2023 NAIOP Awards of Excellence

Friday, September 22nd, 2023

Congrats to this year’s NAIOP Minnesota Awards of Excellence honorees and winners!

Last month, NAIOP hosted the awards program celebrated commercial real estate in Minnesota by selecting exceptional developments in diverse industries. Judges toured (virtually) 40 project nominations and evaluated them on project development, function and design, architectural integrity, market feasibility, sustainable attributes and unique project challenges.

Pope Design Group attended the event in support of our clients and colleagues. Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees and winners.

We were honored to part of these nominee projects:

Open Arms of Minnesota – St. Paul Campus

Open Arms of Minnesota prepares and delivers medically tailored meals to people with life-threatening illnesses free of charge. To grow the nonprofit’s program and strengthen services, Open Arms expanded to a second campus at Runway 52. The 1980s building was strategically transformed to support their volunteer meal preparation and delivery program. The transformation features a large volunteer area, state-of-the-art commercial kitchen with hot and cold prep lines, massive walk-in freezer storing 60,000 meals, blast freezers, training room, open office, warehouse, shipping, and truck delivery area. This location doubles Open Arms’ meal storage capacity and increases their production by 30%.


  • Developer: (Owner’s Representative: Cresa)
  • Owner: (Landlord: Wellington Management, Tenant: Open Arms of Minnesota)
  • Architect: Pope Design Group
  • General Contractor: Greiner Construction
  • Structural Engineer: Innovative Structural Solutions
  • Civil Engineer: Loucks
  • Electrical Engineer: Focal Point Partners (design build)
  • Mechanical Engineer: Modern Heating (design build)
  • Interior Designer: Pope Design Group
  • Landscape Designer: Loucks
  • Food Service: Rippe Associates
  • Photographer: Nate Johnson Studio

The Hillock

Ecumen’s The Hillock is a new 100-unit affordable senior housing community in Minneapolis’ Longfellow neighborhood. It is the first phase in the affordable, intergenerational Snelling Yards campus, redeveloping a three-acre parcel at Snelling and 45th Street that formerly housed Minneapolis Public Works. The Hillock adds vibrancy to the neighborhood and addresses a chronic shortage of need-specific, affordable housing for 55+ residents. A community garden supports food security initiatives, providing residents and neighbors the opportunity to harvest fresh food together. An exam suite hosts visiting medical providers serving residents directly on campus. The Hillock dedicates 11 units to supporting Veterans experiencing homelessness.


  • Developer & Owner: Ecumen
  • Architect: Pope Design Group
  • General Contractor: Frana Companies
  • Structural Engineer: Ericksen Roed & Associates
  • Civil Engineer: Stantec
  • Electrical Engineer: Steen Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineer: Steen Engineering
  • Interior Designer: Pope Design Group
  • Landscape Designer: Stantec
  • Title Company: Guaranty Commercial Title, Inc.
  • Financial Institution Tax Credit Investor: Enterprise Community Asset Management, Inc.
  • Co-Developer of Snelling Yards Campus: Snelling Yards Development, LLC
  • Grant Writer: Rippley Richard Real Estate Development Services, LLC
  • Photographers: Nate Johnson Studio and Tonka Real Estate Photography

InverPoint #2

With the growing need for industrial space in the Twin Cities, United Properties is executing its long-term plans for 45 acres in the south metro. The new InverPoint Business Park is planned to house five buildings that will total over 460,000 sq. ft. of office/industrial space when complete. As the third building in the development, the team overcame most hurdles early on in the planning, design and construction process. InverPoint Business Park Building 2 was designed to be complementary with the rest of the development, with similar materials, colors and signage. The building is designed to support the individual needs of its tenants with a 32’ clear height (the other buildings have 24’ and 28’ clear heights). The site was always zoned as industrial, but its adjacency to an existing residential neighborhood created some challenges in the City approval process. The team listened to and navigated the neighborhood’s concerns by adding landscaping buffers and creating multiple access points to the development.


  • Developer & Owner: United Properties
  • Architect: Pope Design Group
  • General Contractor: Gardner Builders
  • Structural Engineer: Innovative Structural Solutions
  • Civil Engineer: Westwood
  • Photographer: Nate Johnson Studio

Gateway Interstate

To respond to the high-demand for industrial space in the Twin Cities, Scannell Properties developed a new speculative building on vacant land in Arden Hills. Called Gateway Interstate, the building is located on the northeast quadrant of Interstate 35W and Interstate 694 and provides nearly 250,000 sq. ft. of flexible space for multiple tenants. The building is designed to provide a 28’-0” clear interior height and consists of precast panels and a steel beam and column system. The exterior features several areas of brick and metal panel to enhance the appearance of the building at the highly visible intersection of two major traffic corridors. The building was also designed to include two ‘wings’ to take advantage of the unique grading on the site and maximize the building’s footprint.


  • Developer & Owner: Scannell Properties
  • Architect: Pope Design Group
  • General Contractor: R.J. Ryan Construction
  • Structural Engineer: Innovative Structural Solutions
  • Civil Engineer & Landscape Architect: Kimley-Horn
  • Photographer: Nate Johnson Studio