Alatus plans 320-unit tower near the Depot in Minneapolis

Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal –

Alatus, a Minneapolis real estate developer and parking lot operator led by Bob Lux, has disclosed plans to develop “a high-quality, skyway-connected, mid-rise apartment tower” on Washington Avenue.

Alatus’ concept includes 320 upscale apartments above restaurant and retail space that would be on the first floor, according to Carl Runck, director of real estate development at Alatus. The project would be located at 301 Washington Ave., directly across from The Depot Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel.

Plans call for “unique upscale” amenities on the skyway and rooftop levels, he said. A conceptual rendering shows a 13-story building.

Alatus has control of the site and has started conversations with the city, Hennepin County, and neighborhood residents about the project.

The new complex will offer residents and guests some parking in the skyway-connected Gateway Ramp, which Alatus bought from the city in 2007 as part of a package of six municipal parking ramps.

Runck declined to disclose more details about the project (such as the project cost or name) because the plans are still tentative. Alatus won’t be seeking any TIF or city subsidies for the project, he said.

The company hopes to open the project in 2015.

Alatus has undisclosed partners in the deal, Runck said. However, former Alatus investors Phillip Jaffe and Irv Kessler are not involved. Jaffe, who had been a partner in Alatus for several years, left the company in June to start a new real estate company with Kessler, an Alatus investor.

Hennepin County values the 1.1-acre site at $2.4 million and lists the taxpayer as the K V & L J Mikulay Trust.

The Mikulay family has a history of owning real estate in downtown Minneapolis, especially parking lots. The company was run by Leonard Mikulay, who died in September 2012, according to an obituary from the University of St. Thomas.

Leonard, and his brother Arnold Mikulay, who died in 2008, were benefactors with St. Thomas, selling land and donating funds to the University of St. Thomas so it could expand its Minneapolis campus over the years. There’s even fresco paintings of the Mikulay’s painted in the lobby of St. Thomas’ Terrance Murphy Hall.

By Sam Black, Senior Reporter
Date: July 26, 2013, 6:58am CDT

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