Even with relatively high vacancy rates for downtown office buildings, a Twin Cities developer is reportedly counting on the vibrancy of the North Loop to attract tenants as he eyes a Washington Avenue parking lot for his next office tower, with retail on the ground floor.

According to Axios, the owner of Swervo Development, Ned Abdul, is making plans to build a $50 million tower at 753 Washington Ave. N., on what is currently a surface parking lot next to Bunkers.

At a reported 12 stories, it would be two stories taller than the Nordic Tower, which opened in late 2019 on the adjacent lot.

The article from Axios quotes notes from an upcoming Minneapolis City Council committee agenda, indicating Swero's proposed development would include three levels of parking, eight levels of office and one level of unspecified retail.

In 2019, Swervo built another office tower in the North Loop, near 5th and Washington with Calabrio as its main tenant. It has since been sold and renamed Steelman Exchange. Swervo also redeveloped a number of historic buildings in the neighborhood, including the one at 411 North Washington that now houses AxeBridge Winery, Edina Realty and others.

Swervo completed another North Loop office tower known as the Steelman Exchange, located at 241 N. Fifth Ave., in 2019. Photo by Mike Binkley.

Swervo has been busy in other parts of Minneapolis and throughout the Twin Cities, too.

Abdul likes to keep a low profile, but his company has become one of the metro's most prolific developers over the past decade, with high-profile projects including the Armory at the Downtown West/East border and the Uptown Theater in Southwest Minneapolis, as well as a planned Topgolf in Woodbury.

Swervo's latest North Loop office proposal is still in the early stages, as Axios points out, an no additional details were revealed during a committee meeting Tuesday afternoon, when councilmembers approved a $35,500 Met Council grant for an investigation into contamination at the site.

Axios reporter Nick Halter previously speculated that the last new office building we see in the Twin Cities for a long time could be North Loop Green, an 18-story tower that's nearly complete near Target Field. But, now he says if Swervo pulls off the project at 753 Washington Ave. N., it could help reverse an apparent office development slump.

This story was originally published by North Loop Neighborhood Association, with additional Swervo context from Downtown Voices editor Brianna Kelly at the bottom.