12-story student housing development proposed for Marcy-Holmes

The development, which aims for a modern and Midwestern look, would replace Gorshe Auto Service and Wilderness Inquiry.

Concept rendering for a 12-story development on 15th Avenue. 

GD UP Minneapolis and Cuningham Group Architecture

Concept rendering for a 12-story development on 15th Avenue. 

Caitlin Anderson

Developers are proposing to build a 12-story development in Marcy-Holmes aimed at providing student housing near campus.

The project, proposed by GD UP Minneapolis and Cuningham Group Architecture, presented plans to the City Planning Commission committee in mid-May. The new development is meant to provide students with a housing option that has a modern Midwestern design near campus.

“We’ve made a conscious effort with Cuningham Group to design this building to look different than most of the typical urban-contemporary designs you see,” Stephen Bus with GD UP Minneapolis said in an email to the Minnesota Daily. 

GD UP Minneapolis is a joint venture between Providence-based Gilbane Development Company and Chicago-based Up Campus Properties.

If approved, the development would have 266 fully furnished units with 761 bedrooms, 2,500 square feet for commercial space and 193 structured parking spaces.Amenities include a hot tub with a waterfall, a ping pong table, a grilling and dining area, hammocks and pool lounge seating.

To add to the Midwestern feel of the apartments, the developer would utilize gray-green and wood tones and implement other lighting and greenery design aspects.

Bounded by 14th Avenue Southeast, 15th Avenue Southeast, 8th Street Southeast and the railroad tracks separating the Marcy-Holmes and Southeast Como neighborhoods, the project would take over land currently occupied by Gorshe Auto Service, an apartment building, and the longtime area staple, Wilderness Inquiry. 

“We’re in favor of it and happy about it,” said Greg Lais, owner of the outdoor adventure nonprofit Wilderness Inquiry, which has been at that space since 1999 and has previously hesitated to sell the building to other developers. “We think we did a good job … We care about the neighborhood.”

Lais said he is planning to find another place in Minneapolis so the company can remain near campus. Wilderness Inquiry previously had to move when the UTEC building in Dinkytown was demolished to build The Marshall apartments. 

Chris Lautenschlager, executive director of Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association, said the neighborhood hopes the development will bring improved lighting and safety to the area. He said neighbors are worried about increased traffic at the intersection of 15th Avenue Southeast and 8th Street Southeast and the lack of city-recommended parking spaces, which is one space per two bedrooms. 

Bus said the development team is incorporating measures to encourage other modes of transportation by including bike parking in excess of one per bedroom, and offering moped and scooter parking.

Height, which has been a concern in the neighborhood in past developments, is on par with neighborhood and city guidance. While most buildings in Marcy-Holmes are limited to six stories, the city’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan allows developments in this area to be built up to 15 stories. 

Bus said the plan is to open the development to residents by fall 2020.