SNEAK PEEK: THE DAYTON'S PROJECT


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Wondering how The Dayton’s Project is going? No need to wonder, we’ve got an update.

Recently we were so lucky to receive a private tour of the unbelievable transformation of the more than 100-year-old building that was most recently home to Macy’s Downtown Minneapolis location.


Located at 700 Nicollet, The Dayton’s Project covers over 1.2 million square feet of space (that’s about ten Target stores). Believe it or not, the 12-story building (which is technically three separate buildings) is just slightly smaller than the 1.4 million square foot, 57-story IDS Center located directly across the street. Pretty crazy, huh?

Owners 601 W, Telos Group and United Properties are the ones behind the massive project that will be complete in spring 2020.

Every square inch of the building is being reimagined for the 21st Century. When complete, the project will be filled with exceptional modern office, dining and retail spaces and will simply be called “Dayton’s”, a name that pays homage to the historic past of the building.

When it comes to the layout of The Dayton’s Project, you’ll find retail on the basement, first and second levels, while levels three through twelve will be home to office space. A portion of level seven will be devoted to amenity space for office tenants. We should note that these aren’t going to be your everyday office amenities either, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

RETAIL


Now, if you’re thinking to yourself that Dayton’s is just going to be another Downtown mall, we’d like to inform you that that is in fact not the case.


A curated collection of destination retail will be found at Dayton’s that is different from anywhere else in Minneapolis. Unique shops and restaurants that are a mix of local and national retailers will occupy the building. Let it be known that those national retailers that do end up calling Dayton’s home won’t be able to build their average store within the project. Stores within Dayton’s will need to provide a flagship level experience or higher in order to be in line with destination mindset.

Over 200,000 square feet of retail space will be located on three levels within the project.

The basement level will be home to The Dayton’s Food Hall & Market. The food hall will be curated by Celebrity Chef Andrew Zimmern along with Robert Montwaid, creator/co-founder of the wildly successful Gansevoort Market in New York City.


In total, the food hall will cover over 45,000 square feet of space and will include around 45 different vendors. To put that in perspective, that’s three times the size of the recently opened Graze Provisions + Libations and nearly five times the size of the North Loop Galley (opening December 16th).

During our tour we were told that a number of vendors have already signed on to open within the food hall with some of those names being recognizable and some that will be entirely new.

Around 25,000 square feet of additional retail space will also be located on the basement level. In addition, levels one and two will each be home to around 50,000 square feet of retail space.

With interiors designed by Gensler, all three retail levels will be connected by a grand staircase in a newly created atrium. A large, linear LED light sculpture will be suspended above the void, drawing attention to the atrium that will undoubtedly become the heart of Dayton’s. Throughout the entire retail level new terrazzo floors have been perfectly matched (literally by mathematical equations) to existing floors while intricate metal work can be found in the Art Deco inspired railings and the unique framing of the office lobby.

With the Dayton’s building now officially being listed on the National Register of Historic Places, some elements within the project needed to remain as is. You’ll be glad to know that not only will the Art Deco bathrooms remain, but so will the famous and historic JB Hudson space located on the ground floor. The ornate space will be repositioned as a restaurant and will include a dedicated entrance on Nicollet along with potentially both indoor and outdoor patio space.

While details on the exact tenants that will occupy the retail space at The Dayton’s Project couldn’t be shared yet, we were told that announcements will begin to be made in the spring.

OFFICE


Levels three through twelve of The Dayton’s Project will be home to over 900,000 square feet of office space. Large, flexible floor plates are what set the office space at The Dayton’s Project apart from others not only within Minneapolis, but the entire state.

In traditional buildings, along with most skyscrapers, the average floorplate is anywhere between 25,000 and 40,000 square feet in size. Many floors within The Dayton’s Project will have far more than 40,000 square feet of consecutive space, with some as large as 90,000 square feet. That’s almost unheard of here in Minneapolis.

Why is it such a big deal to have that much space? It means that companies have the ability to consolidate their offices from multiple floors to one. Consolidating office space results in not only increased efficiency but also a greater sense of community.

There are a number of different layouts and configurations a company could create within the office space at Dayton’s. We toured a recently completed spec office to see how the space could truly come to life.

SPEC OFFICE

The entrance to the office portion of the building, which is located on the ground-floor of the project, is jaw-dropping itself. Black metal work frames the space with the back wall having been covered in floor to ceiling white and black tile. Inlaid into the tile is a Dayton’s slogan along with a large image of a historic Dayton’s buggy.

Stepping out of the elevators we were stunned to see also just how gorgeous each one of the elevator lobbies are. White linear LED lighting criss-crosses across black ceilings while light colored plaster covers the walls and brass accents frame the elevators. The lobbies themselves look as if they are out of a magazine.


Stepping into the spec office space we were greeted by a large waiting and lounge area which transitioned into communal space along with a kitchen and work area. At the back of the space there are break out rooms along with private offices. The rest of the floor has been devoted to mostly open work space and a few other lounge areas.

One really unique area within the spec office is a large conference space towards the middle of the floor. The partitions separating the space from the rest of the office not only have TVs mounted to them, but they all also have the ability to be rotated. This allows the TVs to face outward for multiple smaller meetings or inward for a larger meeting. This also means that there legitimately isn’t a bad seat/view within this conference room.

Ample light from a number of windows lining the perimeter that were previously covered up fills the entire office space. It was a major focus when designing The Dayton’s Project to ensure that well-lit spaces are spread throughout the entire building whether that be through natural light or artificial light.

While no office tenants could be announced at the moment, we were told to expect multiple announcements later this spring.

AMENITIES

The last area we want to show and tell you about is what will become the amenity space within The Dayton’s Project.

As mentioned above, a large portion of level seven will be devoted to amenity space. Overall, the project will have what is likely the largest amenity space out of any office building in Minneapolis or potentially even the state of Minnesota.

Now, what’s really neat about the amenities is that the Developers and Architects took into consideration the history of the building, in particular when it operated as the Dayton’s Department Store.

Dayton’s was very progressive when it came to their business and ultimately the way their employees were treated. They wanted to ensure that the employees not only felt pride in where they worked, but also enjoyed where they worked. With that being said, they included a number of different amenities for their workers such as multiple lounge spaces, a cafeteria and even fitness center complete with a boxing ring.


When 601 W began planning what the future would look like for The Dayton’s Project, they wanted to make sure they honored the past of the building and the mindset of Dayton’s. The company also knew from their previous experience developing similar projects, such as The Old Post Office conversion in Chicago, that unique and expansive amenities were something that could truly set the building apart from others.

So, what exactly will The Dayton’s Project amenities include?


First off, there will be a massive, 10,000 square foot state-of-the-art fitness center that will feature just about every type of equipment you could imagine along with private locker rooms. One of the neat features of the gym is that it’ll include a boxing ring, a nod to the history of the building and the legacy of Dayton’s.

Another amenity will be called “The Library.” The Library will feature ample work and lounge space along with a thoughtfully designed and curated interior. The space is meant to be a quiet work place that allows office employees within the building a change in environment from their typical work settings.

Another amenity that we think people will really enjoy is the newly constructed “Winter Lounge.” This indoor space will feature two fire places, tons of lounge space, stunning views of the surrounding Downtown Skyline and a private bar. Yes, you read that correctly. That bar will be fully staffed and only accessible to those who work within the building. Happy Hour just got a lot more convenient, right?

Just outside the Winter Garden there will be a large green rooftop terrace that will offer plenty of seating spaces, fire pits and an even more stunning views of the surrounding Downtown skyline.

Last, but certainly not least, the ground floor of Dayton’s will also be home to a large bike storage room and two locker rooms.

SPRING 2020 OPENING

Now that we have given you a glimpse into The Dayton’s Project, we want to let you know what to expect this spring when the first of many openings begins this spring.

We can expect that The Dayton’s Food Hall and Market will be open and thriving, office space will begin to be occupied and some retailers will begin to open their doors. While work will be complete on all of the interior common spaces, the build out of retail and office tenants within the commercial spaces will continue over the next 18 to 24 months.

Also, if you’re wondering when those skyway connections that run throughout the building will finally reopen, we are happy to inform you that you can expect them to reopen on January 1st.

While The Dayton’s Project will officially open this spring, that doesn’t mean we’ll stop reporting on it. You can be sure to check back with The Development Tracker to find out more information on the exciting retailers, restaurants and companies that will call Dayton’s home.

P.S. We’ll also be back taking another look at the construction progress as it nears completion in the coming months. Make sure to check back to see more photos and to learn more about what exciting retailers, restaurants and offices will occupy Dayton’s.

THE TEAMS BEHIND THE DAYTON’S PROJECT

Owners: 601 W Companies, Telos Group and United Properties

Architect and Designer: Gensler Minneapolis

Property Management: Transwestern

Retail Leasing: Mid-America Real Estate

Office Leasing: Transwestern

Owners Rep: Hightower Initiatives

General Contractor: Gardner Builders

Preservation Advisor: New History

Structural Engineer: MBJ

MEP / FP Engineer: MEPC

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