March marks two more milestones in the KA Block mixed-use development in the East Town district of Minneapolis: Opening day of Finnegans House brewery & taproom; and move-in day for the first residents of HQ Apartments. The master-planned mixed use KA Block is developed by Kraus-Anderson Development. Kraus-Anderson Senior Project Manager Chad Rempe updates on recent progress and next steps.
Q: The tower crane has come down and another crane is serving the site. What’s the significance of this change?
CHAD REMPE, SENIOR PROJECT MANGER: If not for the Super Bowl and associated Right of Way Obstruction Moratorium, the tower crane would have been removed in December 2017. As soon as the ROW moratorium was lifted on Feb. 5, 2018, this allowed us to take a portion of the ROW on Fifth Avenue to mobilize a 325T mobile crane used to dismantle and remove the tower crane over the weekend of Feb. 10-11. With the tower crane now gone, we can complete that last of the remaining structural steel on the Block that makes up the hotel lobby connecting the hotel to the brewery building. Removal of the tower crane also allows us to infill rough openings within the parking garage and remove temporary walls on Levels P2, P1, & 1 as we prepare to turn over Level P1 Parking.
Q: There’s a lot of poly that’s gone up on the side of the hotel, and also enclosing the courtyard area in the center of the block. What work is taking place there?
CHAD REMPE: Temporary heat and enclosures around the hotel are keeping exterior enclosure work moving forward despite the cold temperatures. We’re also providing temporary heat and enclosures to accommodate remaining courtyard waterproofing and concrete paving that needs to be complete in advance of Finnegans House being completed on March 9, 2018.
Q: Move-ins begin March 1 at HQ Apartments. What work is happening there now?
CHAD REMPE: Over the course of the next few weeks leading up to HQ occupancy date of March 1, 2018, the HQ Team is working through final inspections, final cleaning, and FF&E installation coordination.
Q: Finnegans House opens on St. Patrick’s Day. What work is happening in the space now?
CHAD REMPE: As Finnegans prepares to occupy their new home, the project team is working tirelessly on interior finishes, final inspections, final cleaning, and FF&E installation coordination.
Q: Finnegans House is a distinctive-looking building, do you have any nuggets of architectural or materials highlights to share?
CHAD REMPE: Designed by Pong Khow of ESG Architects, the building’s form is intended to be unique, distinctive, and one of a kind that people will identify with the KA Block and provide a sense of place. During design and preconstruction, the project team began affectionately referring to Finnegan House as the Bavarian Barn.
Q: Meanwhile, what’s happening at The Elliot Park Hotel?
CHAD REMPE: Hotel construction continues to make great progress. The building is now watertight and interiors and exterior finishes are underway.
Q: Level P1 parking has been used as a staging area for construction materials and equipment. What is the plan/schedule for turning that over for use by KA employees?
CHAD REMPE: Employee parking will shift from Level P2 to Level P1 by mid-March.