windows feature a SHGC average of 0.311 and a U-value of 0.35 or better to trap heat during cold Minnesota winters and keep it out in the summer. 800.837.7002. www.traco.com.Glidden low-VOC paints and Shaw Green Label Plus carpet and wood-look laminate flooring were chosen with indoor air quality in mind. Glidden: 800.454.3336. www.glidden.com. Shaw: 800.441.7429. www.shawfloors.com.

    http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmpD98%2Etmp_tcm48-961882.jpg

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    Throughout the building, Traco windows feature a SHGC average of 0.311 and a U-value of 0.35 or better to trap heat during cold Minnesota winters and keep it out in the summer. 800.837.7002. www.traco.com.Glidden low-VOC paints and Shaw Green Label Plus carpet and wood-look laminate flooring were chosen with indoor air quality in mind. Glidden: 800.454.3336. www.glidden.com. Shaw: 800.441.7429. www.shawfloors.com.

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    Karen Melvin

    Windows
    Throughout the building, Traco windows feature a SHGC average of 0.311 and a U-value of 0.35 or better to trap heat during cold Minnesota winters and keep it out in the summer. 800.837.7002. www.traco.com. Glidden low-VOC paints and Shaw Green Label Plus carpet and wood-look laminate flooring were chosen with indoor air quality in mind. Glidden: 800.454.3336. www.glidden.com. Shaw: 800.441.7429. www.shawfloors.com.

  • Flat-panel cabinetry with stainless steel hardware, movable granite islands, built-in wine racks, and track lighting add a fresh and modern style to the kitchens. Whirlpool Energy Star appliances include stainless steel dishwashers and refrigerators. To keep water use low, the aerators in the 2.2-gpm Kohler Coralis faucets were swapped with 1.5-gpm models. Whirlpool: 866.698.2538. www.whirlpool.com.  Kohler: 800.456.4537. www.kohler.com.

    http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmpD99%2Etmp_tcm48-961883.jpg

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    Flat-panel cabinetry with stainless steel hardware, movable granite islands, built-in wine racks, and track lighting add a fresh and modern style to the kitchens. Whirlpool Energy Star appliances include stainless steel dishwashers and refrigerators. To keep water use low, the aerators in the 2.2-gpm Kohler Coralis faucets were swapped with 1.5-gpm models. Whirlpool: 866.698.2538. www.whirlpool.com. Kohler: 800.456.4537. www.kohler.com.

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    Karen Melvin

    Kitchens
    Flat-panel cabinetry with stainless steel hardware, movable granite islands, built-in wine racks, and track lighting add a fresh and modern style to the kitchens. Whirlpool Energy Star appliances include stainless steel dishwashers and refrigerators. To keep water use low, the aerators in the 2.2-gpm Kohler Coralis faucets were swapped with 1.5-gpm models. Whirlpool: 866.698.2538. www.whirlpool.com. Kohler: 800.456.4537. www.kohler.com.

  • The 30-foot-long living wall leading to the two-story lobby provides natural air filtration, cooling properties, and a year-round indoor/outdoor connection. The Versa wall from Gsky features a trickle-down watering system that can be installed using a hidden water tank and pump, and plants can be easily maintained and replaced for seasonal updates, the firm says. 888.708.4759. www.gsky.com.

    http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmpD97%2Etmp_tcm48-961881.jpg

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    The 30-foot-long living wall leading to the two-story lobby provides natural air filtration, cooling properties, and a year-round indoor/outdoor connection. The Versa wall from Gsky features a trickle-down watering system that can be installed using a hidden water tank and pump, and plants can be easily maintained and replaced for seasonal updates, the firm says. 888.708.4759. www.gsky.com.

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    Karen Melvin

    Lobby
    The 30-foot-long living wall leading to the two-story lobby provides natural air filtration, cooling properties, and a year-round indoor/outdoor connection. The Versa wall from Gsky features a trickle-down watering system that can be installed using a hidden water tank and pump, and plants can be easily maintained and replaced for seasonal updates, the firm says. 888.708.4759. www.gsky.com.

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    Karen Melvin

    Bathrooms
    Kohler 1.28-gpf WaterSense-certified toilets and 1.5-gpm faucets in a variety of models help to conserve water in the building’s 207 bathrooms, while hot-water recirculating lines wrapped with Johns Manville Micro-Lok insulation minimize the amount of water wasted while waiting for hot water to be delivered. Panasonic Energy Star–labeled fans deter moisture in the bathroom and use 70% less energy than standard models. Kohler: 800.456.4537. www.kohler.com. Johns Manville: 800.654.3103. www.jm.com. Panasonic: 866.292.7292. www.panasonic.com.

  • The projects insulation package includes blown-in Fibertek fiberglass insulation with a Dupont Tyvek weather barrier that was added at the builders panelization factory. A Honeywell programmable thermostat in each unit helps residents control heating and cooling costs, for which they are responsible. Fibertek: 877.682.4448. www.fibertekinsulation.com. Dupont Tyvek: 800.448.9835. www.tyvek.com. Honeywell: 877.271.8620. www.honeywell.com.

    http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmpD94%2Etmp_tcm48-961878.jpg

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    The projects insulation package includes blown-in Fibertek fiberglass insulation with a Dupont Tyvek weather barrier that was added at the builders panelization factory. A Honeywell programmable thermostat in each unit helps residents control heating and cooling costs, for which they are responsible. Fibertek: 877.682.4448. www.fibertekinsulation.com. Dupont Tyvek: 800.448.9835. www.tyvek.com. Honeywell: 877.271.8620. www.honeywell.com.

    600

    Karen Melvin

    Building Envelope/Energy Usage
    The project’s insulation package includes blown-in Fibertek fiberglass insulation with a Dupont Tyvek weather barrier that was added at the builder’s panelization factory. A Honeywell programmable thermostat in each unit helps residents control heating and cooling costs, for which they are responsible. Fibertek: 877.682.4448. www.fibertekinsulation.com. Dupont Tyvek: 800.448.9835. www.tyvek.com. Honeywell: 877.271.8620. www.honeywell.com.

A few years ago, Minneapolis residents, city leaders, and property owners were torn over the fate of the unsightly vacant lot at the corner of Portland and Washington avenues, a messy excavation site left over from stalled redevelopment plans. All stakeholders were set on finding the right occupant for the prime downtown spot near the city’s cultural institutions and historic landmarks, including the internationally acclaimed Guthrie Theater. Some were focused on making sure the new building’s design fit in with the neighborhood’s elegant, upper-class character. Others wanted lots of open green space, and still others were hoping for a mix of retail and residential development that would lure young professionals to the city center. “Lots of attention was paid to this project,” says architect Gretchen Camp of BKV Group, the architectural firm that helped create the solution.

Amazingly, amidst the economic downturn of 2008, when most other local construction had ceased, developer Village Green struck a deal with the city, adjacent condominium owners, local lenders, and private partners to redevelop the site, known by locals as “the pit.”

The resulting Mill District City Apartments keeps all of its neighbors happy by offering luxury rentals in a thoughtfully designed building that blends in with its elegant surroundings. The plan also includes a 3,400-square-foot Japanese restaurant and plenty of artfully landscaped outdoor space. The boutique hotel–style apartment units boast 9- to 18-foot ceilings, oversized windows, hardwood flooring, granite islands, and contemporary track lighting. In the common areas, residents can enjoy the well-appointed club room, fitness center, sauna, and indoor and outdoor pools. The high-end touches, central location, and social atmosphere have attracted a lot of interest—especially from young professionals—and there is a three-month-long waiting list for prospective renters, according to Village Green regional marketing director Stefanie Balsis.

Aside from the amenities, the developer also placed great importance on sustainable features as a way to attract tenants who enjoy urban living. “They knew that for the clientele they were marketing to, it was important to incorporate sustainable practices and efficiency,” says BKV Group senior interior designer Kelly Naylor.