MINNEAPOLIS-After scrapping plans for the tallest condominium tower in the city, Hunt Associates LLC now plans to create a mixed-use building on the site at 1001 Nicollet Mall. The company had planned on building a 56-story, 350-unit condo tower called the Nicollet, but as the market died down, the plans have been changed, with an Opus partnership, to a 50-story building that will have offices, a hotel and 100 condos, for a cost north of $200 million.

Dan Hunt, president of the self-named company, tells GlobeSt.com that the high-rise residential building, which was to offer 24-hour, white-glove entry attendant service, terraced homes and a heated, multi-story garage, was thought up in late 2005. “However, the condo market has cooled significantly,” he says. “We had purchase agreements for 70 of the condos [including three of the $3.6 million penthouse units], but we never got above 70.”

Now, his firm has partnered with Opus Corp. to build a tower with roughly 50 floors. The complex will have 500,000 sf of office space, a 200-room hotel and 100 condos, with four floors of underground parking, Hunt says. The Nicollet name remains, but it could change, he says. “The schematics of the building have been done, and the office brokers are now out talking to prospective tenants about the space. The next step is to get letters of intent, and finalize the drawings.”

He says he’s not worried about finding office users, that the market is substantially better than it was a couple years ago, and the fact that the property is right across from the Target Corp. headquarters. “There’s no other plans on the drawing board for this much space in the area, and people will want to be close to Target, or in a newer building,” Hunt says.

Hotel companies are also being talked to, though that stage is still in its infancy. “It’s a great site for a hotel,” he says. “There’s some newer hotels now, and new condo buildings out there, but when we go to open the sales center for our condos in March, we should be in much better shape due to absorption.” Hunt’s company specializes in urban infill projects in the Twin Cities and the first-ring suburbs, having developed more than 1,000 condominium units and 55,000 sf of commercial space, with projects such as the $100-million Village at St. Anthony Falls and the 348-unit condo building RiverStation, both in Minneapolis.

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