MINNEAPOLIS-The city and Ryan Cos. recently signed the redevelopment agreement for Midtown Exchange, one of the final steps required before they close on the property and construction begins at the former Sears site, located south of Downtown at the intersection of Lake Street and Chicago Avenue. The agreement sets the stage for Ryan Companies to begin work on environmental improvements at the site this month.

Overall, the huge mixed-use development will cost an estimated $180 million. “Signing the redevelopment agreement caps off a series of recent events that clear the way for Ryan to reach our primary objective–to get to work on this historic redevelopment project.” says Rick Collins, vice president of development for Ryan.

On Aug. 9, Allina Hospitals and Clinics signed a lease with Ryan Cos. to move its corporate headquarters to the redeveloped building. The 20-year agreement earmarks 255,000 sf of office space for the headquarters to be known as Allina Commons, and will house an estimated 1,000 employees. Allina expects to move into its new space in late 2005.

On Aug. 10, Sherman Associates signed a development and construction agreement with Ryan Cos. for the condominium and apartment units that will be located in the original 1928 building. More than 220 market-rate apartments and more than 85 condominiums will occupy 11 floors of the historic building, which should be ready for tenants in the spring of 2006.

The City of Minneapolis and Ryan Cos. expect to close on the former Sears site in early September. Most of the initial construction work will take place inside the building; later, Ryan will clean the exterior and replace the windows.

Crews also will demolish the adjacent 1964 warehouse that spans the Midtown Greenway and begin excavation for a 136-room Sheraton hotel and parking ramp to be built on the site.

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