Thrivent’s Headquarters Project Triggers Two Blocks of Downtown East Development

By Nick Halter  – Senior Reporter/Broadcaster, Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

Jul 12, 2018, 6:27am 

The fact that Thrivent Financial, a Fortune 500 company, is building a new headquarters in downtown Minneapolis is big news on its own, but the project has also triggered even more development on what was a sea of surface parking. 

Thrivent held the key to 4.4 acres of land on the east side of downtown, near Sixth Street and Portland Avenue. It broke ground Wednesday on its eight-story, $125 million headquarters project, just a block from its current headquarters tower.

The Thrivent project has set off a chain reaction. After setting aside land for its headquarters, Thrivent freed up about 3 acres of surface parking that it’s selling to three different developers that will build more than 400 apartments, a hotel and more than 1,000 parking spaces.

“We were looking for the highest and best use of all of these properties, and we knew it wasn’t surface parking,” said Kirsten Spreck, the company’s vice president of real estate development. 

625 Development bought the lot behind Thrivent’s headquarters and is building a 600-stall parking ramp that will be wrapped in 87 apartments and retail space. With that new employee parking, Thrivent no longer needed so much surface parking. 

So Thrivent is selling the other half of its headquarters block to Sherman Associates, which is planning a 120-room hotel and 150-unit apartment building with a daycare and fitness center. 

At the groundbreaking, Thrivent’s chief financial officer Randy Boushek announced Thrivent is selling a 0.63-acre parking lot next-door, at 501 Seventh St., to a company called A. Hamilton. Developer John McCarty of St. Paul Development Corp. is leading the project. 

A. Hamilton is in the early stages of a six-story apartment development with 170 to 210 units and a ground-floor diner that will serve breakfast and lunch. Most of the apartments would be micro units. 

McCarty is a longtime co-owner of several Twin Cites restaurants including Uptown Diner, Grandview Grill and Louisiana Cafe. That restaurant group would operate the diner in the building. 

“It’s pretty exciting. I think East Town is a great, brand-new neighborhood,” McCarty said. “This corridor from 94 to the river is going to go through some tremendous changes in the next few years.”

Thrivent also announced it’s donating $1 million to House of Charity, which will break ground in November on a $12 million, 61-unit building a block away. That building is for people experiencing homelessness. House of Charity Chief Advancement Officer Lesley Chester said the money will go toward furnishing the apartments.

“People who are coming into permanent or supportive housing don’t have beds. They don't have couches or sofas or other furnishings,” Chester said. 

Thrivent’s new headquarters will open in mid-2020. Minneapolis-based HGA is the architect and Roseville-based McGough is the builder. 

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