The new Thor Companies’ Regional Acceleration Center at the corner of Penn and Plymouth Avenues in North Minneapolis.

Thor Construction Company’s new Regional Acceleration Center is nearing completion and a grand day is descending upon all of us.

Celebrations are going to be visited upon all of us. Great joy is at hand. We have witnessed the transformation of this empty lot into this brand new architecturally designed, professionally constructed, contemporary mixed-use office and retail building. This is a seriously profound development project for North Minneapolis.

There were enormous obstacles, both obvious and hidden, that had to be overcome by the development team for this building to be sitting as magnificently as it is among us today. The “transformation” of this empty lot into a private sector asset for our community is nothing less than phenomenal. Transformation ... change, has come to our community and this is what it looks like. Very handsome, indeed. And just think, it’s going to be that good looking for a long time.

The previous single occupant on this site, employed a maximum of 12 employees at any shift. There will be seven new tenants in this facility – Thor Companies, Hennepin County, Target Corporation, Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda), Build Wealth MN, Sammy’s Avenue Eatery and Me &. I (fitness center). The new occupants will support a minimum of 300 employees. Opportunities for employee growth will be available within these business entities. All of these businesses sit on top of or directly next to a 625 stall, multi-level parking garage. Patients and staff of North Point Clinic will also utilize this garage. The entire dynamics of this intersection will change. Keep your eyes open; new realities for this area are coming.

Transformation ... change, is presenting us with unknowns that we are unlikely to completely imagine. Transformation ...change, is also challenging us to pursue solutions that we are unable to completely envision. Is this project going to be the beginning of more economic development?

All of these businesses, departments, agencies, consultants, and individuals will become our new neighbors. Are you ready for their presence to become a part of your everyday reality? While it may take you some time to get comfortable with the new faces that are coming into reality for this community, they too, along with the new building, shall be a visual indicator of the “transformation” that has begun here.

Since July of 2017, architect Randall Bradley has been writing a multi-part series on the construction of the new development at the corners of Penn Avenue North and Plymouth Avenue North in Minneapolis.

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