Millwright Building at Downtown East

Completion Date: April 2017
Size: 174,000 SF, 60 Parking Spaces
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Type of Project: Office, LEED Silver Certification – Core and Shell
Ryan Responsibility: Development, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Construction, Real Estate Management, Capital Markets

We build stories


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The convergence of authentic charm and modern function, the Millwright Building is intentional in its design. The four-story, 174,000-square-foot building features exposed steel structure, a brick exterior and extremely flexible floor plates. Amenities include a rooftop terrace, a building commons, bike-friendly features, skyway access and convenient access to Downtown East’s public greenspace, The Commons.

The Millwright Building is located in the Downtown East neighborhood, which has had a key role in the growth and evolution of the city of Minneapolis. At the turn of the 19th century, many of the mill workers lived in Downtown East, a short walk to the nearby Mill District. Derived from the trade of carpentry, original millwrights were specialized carpenters who were not only trained in carpentry, but also had working knowledge of gear ratios, driveshaft speeds and other equations. They erected machines used in agriculture, food processing and processing lumber and paper. The Millwright Building name and the modern yet classic design honor the City’s history while contributing to the renewed energy and vitality stimulated by the Downtown East development.

Collective Insight Success

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During a key moment in design development, it was clear that a creative solution was needed to align design with the proforma. Rather than jumping to an aggressive value engineering exercise that would compromise the project's aesthetic, the integrated development, design and construction team brought their collective expertise to the conversation. While the design team made live changes to the model, construction weighed in to maximize the efficiency of structural bays, spacing and ideal dimensions for various materials. At the same time, development leveraged the proforma to provide real-time updates on building revenue and the overall construction budget as the design was refined. Over four hours, the team iterated various options and found unique ways to reduce floor-to-floor heights without negatively impacting the quality of the spaces. Through this integrated exercise, we maintained the overall aesthetic of the building, improved the quality of the space and increased the value of the project.  


2017 Greening & Public Realm Awards - Streetscape Green Infrastructure, 2017

Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District

Top Project, 2017

Finance and Commerce

Excellence in Design, 2018

FAB Award — IIDA

People’s Choice, 2018

FAB Award — IIDA

Merit Awards, 2020

AIA Minneapolis

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