Alatus to build city hall/apartment combo

– Finance & Commerce

Mixed-use apartment buildings can have a wide variety of other functions, from cafes and grocery stores to offices and churches, but Minneapolis-based Alatus believes it will be the first in the nation to include a city hall.

At its Monday meeting, the Columbia Heights City Council approved plans for a $60 million project that will combine 265 market-rate apartments and 20,650 square feet of office and meeting space that will serve as the new city hall. The project will happen on a city-owned property in the southeast quadrant of Central Avenue and 40th Avenue Northeast, and will blaze a new trail for the industry, said Barrett Corwin, a development associate with Alatus.

“We did some research and we believe that there might be one other development in Florida that’s in the process of pushing something like this through the entitlement process, but to our knowledge, nothing like this exists in the country yet,” Corwin said in an interview. “There obviously are a lot of public-private partnerships with libraries or even different types of offices, but there’s no city council located within a building.”

Financing for the project includes up to $10 million in tax increment financing through the city. Alatus envisions selling the city hall portion of the building to the city in a condominium arrangement, while a separate café location will be run through a more traditional leasing arrangement.

There would be about 30 first-floor parking stalls for residents and visitors conducting city business, while the city would pay a monthly fee for employee parking in the building’s internal garage.

Alatus worked with the city through an RFP process to collocate the new city hall and planned apartments under one roof, Corwin said.

“[The city’s] comprehensive plan labeled this parcel, this corner, as the exact middle of this central business district. They want to revitalize the entire central corridor,” he said, noting other nearby development activity in northeast Minneapolis and around the Medtronic headquarters in Fridley. “They really want their business district to revitalize and to make that corridor super active, so the first step in doing that is correcting this blighted corner, this blighted property.”

Doran Architecture is designing the project, and Doran Construction will build it. Alatus hopes to demolish the blighted office building and parking structure on the site in the second quarter and anticipates a two-year build time.

By: William Morris
Date: Feb 26, 2020
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