The following post represents one person’s opinion from the perspective of a Lake Point Condominium owner.  Other readers and stakeholders are encouraged to submit well-written and respectful articles for publication on this website to Bob Corrick, Chair of the Land Use Committee, at corrickcidna@gmail.com. This posting, or other similar submissions, do not represent the opinion of CIDNA or its Land Use Committee.  Readers also may submit to the Comments section of this website (see right under Brickstone).  We intend to encourage thoughtful public dialogue.


By Rodgers Adams
(a Lake Point resident)

The proposed Brickstone development on the site of the Lake Pointe Corporate Center (with the large green chairs in front) is triggering reaction from a variety of stakeholders. Among them are contrasting reactions from two large condo building on each side of the site.

Perhaps the problems for Lake Point owners are not easily visualized and understood because most people are not aware of the layout of Lake Point units and the views that are visible from those units. This has led, for example, to the Brickstone architect’s misleading suggestion that Lake Point is not much affected by the new building because there are no picture windows in the wall closest to the project. In an effort to help folks visualize the impact on Lake Point, I have put together some illustrations.

The first illustration supplements the drawings of the project as viewed from Lake St., which suggest that the 13-story option is a narrow tower-like building. In fact, the sides of the building are quite long, extending from near Lake St. west to near the Calhoun Flats apartment building. In fact, the side view of the building is similar in height and length to the side of the Calhoun Beach Club Apartments along Thomas Av. This massive “wall” along Thomas has been criticized by many for its overpowering ugliness. For comparison, the red line to the left below represents the approximate length of the Brickstone 13-story proposal. That line is duplicated and moved to Thomas Av. to show that it is almost as long as the apartment “wall” there.

Because the Brickstone 13-story wall is so long, it can have a major impact on views from Lake Point. It is not simply a matter of an additional tower in the view, but an almost complete blocking of the views to the southwest and west.

This first illustration shows the existing view from a 10th floor unit’s kitchen dining table, used for most of the residents’ meals. The shaded red area shows that most of the view to the southwest and west from that window would be blocked.


The second illustration shows the existing view from a 10th floor living room window, visible from part of a corner couch. (There is a similar view from the unit’s balcony, except that it doesn’t extend as far to the right because of the structure of the Lake Point building.)  Here the blockage is even greater than in the kitchen, because this window is closer to the midpoint of the new building.


The impact on views is only one issue to be resolved regarding the Brickstone project, but it seems clear that the project would have a substantial impact on the valuation of some units, which are marketed for their views. A more complete analysis is difficult because no information has been provided regarding which Lake Point floors would be able to see over the top of a 13-story Brickstone building (or a 9-story building). The base elevations of the two buildings are different, as are the heights of various floors.

I realize that Lake Point residents are not neutral observers of this proposal, but I hope these illustrations can lead to a fuller understanding of the issues involved.

Cedar-Isles-Dean Neighborhood Association is in discussions with Brickstone Partners concerning a new apartment project at 3100 West Lake Street.  The project would be located on the north side of West Lake Street, south of Lake Calhoun Flats Apartments, between Calhoun Loop Condominiums and the Lake Point Tower.  The developer would demolish the existing office building, formerly known as the Ministers Life Building, to make way for the project.

The property is zoned OR2, which limits building height to the lesser of 56 feet or 4 stories.  The existing properties to the north and west of the site, which were not opposed by CIDNA when built in 2006, are 5 stories.  The property is located entirely within the Shoreland Overlay District, which limits height to 35 feet.  The developer can apply for  conditional use permits to exceed these zoning height limits based on considerations such as shading and the character of the surrounding neighborhood.

Brickstone has presented 6-, 9-, and 13-story options for the community to consider.  At this point, CIDNA has not favored any of these designs.  CIDNA’s Land Use and Development Committee is vetting the project before submitting its recommendations to the neighborhood’s Board of Directors.  CIDNA has not determined yet that any of the designs are acceptable, or consistent with the character of surrounding neighborhood.  The neighborhood may request improvements.

6-Story:  This option would have 226,703 gross square feet of floor area with 206 units (276 beds).  The average unit size would be 863 square feet.  There would be 1.27 parking stalls per unit.  This building would be traditional “fabric” construction, built primarily with wood framing.  There would be a small structure for a commons area totaling 639 square feet on the southeast corner of the roof.


Pedestrian view of 6-story from W Lake St (Loop Condos left, Lake Point Tower right)


Pedestrian view of 6-story to NW from W Lake (Loop Condos left, Lake Point Tower right)

Please see the plans and metrics for the 6-story option here.

9-Story:  This option would have 213,360 gross square feet of floor area with 200 units (266 beds).  The average unit size would be 846 square feet.  There would be 1.14 parking stalls per unit.  At least the tower portion of this building would be Type 1 construction, built with steel and concrete, resulting in high quality exterior and interior design.


Pedestrian view of 9-story to NE from W Lake (Loop Condos left, Lake Point Tower right)


Pedestrian view of 9-story to NW from W Lake (Loop Condos left, Lake Point Tower right)

Please see the plans and metrics for the 9-story option here.

13-Story:  This option would have 223,298 gross square feet of floor area with 203 units (260 beds).  The average unit would be 885 square feet.  There would be .97 parking stalls per unit.  This building would be Type 1 construction, built with steel and concrete, resulting in the highest quality exterior and interior design.


Pedestrian view of 13-story to NE from W Lake (Loop Condos left, Lake Point Tower right)


Pedestrian view to NW from W Lake (Loop Condos left, Lake Point Tower right)

Please see the plans and metrics for the 13-story option here.

Public Input: All stakeholders and residents in the community are encouraged to comment on this project.  The developer will give a brief presentation at the CIDNA Board Meeting at Jones Harrison Residence on Wednesday, December 14, about 6:30 p.m.  No public comments will be taken at this meeting, but attendees can speak with developer representatives outside of the board meeting after the presentation.  Residents adjacent to the project at Loop and Lake Point condominiums are encouraged to quickly contact their Homeowners Associations during the month of December. The CIDNA Land Use Committee will hold a public hearing about the project on Thursday, January 26 at 6:00 p.m. at the Jones Harrison Residence Lakeview Room.  Public comments will be taken at this meeting.  Public comments may be submitted at any time to Bob Corrick, Chair of the Land Use Committee, at corrickcidna@gmail.com.  The CIDNA Board of Directors may consider its formal position on this project, after taking recommendations from its Land Use Committee, on Wednesday, February 8, 6:00 p.m., Jones Harrison Residence Lakeview Room.  Please see https://cidnalanduse.wordpress.com to submit comments and follow the project.  Readers may sign up for general CIDNA email updates at http://www.cidna.org.

Contractors for the Trammell Crow apartment project in CIDNA are alleged to have used wood that fails to meet fireproof standards.  Construction has been delayed. This news was reported by Channel 5 TV on Friday. There will be a press conference by the Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council at 9am Monday, July 25 at the Market Plaza fire station.

In 2015 Trammell Crow commenced construction of a 230-unit apartment project on the site of Tryg’s Restaurant.  During construction, serious damage occurred to the neighboring Loop Condominiums.  CIDNA and the Loop Condos did not oppose the project. In its July 13, 2016 Board meeting, CIDNA unanimously passed a resolution requesting Trammell Crow and its contractors to constructively engage with Loop Condos to address damage caused by the apartment project.  Please see CIDNA’s resolution here.

In its June 8, 2016  Board meeting, CIDNA unanimously opposed a drug store drive-thru proposed by Doran Companies, the new owner of Calhoun Village Shopping Center.  Technical revisions to the resolution were passed in CIDNA’s July 13th Board meeting.  CIDNA nevertheless commended Doran for improvements to the shopping center including a dedicated bicycle-pedestrian trail connecting with the Midtown Greenway and significant landscaping improvements.  Doran’s application for the drive-thru was approved by the Minneapolis Planning Commission on June 27 primarily because a drive-thru represents a permitted use under the existing ordinance. Please see CIDNA’s final resolution here.

The Greystar and Trammell Crow projects in CIDNA are both scheduled for groundbreaking soon this spring.

Building construction for the Greystar project at 2622 West Lake Street will be a Post-tensioned concrete building with one level of underground parking.  The first floor will have parking in the back, with Leasing, amenities and apartments in the front. The building will be eight stories tall on Lake Street and drop to 3 stories facing the Greenway.  Frana Companies will be the general contractor on the project.
Construction will commence, weather permitting, March 16th with staging, fencing and excavation.
The building will be supported by piles, which will start the following week (March 23) and continue throughout May.
Foundation and parking floor slabs will be poured through the end of June, with the additional floors and supporting columns constructed through November 2015.  Walls and interior finish work will be started in September and continue throughout the winter and spring with occupancy in Summer 2016.  Please see Greystar’s construction schedule (subject to change) here.
We expect to post Trammell Crow’s project schedule soon.

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.

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