The Greystar and Trammell Crow projects in CIDNA are both scheduled for groundbreaking soon this spring.
In its January, 2015 Board Meeting CIDNA proposed a pedestrian-bike connector trail between Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles. Our initial vision and design concept is presented here.
During the past few months we have been refining the details of the proposed tunnel under the Midtown Greenway. Two designs are being considered. The first option would proceed through the eastern edge of the pocket park adjacent to the Greystar project. (Initial design and elevations are presented here.) The second option would locate the tunnel on the western edge closer to the apartment project. (Please see design and elevations here.)
The second tunnel design offers a number of advantages:
- There would be more vertical separation between the top of the railroad berm and the Met Council’s new force main below.
- It would eliminate the descending ramp in the first tunnel design that was necessary to access the tunnel on the south side of the Greenway.
- The second design would require minimum use of HCRRA property. The first tunnel design located the ramp on railroad property in order to protect the force main.
- The second design would take trail users along the quieter north side of the Greenway berm away from Lake Street traffic where wetland nature could be observed. We are recommending a boardwalk to preserve the wetland. (The wetland was created as mitigation for Lake of the Isles restoration a few years ago. CIDNA contributed $100,000 to help re-create this wetland and the adjacent soccer field.)
- The second design would preserve easy connection with (a) the Greenway to the east by the dog park, (b) the dog park itself, and (c) the congested park intersection at East Calhoun and Lake of the Isles Parkways.
CIDNA is working with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to include this trail in a pending Lakes Area Regional Park study. We are also working closely with the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority.
The trail would add a new connection from the Midtown Greenway and the dog park to Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun. The trail would offer a more peaceful and safe crossing of West Lake Street for pedestrians and cyclists (compared with Dean Parkway and Market Plaza). Preliminary design and engineering has been provided on a pro bono basis by ESG Architects, Kimley-Horn, and Greystar. We hope to coordinate this project with construction of the Greystar project. The trail would access the sidewalk in front of the Greystar project on West Lake Street. Interim at-grade crossings of the Midtown Greenway are also being considered.
Representatives of Trammell Crow met with CIDNA residents on December 11 to discuss details of the apartment project to be constructed on the Tryg’s Restaurant site. The project is proceeding as expected and conforms substantially to the plans approved by CIDNA in April, 2014.
Small Design Changes and Improvements
A number of small design improvements were presented including:
- A fire truck turnaround has been introduced, whcih has the effect of moving the east wall of the entryway building 4 feet further away from the Loop Condos. This change also addresses concerns raised by Loop residents in CIDNA’s April, 2014 meeting approving the project.
- The roof patio area on top of the 6th floor has been reduced and moved south towards Lake Street, which will keep patio activity further away from Loop residents.
- The number of units has been slightly increased from 162 to 164 with the same number of total beds. The parking ratio will remain at about the same level (1.2 stalls per unit and 1 per bedroom, excluding 50 stalls for the restaurant).
- Small patios with surrounding potted greenery have been introduced on the garden apartments roof. This feature will improve the appearance of the low roof to the surrounding apartments and Loop Condominiums.
- Discussions are proceeding to eliminate the unsightly telephone pole on Lake Street by placing power and utilities underground.
Preliminary Construction Schedule
- Demolition of existing structure: March/April, 2015
- Soil remediation/export/foundation (including sheet pile driving): May/June/July, 2015
- Vertical Construction Commencement (above ground): August, 2015
- Construction Completion: October, 2016
- Move-ins: November, 2016
Traffic Management and Detailed Schedule
Traffic management plans and detailed construction schedule will be announced in about February depending on contractor discussions. Please consult this website for forthcoming details. Also click on the “Follow Us” button (top right) in order to receive notification of new posts.
If you are interested in joining a committee to advocate for a new pedestrian trail on the north side of the project and south of the Greenway, please contact Bob Corrick at email@example.com. Trammell Crow has included this trail on their site, but we must approach adjoining property owners to make this trail work.
There will be a meeting to update the neighborhood about the Trammell Crow Apartment Project to be built on the site of Tryg’s Restaurant on Thursday December 11 at 6pm in the Lakeview Room of Jones Harrison Residence, 3700 Cedar Lake Avenue.
CIDNA voted not to oppose the project in April, 2014, and the project was subsequently approved by the Minneapolis Planning Commission in June. Please refer to previous posts regarding approved construction design.
The purpose of the meeting will be to update the neighborhood about construction schedule, project refinements and detail, coordination with Loop Condos, traffic management, and other issues such as noise and equipment. Principals from Trammell Crow and ESG Architects will present. The meeting is expected to be relatively short. The public is welcome.
The project is expected to break ground in March, 2015 subject to the weather, contractor arrangements, and final technical approvals from the city.
The Minneapolis Planning Commission is schedule to consider approval of the Greystar and Trammell Crow apartment projects on June 23 at 4:30 p.m. Please see the Planning Commission agenda and related staff reports here: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/meetings/planning/index.htm
On Wednesday, April 9 the CIDNA Board unanimously approved resolutions not to oppose two apartment projects following recommendations by its Land Use Committee on April 7. Greystar, already one of the largest developers in Uptown with Élan, has proposed a 90-unit luxury apartment project on the vacant land at Thomas Avenue and West Lake Street. The developer is seeking a conditional use permit to exceed the 35-and 56-foot height proscriptions. Greystar has achieved a sensitive balance between respect for the shoreland, parks, trails, and single-family residences while considering the context of the 12-story Calhoun Beach Club Apartments and the City’s classification of West Lake Street as a high-density thoroughfare.
The Greystar project represents ten years of work by CIDNA to shape development on the site. Greystar has proposed a height and shadowing profile similar to the Lander project, which was not built, but which CIDNA approved in 2006. CIDNA has opposed three other tall projects in the neighborhood: 10-stories by Lander in 2005, 12 stories by Bigos in 2012, and 11 stories by Trammel Crow in 2013.
Founding members of ELECT, who in the 1990’s successfully introduced an ordinance to limit shoreland buildings above 35 feet, objected to Greystar’s height and massing. Although approving Greystar, CIDNA officially commended Arlene Fried, Harriet Horwitz, Sally Anson and Steve Woldum, founding members of ELECT speaking before CIDNA, for their work in limiting building height on our lakes, and creating a lasting legacy of human-scale shorelines in our city.
CIDNA also approved a 154-unit 6-story apartment project proposed by Trammell Crow Company, a major national developer, on the site of Tryg’s restaurant at 3118 West Lake Street next to the Loop Calhoun Condominiums. CIDNA commended the developer for addressing the neighborhood’s concerns about height, Greenway and Loop Condos interface, and project design, which eliminated the previously monolithic character of the building. The average height of the project would be about 60 feet, and would be within +/- 4 feet of the Loop Condos height.
Traffic has been a huge concern for the neighborhood with both of these projects. Forty thousand cars pass the Lake Street/Dean Parkway intersection daily, one of the busiest street intersections in the city and the state. Pedestrian safety also has been of great concern in CIDNA even before the tragic accident of Caitlan Barton at Market Plaza. Council Member Linea Palmisano in cooperation with West Calhoun Neighborhood Association has invited concerned citizens to discuss pedestrian and cyclist safety in the community on Tuesday May 13, 7pm. at The Bakken Museum, 3537 Zenith Avenue South.
To partially address safe pedestrian connectivity Trammell Crow will build sidewalks on the east and north perimeters of their site to create safer pedestrian walkways, which could represent the beginning of a pedestrian trail south of the Greenway between Dean Parkway and Calhoun Village. CIDNA also is supporting community efforts to explore a new north-south bike-ped trail between Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles. This trail could cross a bridge as envisioned by a Park Board charette in 2012, or the trail could cross Lake Street at Thomas Avenue, or both. Please contact your neighborhood to participate in these important projects. Another vision we are exploring to calm traffic and create more livability is the “boulevardization” of Lake Street, which would add trails, trees, center medians, and lighting to this busy and high-speed County thoroughfare.
the Trammell Crow and Greystar apartment projects. In both cases the developers have responded positively to CIDNA’s guidelines and requests for improvement. The Land Use Committee is recommending approval of these projects by CIDNA on Wednesday, April 9.
strikes a sensitive balance between conflicting interests—the shoreland, Midtown Greenway, parks, single-family residences, 12-story CBC Apartments, and West Lake Street as a major high-density thoroughfare.