Block E to be renovated [IMAGES]

Categories: Minneapolis
blockeEnew1jpg.jpg
This is what architects say Block E will look like following its renovation.
The structure Mpls St. Paul Magazine calls "the saddest square block in the upper Midwest" will soon suck a whole lot less.

RELATED: Block E blight: With AMC theater closed, there's only one business left inside [PHOTO]

Today, Block E's owner, Camelot LCC, unveiled plans for a renovation project that includes a long-rumored "world class training facility" for the Timberwolves and Lynx. The news comes just weeks after the Minneapolis City Council approved a $97 million renovation of the neighboring Target Center.

MPR reports that RSP Architects will redo the building, which, in the world of a Camelot press release, will feature a "sophisticated 'Minneapolis modern' aesthetic... keeping with other contemporary buildings downtown."

"Our goal with the redesign is to clearly state that Block E has changed," David Serrano, RSP's senior associate, is quoted as saying in a Fox 9 report. "We want it to have an energy and elegance that will allow it to look great day and night."

Kieran's Irish Pub, Shout House, Starbucks, and Jimmy John's won't be displaced during the renovations, which are slated to begin early next year.

For more renderings of what architects have planned for Block E, click to page two.

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72 comments
yolanda
yolanda

Didn't we do this a few years back and then opted to bring in chain restaurants and then encouraged the thugged out posse to hang out?

Here is a recommendation, maybe built units of commercial real estate that private investors can use and inherit some quality businesses.  Have a strong police presence such that thugged out people are moved on to the buses.


More tax money going to waste - May be consider making the area more friendly, less ghetto.

Kenny Peterson
Kenny Peterson

We should just move the bus stop to St. Paul - that way there would never be any problems. Sorry - that's not the way it works.

Kenny Peterson
Kenny Peterson

With added venues comes added foot traffic. The fact that Block E was a victim of bad management and marketing decisions is exactly why there is a void in the area. Add traffic, your PERCEPTION of crime will go down and maybe you will convince yourself to come downtown and see what the City actually has to offer. The fact that the area surrounding Block E is currently relatively crime free (for an "urban environment") and that the majority of crime downtown occurs between 1st Street and Third Street, and Third Avenue North and Hennepin Avenue - nearly six blocks to the north - is testament that you are reasonably uninformed about the matter.Do a bit of research, then maybe go check out a show at First Avenue & 7th St Entry, grab dinner at one of the fabulous restaurants on Nicollet, Hennepin or Marquette Avenue - or even take a hansom cab ride around the island from Nicollet Island Inn. You'll probably be pleasantly surprised at what you find. Don't believe the hype...

Lisa Hirst Carnes
Lisa Hirst Carnes

Give me Shinders or Moby Dicks over Applebee's any day of the week.

Kenny Peterson
Kenny Peterson

Although the decision to tear down Moby's, Shinder's, etc. Predated Cherryhomes and Belton by about a decade. Just saying that the decision to uproot the lifestyles of business owners - many who had been on the same property for well over a half-century - was a cruel, thoughtless, crass, unthoughtful one - just because a few in City Hall didn't like the way it looked (but that's another discussion). The fact of the matter is that the movers and shakers that made that decision could be seen frequenting establishments on Block E, after hours, on a regular basis.

Kenny Peterson
Kenny Peterson

Correct. But the name "Block E" has been used to market the property since the project began and is, indeed, the name of the building. Prior to the planning to evict the previous tenants and tear down their life bloods (yet another bright idea thanks to city planners and that Dynamic Duo of Council President Jackie Cherryhomes and Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton) hardly anybody had even heard of the designation, and I'm certain that 98% of city residents have any idea where it came from, or that other parcels also have designations. Hopefully, the new developers will take the high road and choose to come up with a new name, along with the new marketing plan.

Kenny Peterson
Kenny Peterson

The current property was built in the early '90's, a few years after you left. It was a victim of bad architecture, bad planning, bad marketing, bad security and - most of all - overall bad management. What's worse, there was no street-level navigation options to get from one side of the building to the other. It was not user-friendly whatsoever - I'm sure you remember The Conservatory. Similarly, tenants decided not to renew leases as they were for years a destination property - you had to want to go there - as there was no thru traffic for a good period of time. The skyway over First Avenue which leads to Target Center, a fitness center and, ultimately, to Target Field as well as about 15,000 parking spaces was only recently erected (within the past 10 years). As one management crew after another failed with their marketing plans - such as adding Gameworks, which was the death knell - the clientele (or what there was, of it) became increasingly more troublesome. Finally, the decision was made by management to simply not renew the leases of any of the tenants which had interior access points and to devise a renovation and marketing plan from the ground up. Short of tearing the whole building down, anything looks like a good idea. There are currently only a handful of tenants - all with street access - and the loss of any property and sales tax, licensing and operating fees, and the absence of jobs (for which employees also pay payroll taxes) is simply a burden to the city. Anything here would be better than nothing.

Lisa Hirst Carnes
Lisa Hirst Carnes

Hi Kenny thanks for the clarification. Still, average folks refer to the area as Block E and have done so for years. Whereas other areas take on something more meaningful to the general population like the warehouse district, etc.

Kenny Peterson
Kenny Peterson

"Block E" is currently a marketing name. The term "Block E" is a designation by the City Planning department, and can never change. Similarly, the land bounded by Hennepin Avenue, Sixth Street, First Avenue North and Fifth Street (one block northeast, toward the river) is designated as Block D. The parcel you refer to, "Bridge Square", was bounded by the river, Southwest to Third (or Fourth Street) and included the property on which The Federal Reserve, Washington Square condos and down to the library and the Section 8 housing tower, on both sides of Hennepin Avenue. The property on which The Federal Reserve sits is known by city planners as "Block A". All blocks downtown have similar designations.

Gregory Gilquist
Gregory Gilquist

Architecturally much better esp that it says its for a training facility. The architecture is sterile yet better than whats there. The hotel will still be ugly. I think they need to go back to the drawing board if they want to keep retail.

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

Failed Once. Might as well have government subsidize it so it will fail again. The bus stops nearby make my family and friends nervous as they are littered with drug deals, fights, and verbal assaults. 

stephansonprop
stephansonprop

Mpls's failed project number 54, and they are now spending millions on their another project that will not generate a nickle for downtown just like every other.

Craig Herrald
Craig Herrald

I am angry they closed the movie theaters. Downtown Minneapolis was a great place to see movies at one time. We need a cinema complex that shows high class films like the Landmark Theaters in Uptown.

Walter Hudson
Walter Hudson

If you build it, they will come. No? If you renovate it?

April Kennedy
April Kennedy

I an still not going to want to go there. The neighborhood is way too rough. In fact, except for a play our sporting event now and then, I don't want to be anywhere near downtown after 6pm. Too bad. Other major cities are safer, because many people go downtown for food and entertainment. It weil take easy more than cleaning up block E, it is a downtown wide problem.

Austen Patrick Carey
Austen Patrick Carey

They need to move the bus stop where the "riff raff" conjugates both on hennepin and 7th st. Move it down on the side of the target center. Higher police presence,

Sharon D'Amico
Sharon D'Amico

Another expensive teen hangout? They wrecked City Center, Block E and now hang out on Nicollet Mall.

TweetsAreYours
TweetsAreYours topcommenter

 What is they say about lipstick on a pig? #TweetsAreYours

Adam T. Shaw
Adam T. Shaw

Will this still be where gangs and riff raff hang out?

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

make everything unaffordable...price out all but the 1%

JL1969
JL1969

As much as I love work by RSP, if the confusing traffic patterns inside are the same then Jeremy is right.  They're just polishing a turd.  Some days it seems we'd be better off with a parking lot with a giant E in the middle. 

Minneapolis, take a hint from how St Paul develops.  There's a good reason why St Paul calls itself the Most Livable City in America.

Ross Levine
Ross Levine

I'll read the actual article later...but it's saying something that I almost don't need to, the headline alone is enough to be automatic good news :P

Kent Erickson
Kent Erickson

Tammy, while I agree for the most part, some things like the theater attracted criminals. I saw a movie there once....and it was the last time I saw one there. Constant talking and etc. That place and Regal in Brooklyn Center, saw only one movie at each and that was it. I like to watch movies in a civilized environment, without all the yelling and shouting and talking on the phone and etc...real riff raff at both theaters. It costs more, and parking is a bitch, but I'd rather go to Rosedale and actually be able to watch the movie. Plus cleaner theater and nicer seats.

Patrick Kane
Patrick Kane

Maybe they should've done it right the first time, instead of wasting MORE of taxpayers $!

Tammy Hinrichs
Tammy Hinrichs

It wasnt the offerings of Block E that it failed it was crime and infrastructure. How does that change?

Richard Dahl
Richard Dahl

My god! They're STILL talking about renovating Block E???!!!! I left Mpls. 26 years ago and it had been going on for years then!

WatusiJenkins
WatusiJenkins

They can renovate it all the want, but until they rid the area of the bus trash that hang out on that block, it will fail just like the first time around.  

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@Kenny Peterson And when they tore town Block E, the riff-raff just moved over to the Skyway block.

nrupar1
nrupar1

@k2yeb They make you nervous?  Hahaha, just stay home then, I have used this bus stop well over 300 times, have yet to see one fight. 

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

@Craig Herrald Every single movie I went to was ruined by theater jumpers who clearly paid for 1 and stayed all day. Non stop talking and interacting with the movie. Incredibly annoying. I stopped going for that reason. 5 movies had the same result. 

exgeronimo
exgeronimo

@April Kennedy I really doubt other cities are safer than Minneapolis, which has tons of people downtown at all times unlike most. (on Hennepin or Nicollet anyway).

The only crime that happens downtown happens inside of clubs on First Ave. at 2 AM, really can't imagine it being any safer.

It seems like people use crime as code for "homeless people," not to mention black people. If you don't want to see the real world, stay in the suburbs, but economic and racial diversity does not equal danger, and I have never seen another city with a safer downtown unless maybe it is just completely empty (St. Paul), which feels less safe to me in any case.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@Austen Patrick Carey conjugate?  you fail life

KennyXXX
KennyXXX

@Austen Patrick Carey 

When you say "riff raff", are you referring to black people? You sound racist.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@JL1969 They only say that because nobody can find their way back to 94 so they just stay.

exgeronimo
exgeronimo

@Kent Erickson lol So talking during a movie = criminals? I thought they were called normal teenagers.

KennyXXX
KennyXXX

That "riff raff" you speak of are victims of racism and oppression and economic inequality. If only they had jobs available to them, they would not be standing on those corners loitering. OK, fine most of them did not graduate from high school (due to the racist Minneapolis public school system) and most of them were forced into bad lifestyle choices (all because of Republicans, in particular former President Bush Jr.) But the good news is that they will now have Obamacare and they will now be prosperous thanks to Obama's brilliant economic policies. So there is Hope. And Change.  

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