New housing complex opens on West bank

David Anderson

Grace Song remembers the days when coffee shops and retail stores livened up areas surrounding the West bank.
Song, a 1997 Law School graduate, said the arrival of the GrandMarc, a housing complex at Seven Corners, will bring life back to an area that had lost its vibrancy.
“I think it will be very good for the neighborhood,” she said. Song will open a cyber cafe on the complex’s first floor in October.
University and city officials met Thursday with GrandMarc to celebrate the history and development of the Seven Corners area just days before the first-phase opening of the new complex.
Various representatives contributed to a time capsule to be preserved and opened 100 years from now. The capsule will testify the positive impact GrandMarc at Seven Corners has on the neighborhood, said GrandMarc CEO Greg Almquist.
“The whole Riverside scenery is pushing for upgrading, getting new retail into this area, revitalizing it,” said David Koch, the company’s executive vice president. “We’re hopeful that this project will benefit the community.”
The new five-story complex, which faces the University’s Law Building, will offer 188 units and 370 beds with one-, two- or four-bedroom floor plans. The units are primarily aimed at graduate students and business and law students because of their relatively high price.
An introductory phase of 111 beds will be available for occupancy Aug. 25, and the whole complex will be completed by November.
The Law Building, the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, and the Carlson School of Management were represented Thursday, as well as Augsburg College, the Minneapolis City Council and Theater in the Round.
Thomas Sullivan, dean of the Law School, said he worked with GrandMarc to make life on the West bank campus “a much greater experience for our students.”
“Minneapolis graduate students told us in student groups that they wanted convenient housing with amenities that supported their academic goals,” Almquist said. “That’s what we are providing.”
In addition to student housing, retail space on the complex’s first floor will accommodate restaurants, a convenience store, a deli and a coffee shop.
“It’s good business for us but it’s also a benefit we feel to the students and to the housing situation at the University of Minnesota,” Koch said.

David Anderson covers University communities and welcomes comments at [email protected]