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New tower in downtown Minneapolis may end up with more floors, but no hotel or condos

June 9, 2018

A new skyscraper to be built on the old Nicollet Hotel Block in downtown Minneapolis may not actually include a hotel.

Developer United Properties and partner JMI Realty Inc. says it has a Plan B in case the hotel portion of its planned Gateway skyscraper on the north end of Nicollet Mall doesnt pan out.

Four Seasons Hotels Resorts has been in talks with United Properties about the Gateway project for more than two years. But recent documents indicate that the hotel portion of the project could be in jeopardy.

The tower could consist of about 50 condos, a 280-room hotel and nearly 500,000 square feet of office space, which would be anchored by RBC Wealth Management, a similar mix to what the developer told the city earlier this year. Its newly-disclosed alternative would be to forgo the hotel and condos and replace those floors with apartments, according to city planning documents.

In the event that the hotel component of the development is deemed unfeasible, an alternative plan will be resubmitted to the committee in which the hotel and for-sale condominium components of the development will be replaced with for-rent multifamily residences, according to a submission to be discussed at next Thursdays meeting of the planning commissions committee of the whole.

The site plan and building facade will remain nearly identical to that which is currently submitted, with the exception of additional exterior balconies, the submission said.

United Properties did not return requests for comment Friday.

The new documents show that the Gateway would be 36 stories, three floors more than what designs showed in April. At 514 feet, the skyscraper will be one of the top ten tallest buildings in downtown.

Other design details include a landscaped plaza on the corner of Nicollet Mall and Washington Avenue that could accommodate for a future streetcar line. Access to the 511-stall underground parking garage would be along 3rd Street. For drop-offs, designers have proposed a porte cochere along Hennepin Avenue.

On the ground floor, there would be a RBC bank branch, restaurant and hotel lobby and residential lounge. Renderings also show a blue and yellow RBC logo near the top of the outside of the building, hinting that the Gateway could likely be rebranded to reflect its anchor tenant.

Earlier estimates put the cost of the building at $330 million.

Nicole Norfleet 612-673-4495

Twitter: @nicolenorfleet

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