New apartment building and manufacturing site proposed in Marcy-Holmes

On the quiet corner of Southeast Ninth Street, a new apartment could help revive the area.

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DJR Architecture

A proposed rendering of the Marcy-Holmes Southeast Ninth Street development.

Emalyn Muzzy

Valerian LLC proposed a new mixed-use development on Ninth Street Southeast, titled American Spirit. If approved by the city, it will include over 100 new apartments, several renovated factories, a coffee shop and multiple futsal fields.

American Spirit would consist of a 90-unit apartment complex and 22 units on top of the factories. The entire development would consist of studio to two-bedroom apartments, and rent would most likely range in price from $1,000 to $1,500 a month, developer Troy Mathwig said.

If the city approves the project this spring, building of the apartments could begin by the end of 2021, said DJR Architecture architect Dean Dovolis.

Several manufacturing and indoor sports buildings have been renovated, as they fit within city guidelines, while the rest of the project awaits approval.

Two companies have already moved into the renovated building space, with several more to come. Mosquito, a store display manufacturer, is up and running, while Ninth Street Soccer and Coffee, has an indoor futsal court open. Its coffee shop is set to open this year. Futsal is a sport similar to soccer.

When the buildings are ready, the futsal company will also make t-shirts, and Circle of Discipline, a spirituality-based community center, will have a space there, Dovolis said. There are plans for another futsal court on top of one of the buildings as well.

American Spirit showcases a shift to mixed-use space in Minneapolis. Historically, Minneapolis has separated industrial, residential and commercial zones, making it difficult to survive without a car since the essentials are spread throughout the city.

The Minneapolis 2040 plan is attempting to create a city where more residents walk, bike and use public transit, and the coming apartment complex fits into that goal.

“[American Spirit] has a very eclectic variety of uses all mushed together,” Dovolis said. “It creates a very active site of the city.”

Currently, Ninth Street is underdeveloped, said Chris Lautenschlager, executive director for the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association. There is no sidewalk on part of the block, the street has several potholes and there are multiple empty lots.

“The Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association has been long interested in an improved public landscape on Ninth Street,” Lautenschlager said. “The whole Ninth Street area really hadn’t seen any major developments until a few years ago.”

There are more plans to put in apartment complexes in the area, including one across the street from American Spirit.

Dovolis said American Spirit would be built modularly, which is a unique type of construction. Rather than building the entire apartment complex up from the ground, DJR would assemble each unit off-site in a factory and then stack them together to create a structure.

“They build the unit, all the furniture, toilets, plumbing, Sheetrock, painting, carpet — all of that is built in a rectangular box,” Dovolis said. Once finished, DJR would send the apartments from the factory in Owatonna, Minnesota, to the Minneapolis construction site.

By building modularly, the weather cannot ruin construction, and building the entire structure takes less time because developers can create the apartment base while building the living areas at the same time. Dovolis said it allows DJR to build higher quality apartments.

“Right now [Ninth Street is] still a goofy area that no one generally knows about, but there’s certainly been a lot of interest over the last four or five years,” Lautenschlager said.