COBALT CONDOMINIUMS/LUNDS & BYERLYS RETAIL CENTER

25-45 UNIVERSITY AVENUE SE, MINNEAPOLIS, MN

Cobalt is a stunning blue-glass high-rise development two blocks from the Mississippi River at the most prominent location in Northeast Minneapolis. Overlooking the Mississippi River and Downtown Minneapolis in the historic old St. Anthony neighborhood, the project is one mile west of the University of Minnesota main campus.

A ground-up development, the project involved the acquisition of a two-acre site, demolition of an obsolete retail strip center and a four-story office building, and construction of a retail podium, a three-level parking ramp, and 5 and 9 story towers above the retail podium for upscale condominium residences. The towers feature a patented pre-cast concrete truss structure system hoisted in place by a 300 ton Manitowoc crane and sheathed with a curtain wall of two distinctive shades of blue glass.

Development challenges for the project included working with a task force of five neighborhood associations to negotiate design, density, and height issues; securing Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission approval to demolish the office building; acquiring a small portion of the site from an unmotivated seller; and relocating existing tenants. The residences sold out in spite of the real estate crash of 2008.

  • Project cost: $65 million
  • Project size: 309,000 SF
  • Uses: 93 condominium residences, 44,500 SF retail, and 280 structured parking stalls
  • Completion: 2007
  • Architect: Pope Associates
  • Contractor: McGough Construction
  • Debt: U.S. Bank and LaSalle Bank
  • Equity: Local investors, private equity firm from Boston, MA, and public pension fund from Columbus, OH
  • Tenants: Lunds & Byerlys grocery and pharmacy, North Memorial Health Clinic, Bachman’s Floral, Caribou Coffee, St. Croix Cleaners, Chuck & Don’s Pet Food Warehouse, and Cost Cutters

Map Locations (13) and (14)