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Developers propose conversion for vacant Northeast Minneapolis warehouses

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Two long-vacant warehouses in Northeast Minneapolis would be renovated into 156 units of rental apartments under a proposal submitted Friday by Bader Development and Nolan Properties Group.

The dilapidated brick-and-timber warehouses at 700 and 708 Central Avenue N.E., which have been vacant since the late 1990s, have been the targets of several failed redevelopment plans in the past, but Bader and Nolan say they are ready to tackle them at a time when the Minneapolis rental market is hot.

The proposal also includes a new rental building on an adjacent vacant lot along Seventh Street N.E.

Under the plans drawn up by Kaas Wilson Architects, the first floor of the 700 Central Avenue building would sport commercial space and storefronts while a new penthouse level would be built atop the 708 building.

A 137-stall underground parking garage would be constructed under the new structure.

"Our vision for this project is to create a transit-oriented, pedestrian-friendly place at a level that will enrich the surrounding area while promoting the long-term objectives of [Northeast Minneapolis] district," the developers said in a narrative.

Built at the turn of the 20th century, the buildings are in the process of obtaining historic designation status with the Minnesota Historic Preservation Office and the U.S. National Park Service.