Design team recommended to design new City office building

City staff have recommended moving forward with the design team of MSR (Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle) in partnership with Henning Larsen to design a new downtown office building for the City of Minneapolis.

The City Council’s Ways & Means Committee is scheduled to review the recommendation Monday, Aug. 28 followed by the full Council on Thursday, Aug. 31.

The goal of the Consolidated Public Office Building is to strategically collocate City employees who are now working in several leased and owned sites scattered around downtown Minneapolis. It will be a sustainable and resilient building designed to better serve residents and businesses and to improve productivity for a multi-generational workforce.

The City has been exploring a Consolidated Office Building since 1999. Currently, several hundred City employees working downtown are dispersed in seven buildings, some leased and some City-owned, with many of the sites facing expensive maintenance and major renovation needs. Elimination of leasing and operating costs for office space is estimated at $3 million annually. The City will be able to sell two outdated buildings offering significant new development opportunities and tax revenues. Debt from previous City projects will be paid off about the time the building opens and bonding costs are a historic low, making this project financially feasible with little or no future impact on City taxpayers.

The new City office building will be diagonally across from City Hall at 501 4th Ave. S., a site now home to a parking ramp. A privately owned parking facility will remain on the block next to the new office building.

The winning team of MSR and Henning Larsen was selected through a competitive four-stage process that began in March 2017 and included a request for qualifications (RFQ), request for proposals (RFP) and two rounds of interviews. The selection panel focused on relevant past experience, key team members, understanding of the project objectives and fit with the City’s team.

M.A. Mortenson Construction has been recommended as the construction manager for the project. The City issued a RFP on June 12. Four proposals were received and forwarded to an evaluation panel for consideration.  

The building is expected to be seven to 10 stories tall and it will accommodate a program of between 250,000 and 300,000 square feet of interior space. The exact size, program and cost of the building have not yet been determined and will be finalized during the schematic design phase.   

Once the new design team is under contract, they will begin work on the schematic design phase, which will run from September through December of 2017. During schematic design, the City and the design team will work together to finalize the space program and budget for the project and will also facilitate a stakeholder engagement process that will include City employees, service center clients and visitors, nearby neighbors and members of the public.

Following the completion of schematic design, detailed design will follow and be completed by late summer of 2018. Demolition of the existing ramp will begin in summer 2018 and construction of the new building is expected to begin in fall of 2018 and be completed by summer of 2020. There will be a variety of subcontracting opportunities including goals set for women, small businesses and minority-owned vendors.

The City expects the building to be occupied and open to the public by the fall of 2020. 

About the proposed project team

Minneapolis-based MSR is an architecture and interior design firm with a diverse project portfolio. The New York office of Henning Larsen, an international architecture practice with strong Scandinavian roots, is collaborating with MSR. Golden Valley-based M.A. Mortenson, one of the nation’s top builders, is a family-owned construction and real estate development company.

For more information about the Consolidated Office Building, go to

Published Aug 25, 2017



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