Midtown Exchange

Midtown Exchange
Sears, Roebuck and Company Mail-Order Warehouse and Retail Store

The Midtown Exchange from the west
Location 2929 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Coordinates 44°56′58″N 93°15′38″W / 44.94944°N 93.26056°W / 44.94944; -93.26056Coordinates: 44°56′58″N 93°15′38″W / 44.94944°N 93.26056°W / 44.94944; -93.26056
Built 1927
Architect George Nimmons and Company
Architectural style Moderne / Art Deco
NRHP Reference # 05000745[1]
Added to NRHP July 29, 2005

The Midtown Exchange is a large commercial building located in the Midtown Phillips neighborhood, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. It is the second-largest building in Minnesota in terms of leasable space, after the Mall of America. It was built in 1928 as a retail and mail-order catalog facility for Sears, which occupied it until 1994. It lay vacant until 2005, when it was transformed into multipurpose commercial space.

The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Sears, Roebuck and Company Mail-Order Warehouse and Retail Store.


The first phase of the building, along Elliot Avenue and Lake Street, was built in 1928. It was expanded in 1929, 1964, and 1979, resulting in 1.2 million square feet (110,000 m²) of space. A central tower along Elliot Avenue rises 16 floors to 211 feet (64 m). After Sears closed the site in 1994, it laid vacant as development proposals came and went. The city of Minneapolis acquired the site in 2001 and sold the 1979 expansion portion in 2002 to be used by the neighboring Abbott Northwestern Hospital as a parking ramp. Two years later, Ryan Companies was given exclusive development rights to the site. The resulting plan divided the structure into a mixed-use site with about 300 residential units, plus office and retail space. In 2004, Allina Health (which owns Abbott Northwestern among other area hospitals) announced plans to move their corporate headquarters to the building, taking up most of the allotted office space.[2] Much of the residential space is known as the Chicago Lofts located on floors 9-16 and Midtown Exchange Apartments located on floors 2-8. The building also includes the Midtown Global Market, which is home to a variety of small independently owned restaurants, cafes, and specialty grocers, and hosts community programs including music, dance, and children's activities. A prototype Sheraton Hotel was built in the former Sears parking lot. The building and hotel have direct access to the Midtown Greenway.

Other buildings

Midtown Exchange has a sister building called the Landmark Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Both were built in the 1920s and their designs are nearly identical. Both are former Sears warehouses which have since been renovated into commercial space.[3]

Other adaptively reused Sears warehouses include those in Atlanta (1925), Chicago, Dallas (1910), North Kansas City (1913), and Seattle. Similar sites under construction include the 1927 Sears Mail Order Building in Los Angeles and the Crosstown Concourse (1927) in Memphis.

Similar Sears warehouses existed in Philadelphia[4] (1919) and Kansas City (1925) but were demolished in 1994 and 1997.

See also

Notes and references

  1. National Park Service (2006-03-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. Allina Health selects Minneapolis for corporate headquarters
  3. Landmark Center, Kenmore Square, Boston
  4. Altmann, Nicole. "Philadelphia's Sears Tower". PhillyHistory. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
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