Ryan Companies partnership set to acquire Sons of Norway site

An aerial view of the Sons of Norway site. Image courtesy of Ryan Companies

Sons of Norway has selected Ryan Companies and Weidner Apartment Homes to redevelop its 2.17-acre site at 1455 W. Lake St.

Sons of Norway will remain on the block in a new development. Ryan Companies will reach out to neighborhood stakeholders before finalizing a project design, said Tony Barranco, vice president of real estate development. A neighborhood meeting to discuss the project is Aug. 21 at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church.

Sons of Norway marketed the property for redevelopment last spring. CEO Eivind Heiberg said they saw several dozen interested parties, and about a dozen serious offers.

“There was a tremendous amount of interest,” he said.

The competing proposals included a large percentage of residential units with some retail components as well, said Ted Abramson of CBRE. Most bidders envisioned the site holding two new buildings, he said.

Sons of Norway board and management selected Ryan and Weidner based on price, the ability to deliver a high-quality development and the incorporation of Sons of Norway into the project, Heiberg said.

“We have a long history of being here in Uptown,” Heiberg said.

Barranco said Ryan Companies has been in discussions with Sons of Norway for years, and said the firm’s recent work on the Millwright office building downtown likely gave them an edge.

The closing may take place in late fall, Abramson said.

Sons of Norway owns the three-story building and several surface parking lots on the block, but does not own a multifamily building at 3014 Holmes Ave. S. and a Wells Fargo lot at 3017-3021 Humboldt Ave. S.

Ryan Companies is in discussions with Wells Fargo, and the bank’s Humboldt Avenue lots would likely fold into the project, Barranco said.

Dan Oberpriller took over ownership of 3014 Holmes last spring, according to Hennepin County property records. Oberpriller, a co-founder of CPM Companies, said there are no plans for the apartment building at this time and declined to comment further. Barranco said the building would likely remain untouched on the site.

Ever since Wells Fargo announced plans two years ago to move its employees out of the Sons of Norway building and consolidate in a new building at 1505 W. Lake St., neighbors have anticipated redevelopment on the block. Other remaining tenants include Goodwill and Norway Art.

There are single-family homes at the southwest section of the block, and two households there said no developer had approached them to sell their homes. Resident Sally Hed said she’s hoping to see high-end housing arrive on the block.

The block’s zoning ranges from C3A (Community Activity Center District) on the north end, which allows four stories or 56 feet as of right; down to R2B (Two Family District) that allows two-and-a-half stories or 35 feet in height.

Ryan Companies will discuss the project with the East Calhoun Community Organization’s Livability Committee on Monday, Aug. 21 from 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church, 3450 Irving Ave. S.