Construction company set to begin new development in Elliot Park
Downtown Minneapolis is on the verge of another construction project that is set to bring jobs, entertainment, residential housing and economic benefits to a dull downtown city block owned by Kraus-Anderson construction.
After 119 years as a company, Kraus-Anderson will be bringing all three of their Twin Cities offices under one roof as they set to break ground at the end of April, according to Mary Kaeding, senior marketing coordinator for the company. Kraus-Anderson’s current headquarters and parking lot are on the corner of Eighth Street and Portland Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.
The new headquarters building will consist of about 300 employees from KA Construction, KA Realty, KA Mortgage and KA Companies. Along with this five-story headquarter building, the block will also be home to a 17-story, 306-unit multi-family apartment complex on the Portland Avenue side of the block; a 7-story, 148-room boutique hotel sand restaurant on Ninth Street; and a three-story, Finnegan’s brewery and event center on Fifth Avenue. In the middle of the massive complex the plans show a professionally landscaped courtyard open to the public.
“The new development will address the goals of the city and the neighborhood in multiple ways: providing housing, jobs, economic opportunities, entertainment, restaurant and hospitality venues; not to mention an elevated tax base,” Kaeding said.
Initially, the proposed project was only supposed to consist of the new headquarters building, but Elliot Park leaders didn’t approve, sending Kraus-Anderson back to the drawing board.
“The city and the neighborhood gave us a gift by pushing back our initial proposal of a single headquarters building,” Kaeding said in an email interview. “They wanted more development density with a mixed-use approach, and they were right.”
Booming businesses and a growing residential area surround Kraus-Anderson’s mega-project as the city of Minneapolis prepares for the Minnesota Vikings inaugural season in their new US Bank Stadium, and eventually the 2018 Super Bowl. As projects and construction have been starting up in the Downtown East and Elliot Park areas, local residents have been striving to see the positive outcome for the currently torn up city.
Abigail Davis, associate dean of residence life and housing at North Central University, is a resident in the Lenox Apartments, located directly across the street from the Kraus-Anderson block on Ninth Street. Davis said that while traffic and noise could produce negative effects during construction, the overall project will have a much more positive effect on the community.
“Development is a good thing for the community, because hopefully it brings more business, which provides stimulus to the economy and raises my property value,” Davis said.
Contractors have begun preparing the property for groundbreaking at the end of April.
“Am I willing to put up with some annoying stuff in the short term if in the long term it helps my property become more valuable? Yes. I can absolutely put up with it,” Davis said.
Kaeding stated that Kraus-Anderson plans on moving their employees into the new offices by the end of 2017. The first step is demolition of the current building and digging down in order to create a two-story underground parking ramp with the capability of holding 550 cars. Contractors are expected to be aboveground by fall 2016.