The Midtown Exchange is a large commercial building located in South Minneapolis. It is the largest building in Minneapolis, Minnesota in terms of leasable space and is the second-largest building in the state, after the Mall of America in nearby Bloomington. It was built in 1928 as a retail and mail-order catalog facility for Sears. The building remained occupied by Sears until 1994 and in 1995 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The building lay vacant until 2005 when it was transformed into multipurpose commercial space.
The first phase of the building, along Elliot Avenue and Lake Street
, was built in 1928. It was expanded in 1929, 1964, and 1979, resulting in 1.2 million square feet
) of space. A central tower along Elliot Avenue rises 16 floors to 211 feet (64 m).
After Sears closed the site in 1994, it laid vacant as development proposals came and went. The city of Minneapolis acquired the site in 2001 and sold the 1979 expansion portion in 2002 to be used by the neighboring Abbott Northwestern Hospital
as a parking ramp
. Two years later, Ryan Companies
was given exclusive development rights to the site. The resulting plan divided the structure into a mixed-use site with about 300 residential units, plus office and retail space. In 2004, Allina Hospitals & Clinics
(which owns Abbott Northwestern among other area hospitals) announced plans to move their corporate headquarters to the building, taking up most of the allotted office space. Much of the residential space is known as the Chicago Lofts
located on floors 9-16 and Midtown Exchange Apartments
located on floors 2-8. The building also includes the Midtown Global Market
, which is home to a variety of small independently-owned restaurants, cafes, and specialty grocers and hosts community programs including music, dance and children's activities. In the former Sears parking lot a prototype Sheraton
hotel was built. The building and hotel have direct access to the Midtown Greenway
The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 29, 2005.
Midtown Exchange has a sister building in Boston, Massachusetts called the Landmark Center. The two buildings were both built in the 1920s and their designs are nearly identical. Like Midtown Exchange, the Landmark Center is a former Sears warehouse which has since been renovated into commercial space.
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