Community Planning & Economic Development

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Milwaukee Depot and Train Shed

Washington and Third Avenues South

Constructed in 1899, the Milwaukee Road Depot complex includes the former station building and one of the last long-span, truss-roofed train sheds surviving in the nation and the only remaining one in the Upper Midwest. The original architect for the Renaissance Revival style station building was Charles Frost.

In its zenith during the 1920s, the Depot was a major railroad center from which 29 trains departed daily. However, the Milwaukee Road had gone out of business by 1978, and although it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places that same year, the Depot sat vacant for two decades.

In 1992, the city purchased the Depot, including the seven-block surrounding area, for $2 million in order to preserve its historic significance and restore its contribution to the community. Initial rehabilitation activities to refurbish the facade and repair the 100-foot clock tower were completed in the fall of 1996.

Pollution cleanup for the entire seven-block area, involving an innovative steam injection and reclamation system to recover petroleum products below ground near the water table, began in 1996 and has proceeded in phases. The third phase of the steam injection remediation was completed in 2002. Additional soil remediation is being completed as part of each development phase.

The CSM development, which includes the Depot, train shed, and construction of two adjacent hotels, was completed in 2001. An ice skating facility is located under the partially enclosed train shed. Additionally, the first floor of the Depot building now houses several ornate meeting rooms that could eventually be converted into a restaurant while the upper two floors consist of specialty hotel suites.

The adjacent hotels provide 356 rooms along with parking spaces in and under the middle of the complex.

Developer:

C S M Hospitality, Inc

Public funding:

$3.3 million city, State Petro Fund, ISTEA, Met Council, Parking Revenue – For site acquisition, initial environmental testing, pollution remediation, and exterior improvements.*

$13 million Tax increment financing and city – For historic preservation/reuse, parking construction, future skyway access, public improvements, and administration fees.

Development
aspects: 

Ice skating rink, meeting/special event space, 356 hotel rooms, 566 Structured parking spaces

Total development cost: 

$55 million

Future taxes: 

approx. $850,000/year

Private renovation began:  

1999

Completed: 

2001 *Note: the site was sold to CSM for $3.2 million after the $3.3 million initial public investment

Awards and recognition:

  • City Pages : Best Place to Ice Skate - 2003
  • Minnesota Meetings & Events Magazine : Best Ballroom, Best Reception Site, and Best Holiday Party Venue - 2003
  • Star Tribune declares Depot Rink "Minneapolis Most Romantic Spot
  • Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission & Minneapolis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA): "Preservation Award for Adaptive Reuse" - 2002
  • Preservation Alliance of MN: Honor Award (for preserving the historic resources of the state) - 2002
  • Aquatics International: "Best Hotel/Resort Waterpark" (also featured in Best of Aquatics Magazine ) - 2002
  • Traditional Building Magazine: Depot renovation featured - 2002
  • AIA (Minnesota chapter) "Divine Details Award" -- awarded to Shea Architects for their design of the shed curtain wall - 2001
  • AIA (Minnesota chapter) "Project of the Year" - 2001
  • Convention and Visitor's Association's "O.D. Gay Award" for the most significant contribution in promoting tourism in Minneapolis – 2001
  • Minnesota Shopping Center Association "Honorary 2001 STARR Award for Redevelopment, Renovation & Restoration" - 2001
  • Minneapolis Committee on Urban Environment "CUE" Award for "Significant Achievement in Design and Aesthetic Excellence" - 2001
  • City Business "Best in Real Estate – Best Overall" and "Best in Real Estate – Redevelopment" – 1999

For contact information:

Visit the Depot website

For project information:

CPED Project Coordinator Ann Calvert at (612) 673-5023

February 2004

Last updated Oct 28, 2011