Block E in Minneapolis is supposed to be the central hub for everything happening in the big city — however, over the past few years the largely vacant complex has felt more like a decaying district than a thriving one. Many businesses, bars, and restaurants have come and gone in recent memory. In an effort to revitalize the area, the owners of the complex on 600 Hennepin Avenue are working to overhaul the building, including plans for new training facilities for the Minnesota Timberwolves and the reigning WNBA Champion Lynx.
Camelot LLC owns the property and stated they are hoping to draw in new restaurants and more office tenants with the updated building. They also plan to update security so patrons feel safe (security has been an issue in the past) as well as revamp the interior and exterior of the building. Current tenants, Kieran’s Irish Pub and The Shout House Dueling Pianos will remain where they are, a sure sign of relief as so many Minneapolis residents adore both spots.
“Our goal is to make Block E the ‘place to be,’ with a modern classic design that people will truly enjoy,” Camelot principal Phillip Jaffe said.
Both the Lynx and the Timberwolves have signed letters of intent to have their new training facilities located in the upadated Block E complex.
The best part of all this news: the owners privately funded their 2010 purchase of the property and are set to do the same for the planned redevelopment. They have not requested any public financing or state subsidies for this makeover — imagine that, a business covering their own expenses. Some of the sports teams around the country should start to take notice — cough cough, Zigi Wilf et al., listen up. I wholly support this makeover — it would be nice to see this spot thriving again. I also am rooting for Camelot LLC, a group looking to invest in the area without burdening the Minnesota taxpayers.
The redevelopment of the complex should be completed later in 2014.
Image via: RSP Architects