Another round: Nye's developer dramatically scales down high-rise

Nye's Polonaise Room
Nye's Polonaise Room, Minneapolis, June 10, 2009.
Geoff Stearns / Creative Commons via Flickr

New plans to develop the site of Nye's Polonaise Room cut the number of apartment building stories to one-fifth of the original proposal that drew criticism earlier this year.

Developer Schafer Richardson released the latest design Friday ahead of an informational meeting with northeast Minneapolis neighborhood groups Sept. 24.

The proposal includes a six-story building that wraps around the bar. The company's original design would've put a 30-story high-rise on the site.

"Our prior proposal was too large for the site," director of development Maureen Michalski said of previous stakeholder feedback. "So we took that feedback and their other comments and we feel that we have a proposal now that addresses those concerns and meets the Nicollet Island-Eastbank Neighborhood Association small area plan as well as the St. Anthony Falls historic district guidelines."

There are currently four buildings on the site including Nye's. Owners decided to close the bar sometime in January 2016, citing slow business and high upkeep costs.

December 2014: Bye Nye's: Local landmark to close after 65 years

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Another three-story building currently home to the former Harness Shop will stay, according to the proposal. Developers plan to demolish the infill building that houses the Polonaise Room and replace it with a three story retail and residential building.

The remaining building to the north also will be demolished to make room for the six story low-rise, Michalski said. All buildings will have retail on the first floor and apartments above.

Michalski said the new proposal addresses the public's concerns about maintaining the neighborhood's character.

"We have proposed a plan that we believe is feasible and meets various stakeholder needs," she said.

Operators of the Facebook group "Save Nye's Polonaise" that has attracted nearly 9,000 fans said Friday the plan was "still not a perfect solution, but a much better alternative" than a high rise.