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MINNEAPOLIS-Ryan Cos. recently completed construction on the 900 Nicollet block, an 822,000-sf complex comprised of the two-story Target store, three lower levels of parking with 841 stalls and an all-brick, one-story office building. A block from company headquarters, the 160,000-sf Downtown Target is one-third larger than an average Target.

The new corporate parent will closely watch how the new urban format works out with its underground parking, heavier-duty shopping bags and other new innovations.

The Target store brings much needed mid-priced retail to Downtown residents and workers while presenting a classical, pedestrian-pleasing design to Nicollet Mall, according to city officials.

“One of the major accomplishments of this development is bringing a Target store to downtown, rounding out our vibrant retail offerings,” says Minneapolis MayorSharon Sayles-Belton, who recently lost her bid for re-election.

Sayle-Belton was criticized for helping the project land more than $60 million in public subsidies, mostly for clearing the land and building the parking ramp. She says the project brings more than 12,000 employees within this three-block area helping to revive the Nicollet Mall retail corridor in Downtown Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis-based Ryan Cos.’ design-build development team worked with the Minneapolis office of architectural firm Ellerbe Beckett on the project.

Among the challenges the project overcame during the past five years were a lawsuit from a rival developer, the complexity of design for such large-scale projects, winning city approvals and the difficulty of building in an active Central Business District, according to Ryan officials.

The completion of this building represents the largest masonry contract in Minnesota in more than 20 years, totaling more than $13 million. The brick design was used to complement the historic Young Quinlan Building across the street, which is linked to the new structure by a skyway.

This skyway offers a second story crossing across the Mall and wraps around the Target store block. It is the only skyway in Minneapolis that goes around the perimeter of a block, giving pedestrians visual access to the street below and will allow 15,000 people topass through them on a given day. This tower is completely leased and will be occupied by technology firm Retek, Ryan Cos. and several Target Corp. vendors.

This project includes a privately-funded, 2,500-sf senior citizen center located on the west-side of the 900 Nicollet project at the skyway level across from the University of St. Thomas which will open in November. Funded by Target Corp., Ryan Cos. and Downtown neighbor, University of St. Thomas, this center continues a 40-year tradition in Minneapolis by providing a special gathering space for seniors.

Computer training classes, computer access and information relating to programs offered by the city are among the services offered by the center at no charge. The center, which has not had a home for the last eight years will be operated by the city of Minneapolis.

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