Nestled amid one of the only fully-intact historic blocks in the North Loop, the 117 Washington Avenue project fully revitalized a building that had been only partially occupied for over a decade. Years of deferred maintenance meant that every surface of the building needed to be rebuilt including rehabilitated historic windows and skylights, roof parapet, plaster walls, and the tuckpointing of an exterior.
The project included a significant renovation of three floors and basement, accommodating Capsule in a first-floor retail space, Element Commercial Real Estate in the second-floor office and residential tenants in studio, one-bedroom and three-bedroom units. Additionally, the restoration project complied with requirements from the State Historic Preservation and National Parks Service for Rehabilitation Tax Credits and the City of Minneapolis Historic Preservation Commission.
As an urban infill site with very little space off of the alley in the rear and no elevator to transport materials, construction phasing was managed carefully to coordinate construction materials and debris in the small space. Construction was scheduled to finish right as the COVID related shutdowns began, creating a one-month delay in the schedule. However, the project was completed and was 100% leased by June 1st despite the complications of governmental orders and unrest in Minneapolis. As the developer and leasing agent, Element pivoted quickly to offer a fully remote leasing process including 3D tours on the website, virtual tours, electronic signing and online tenant portals.
The building brings a new residential experience to the area, standing out from the larger multi-family projects completed over the last few years in North Loop with its larger units and unique floorplans. Maintaining the historical integrity and wide-open spaces in the residential units while integrating modern features such as large kitchens, heated bathroom floors, touchless faucets, skylights, powered skylight blinds, and professionally designed closets attracted tenants upon listing. In addition to the residential units, the renovation brought the building to full occupancy for the first time in over a decade which brought eyes onto the street and the alley.