Project Location: 315 1st Avenue Northeast, Minneapolis, MN 55413

Nominated by: Terracon Consultants, Inc.

The Nordhaus apartment complex and mixed-use development represents a stark contrast to what originally occupied the site in Northeast Minneapolis; a blighted and vandalized property that was the site of Superior Plating. For years, the Superior Plating site was eyed as a prime location for redevelopment. Due to the intense contamination levels and development risks associated with the former Superior Plating site, a redevelopment project took time and creativity to develop. After years of planning, remediation, and construction the Nordhaus is the byproduct of strong partnerships and a shared vision to transform a former State Superfund site.

Superior Plating operated for 50 years on the site prior to going bankrupt and left the 3.15 acres property with bright yellow stormwater, plating waste, contaminated soils, asbestos, and a host of other pollutants. The overwhelming presence of contamination on this site made the conversion from industrial to residential exceedingly difficult. The process included the removal of asbestos, 15,000 tons of hazardous building materials, 4,200 tons of contaminated concrete and masonry, 43,000 tons of impacted soil, and approximately 17,000 tons of contaminated bedrock (some of which was stained blue, black, yellow, or maroon from plating waste.) Another obstacle was the management of stormwater that contained high levels of chromium both during and after demolition. A permanent leachate collection and treatment system was installed to mitigate the stormwater contamination. To protect against vapor intrusion, an active vapor mitigation system was installed below the building.

Despite the obstacles presented by a wide variety contamination issues the new development includes 280 residential homes housed in a 20-story tower and a 5-story mid-rise building, 22,000 square feet of retail space and a 1-acre amenity deck featuring a 14,000-square foot green roof. This project is also striving to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council LEED Silver certification.

In addition to having an incredible environmental impact, Nordhaus has also had a significant impact on the surrounding community and local economy. The economic benefits of this project are substantial: The redevelopment increased the tax base by $717,005 and resulted in the property value increasing by $8,300,000. The Nordhaus also promotes economic growth by the addition of 22,000 square feet of commercial space, and will eventually support an estimated 50 full time jobs. The creation of a dense, urban residential community will also help to support local business and will attract and retain new long-term residents and business in the area. The completion of this project is a shining example of how a highly contaminated industrial site can be remediated and developed into something sustainable and beneficial to the surrounding community.

Project Financing

  • $109,459,094 – Private Capital/Equity
  • $1,741,746 – Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Contamination Cleanup and Investigation Grant Program
  • $1,999,520 – Metropolitan Council Tax Base Revitalization Account
  • $118,233 – Hennepin County Environmental Response Fund

Project Partners

  • Lennar Multifamily Communities (LMC) a Lennar Company
  • BMO Harris Bank
  • Associated Bank
  • First University Investors, LLC
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • City of Minneapolis
  • Nicollet Island-East Bank Neighborhood Association
  • Hennepin County
  • Metropolitan Council
  • Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
  • Bay West, LLC
  • Elness Swenson Graham Architects, Inc.
  • Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
  • GHD Services, Inc.
  • Kimley Horn and Associates, Inc.
  • Terracon Consultants, Inc.
  • Stinson Leonard Street LLP
  • Vantage Law Group
  • Weis Builders, Inc.
  • Belair Sitework Services
  • Carl Bolander & Sons Company
  • Collins Electrical Construction Company
  • Major Mechanical
  • Bloom Commercial Real Estate (BCRE)
  • Braun Intertec
  • Dunham Engineering
  • EcoDeep
  • North American Title Company
  • MidAmerica Technical & Environmental Services
  • Northland Concrete & Masonry
  • Ramsey Excavating
  • Veit & Company, Inc.
  • Vonco II