A local developer that’s been very busy downtown is almost done with a $161 million redevelopment of nearly an entire block in the Mill District.

Sherman Associates just completed the Ladder 260, a 90-unit housing development with affordable studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments. The units are for people with household incomes between 60% and 30% of the area median income. There are 18 project-based housing voucher units, including five for high-priority individuals who have been homeless.

Sherman Associates partnered with the City to redevelop the underused block at Washington and Portland avenues with three new buildings. The roughly 1.75-acre site previously contained a vacant surface parking lot and the former Minneapolis Fire Station 1, built in 1909.

To start, Sherman Associates completed a $12 million fire station for the City in summer 2022, then it broke ground on Ladder 260 and O2, an adjacent 22-story apartment building with 240 market-rate units. Kraus-Anderson is the general contractor for the entire multi-phase development.

All of the units in Ladder 260 come with stainless steel appliances and in-unit washers and dryers. Photo by Brianna Kelly

Ladder 260 is about 32% leased, with studio and one-bedroom units still available for $1,248 and $1,328 per month, respectively. Two-bedroom units with two bathrooms rent for $1,586 per month, but they’re already all claimed.

Of the building’s 90 units, 72 are for household incomes at 60% of the area median income, 13 are for 50%, and five are for 30%. The income limits for one person renting one of those units fall between $52,200 and $26,100 annually.

Simpson Housing Services will provide applicants for and assist with management of the five units reserved for people who have experienced homelessness. The Minneapolis-based organization has an office on site at Ladder 260.

Built atop the former Minneapolis Fire Station 1 site, Ladder 260 features nods to its firefighter history, like a fire truck play structure for kids on the rooftop deck. Other amenities include a hotel-like lobby and leasing center with package lockers, a gym, a bike room, a dog wash, and free WiFi throughout the building.

Residents will start moving into Ladder 260, located at 260 Portland Ave., in mid-May. Sherman Associates’ goal is to have the building fully occupied by the end of October.

Ladder 260's rooftop deck overlooks the new Minneapolis fire station. Photo by Brianna Kelly

Next door at 250 Portland Ave., O2 offers an underground parking garage, private balconies with gas grills, a relaxation spa with a sauna, a pool deck, a fitness room and a group yoga studio, a top-floor amenity deck, and a coworking space. O2 is expected to be complete in early fall. 

Sherman also worked with Kraus-Anderson on Moment, a 222-unit apartment building that opened at the beginning of 2023 in Elliot Park, a few blocks from Ladder 260 and O2. Moment houses a childcare center and Firefighters for Healing’s center for injured fighters and burn victims.

Other recent Sherman projects in downtown Minneapolis include an $85 million conversion of the 13-story Northstar Center East building, which is expected to wrap up this fall, and a $35 million renovation to the historic J.I. Case Building, where the company is headquartered. 

Sherman is still weighing options for a former Wells Fargo operations center at Washington Avenue and Third Street. Now named Washington Yards, the project was initially expected to be a $400 million redevelopment called Harmonia.

Sherman is also active in St. Paul, where it’s converting the Landmark Towers to apartments.