Fifth Street Towers, long known as a hot spot for businesses in law and finance, recently completed a two-year, multi-million dollar renovation that its owners hope will draw more creative, startup-like companies to Downtown Minneapolis.
As part of the renovation, property manager Zeller Realty Group looked to update the 30-year-old towers and add popular amenities that creative businesses look for, including a bar, new fitness facility, bike room and co-working space, complete with special “nap pods.”
The last major renovation, which took place in 2005, updated many amenities, including a concierge and workout facility. Zeller claims that these amenities were the first of their kind in a Downtown Minneapolis office building, and a hit with tenants. Today, these features are fairly commonplace, and often expected in downtown buildings.
“We realized we needed to up our game,” said Erin Fitzgerald Wendorf, a principal at Transwestern, which is leasing the building. “We asked ourselves, ‘What can we do to get back on top?'”
In answering that question, Zeller and Transwestern looked for inspiration in the North Loop, a popular neighborhood for startups and tech companies. The lobby’s marble walls were replaced with wooden ones, giving the area an upscale feel similar to the Loop’s jazzed-up industrial spaces.
The Towers’ fitness center was moved from the second floor to the third floor. The old workout area was converted into a bike hub, the largest in Downtown Minneapolis, according to Zeller executive vice president Jim Durda. The third floor also features a co-working space, which Durda says is intended to “promote cross-pollination of employees across industries.”
Another recent addition is a true skyway rarity: a bar. Sphere Kitchen + Bar opened earlier this month, and is managed by Hemisphere Restaurant Partners, the same organization behind Atlas Grill & Clubroom, and Mission American Kitchen + Bar downtown.
The towers consist of two buildings: the 25-story 100 Tower and the 36-story 150 Tower, which were completed in 1985 and 1988, respectively. The recent renovation connected them (on floors three through nine) for the first time in their existence.
“When we asked people what they thought of the building, we got a lot of comments about it being old and stale,” Durda said. “We didn’t want it to feel dated and cold, so it was time to make changes.”
Durda added that the response has been very positive. In the 30 days following the completed renovation, they’ve signed the same amount of tenants as they did in the previous nine months, Durda said.