Block E sold to Alatus

CityPages –

Bob Lux and his real estate development firm Alatus evidently look at Block E in downtown Minneapolis these days and see something that others don’t: A cash register.
The company confirmed over the weekend that it has completed a deal to purchase the troubled entertainment complex across for an undisclosed price from Union Labor Life Insurance Co.

“There is a vibrancy in downtown Minneapolis with Target Field, the theatre district and restaurants, and Block E is at the center of it all,” Lux said in a statement.

Maybe. Anyone who’s wandered around downtown during Twins home games this summer can see the hum he’s talking about — bar and restaurant crowds spill out onto the street.

But those crowds weren’t around earlier to help some Block E tenants out of the red. Borders Books and Bellanote bailed out two years ago. GameWorks closed its doors in March. Hooters filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April.

Block E opened in 2002, after a $134 million investment by McCaffery Interest of Chicago and Hard Rock Cafe, and $38.5 million from taxpayers. The Hard Rock Cafe, Graves 601 hotel and 15-screen AMC movie theater remain in place. Kieran’s Irish Pub moved into the Bellanote space earlier in the spring — just in time to coral baseball fans looking for grub and suds before wandering down the street to Target Field. And Alatus says it’s already entertained a few prospective tenant inquiries for the complex borded by Hennepin and First avenues, and 6th and 7th streets.

By: Hart Van Denburg
Date: July 12, 2010 7:55am CST
View original article here.

Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Alatus, LLC was founded in 2005 with the goal of revitalizing communities through the planning, design and construction of transformative projects. Known for its dedication to excellence, Alatus is a leader in multi-family as well as mixed-use, commercial, and single-family residential real estate developments.

The company also includes MyHomeSource, LLC, which focuses on single-family home construction throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro and brings more than 30 years of real estate, design, and construction experience to each neighborhood. With numerous, award-winning urban and suburban developments, Alatus proudly partners with clients and communities throughout the Upper Midwest.