Finance & Commerce 2022 Top Projects Event

Monday, July 24th, 2023

Last Thursday, we were fortunate to celebrate with our clients, teams and colleagues at Finance & Commerce‘s Top Projects of 2022 event.

Top Projects is the premier recognition program for Minnesota’s built environment, and Pope Design Group was honored to be involved in four projects out of the 50 developments celebrated this year. The cherry on top was to be selected as the Top Interior Designer of the Year.

Congratulations to our clients, partners and colleagues!

Here is a recap of the projects:

Lifeworks Main Office

Lifeworks Services, Inc., is a nonprofit that partners with people with disabilities across Minnesota. Together, Lifeworks and people with disabilities drive change by increasing opportunity and access in the community. Facing changing workstyles, Lifeworks sought space for a new main office that reduces their administrative footprint by half. The design intent was an inclusive environment that serves as a model for the community. Accessibility and equity were at the forefront, and Lifeworks’ value of removing obstacles and striving for continual improvement creates a hybrid workplace that supports each individual.

Lifeworks desired that this new environment be consistent with their values: You Lead the Way —We Listen, Together We Break down Barriers, We Focus on Impact, and We Reinvent What’s Possible. The new office fulfills this goal. Design for people with disabilities or challenges is usually done as a reaction to an accommodation. Lifeworks has created a space that is proactively welcoming and accessible to anyone, taking into consideration mobility, workstyle, sensory needs, body type, religion, parenthood, transportation access, and more.

This office is an educational opportunity because it showcases how intentional and thoughtful approaches, like lowered cabinets, rounded edges, automatic door openers, subdued colors and lighting, can all work together to create a universally welcoming space. Lifeworks’ new office is a model for the community on how to marry modern office design with truly accessible and inclusive spaces.

F&C Feature linked here.

Open Arms St. Paul Campus

Open Arms of Minnesota is a nonprofit that prepares and delivers free, nutritious meals to people with life-threatening illnesses in the Twin Cities. They were operating out of a sole location in Minneapolis and sought to open a second location in St. Paul to better serve the eastern suburbs and western Wisconsin and grow their program.

The Runway 52 office building south of downtown St. Paul and near the Holman Field Airport, was determined to be the ideal location for Open Arms. The project consisted of a 16,000+ sq. ft. remodel/repurpose, converting a historically traditional office setting into a beautiful and functional commercial kitchen, including an onsite warehouse, shipping and loading dock, transformer yard, and volunteer training kitchen.

The function of the building was completely reformed as the team started with an office suite and ended with a large commercial kitchen and supportive volunteer environment. It features a brand new 6,000 sq. ft. commercial kitchen that includes cold food prep, hot food prep, washing, and dry storage zones, along with a massive walk-in freezer and chillers at the core of the space. Further, the kitchen itself is unique as it was created with various functions and perspectives in mind. For instance, the space needed to be sterile, yet warm and inviting, operating as a kitchen as well as a large event venue.

F&C Feature linked here.

The Hillock

The Hillock is a new 100-unit affordable senior housing community in Minneapolis’ Longfellow neighborhood. It is the first phase in creating a 100% affordable, intergenerational campus called Snelling Yards, and redevelops a three-acre parcel at Snelling and 45th Street that formerly housed City Public Works. The Hillock adds vibrancy to the neighborhood and addresses a chronic shortage of need-specific, affordable housing for 55+ residents rooted in single-family housing. Designed to provide a safe, affordable, maintenance-free living option adjacent to public transit for older Minneapolis residents, The Hillock also offers the benefits of socialization and community.

Codeveloped by Ecumen and Snelling Yards Development, a joint venture between Lupe Development Partners and the Wall Companies, the redevelopment of the Snelling and 45th Street site has involved years of careful planning and collaboration through several challenges.

The Snelling Yards redevelopment, with The Hillock and the future phase of family housing, helps meet this area’s critical need for quality affordable housing. The Hillock provides homes to low- and moderate-income seniors age 55+ with all units at or between 30% and 60% AMI. The intergenerational approach allows aging seniors, entry-level workforce, and working family residents an opportunity to remain and thrive in their neighborhood with quality housing. This site is an ideal location for an intergenerational community due to its proximity to transit, jobs, retail and services.

F&C Feature linked here.

Ultra Machining Company Expansion

For over 50 years, Ultra Machining Company (UMC) has been a precision manufacturing leader for the medical, aerospace, and defense industries. To elevate its mission as a manufacturing innovator, accommodate growth, and enhance employees’ work environment, the company embarked on an expansion at its Monticello campus. The UMC Innovation Center showcases state-of-the-art precision manufacturing capabilities, providing space and flexibility for UMC to experiment with automation, technology, and processes as they work with clients. The design creates a connected campus, while preserving the opportunity for UMC to expand further and separate their facilities if needed in the future.

UMC partnered with the City of Monticello to purchase a city-owned lot adjacent to their existing site south of I-94. This was a rare opportunity to expand in-place, and the city was supportive of UMC’s plan to beautify this highly visible gateway and add high-tech job opportunities. The expansion allows for future growth of each building while also preserving them as separate parcels, allowing UMC to subdivide the site if conditions changed over time.

UMC has an extensive program and commitment to introducing students to STEM and manufacturing through partnerships with high schools, technical colleges, apprenticeships, and other programs. The campus is strategically sited near a local high school, allowing UMC to host tours, classes, and clubs for students and groups in the community.

F&C Feature linked here.

You can see all of the projects on F&C’s digital magazine linked here.