Loucks Welcomes Tom Goodrum

Loucks is excited to announce that Tom Goodrum has joined the firm as a senior planner. Tom has 25 years of experience in land planning and his portfolio includes both public and private clients.

Tom’s role at Loucks will include overseeing land development and long range planning initiatives. His previous roles as a city planner, regional planner, and planning consultant give Tom an integral understanding of city and regional land use policies as they relate to the development process.

Tom draws upon his background and knowledge of city policies to inspire developers and private property owners to make the best use of their site. He is especially adept at preparing planning reports and navigating the public process to obtain community support. Clients rely upon Tom to manage projects involving all aspects of city control, from PUD districts and performance standards to design guidelines and downtown revitalization.

Loucks provides civil design for Allina Health Buffalo Clinic

By: RJM Construction, February 2, 2017 

RJM Construction, a Minneapolis-based general contractor, has been selected by Allina Health to complete the interior construction of its new clinic in Buffalo. Last October, RJM began construction of the new 15,200 sq.-ft. medical office building the Allina Health clinic will occupy.

Under development by MedCraft, a national healthcare real estate developer, the single-story building is located at 755 Crossroads Campus Drive in Buffalo. The project site, located near the Buffalo Hospital, had been targeted for development for several years.

“We are excited to be part of this project and contribute to achieving Allina Health’s vision for expanded services in the Buffalo community,” stated Chris Lambrecht, MedCraft senior vice president, construction and development.

When complete, exterior features will include a combination of brick and stucco with glass curtain wall and metal panels accenting the patient entrance.

Allina Health is opening an additional clinic in Buffalo. The new clinic will provide a healing environment to serve the primary care needs of all Wright county residents.

In addition to RJM Construction and MedCraft, the project team includes architect BWBR, civil engineer Loucks and structural engineer Ericksen Roed & Associates.

About Allina Health
Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 12 hospitals, 15 retail pharmacies, specialty care centers and specialty medical services, home care, senior transitions, hospice care, home oxygen and medical equipment and emergency medical transportation services

About MedCraft Healthcare Real Estate, LLC
MedCraft Healthcare Real Estate is a national leader in the development, financing and management of ambulatory care and medical office buildings. MedCraft focuses solely on healthcare real estate projects and has partnered with healthcare systems and physicians in more than 80 projects totaling $3 billion throughout their 33-year operating history.  To learn more about MedCraft and its projects, visit www.MedCraft.com.


In heart of North Loop, T3 becomes an architectural attraction

By: Nicole Norfleet of Star Tribune, January 21, 2017 3:01pm

The North Loop’s makeover in the past 20 years has given new life to brick-and-timber warehouses that once housed factories, car and implement dealers and even a macaroni maker.

Now, a distinctive new office building made from wood has opened, a development that sets the North Loop apart from other urban neighborhoods around the country that have gone through such a renaissance.

Billed as the largest “mass timber” building in the United States, the seven-story structure called T3 shows that cities don’t have to be dominated by structures of steel and concrete. Its progress has been followed by architects and developers.

“We got away from wood for awhile for various reasons, and I think architects and engineers and developers have recognized the potential, and some of the new technology does make it a little bit easier to build,” said Archie Landreman, regional director for nonprofit WoodWorks, which promotes wood construction of commercial buildings and advised Houston-based Hines, T3’s developer.

“Mass timber” describes a framing style that uses smaller pieces of wood formed into large panels for floors, roofs and walls. It differs from the light-frame wood construction of many homes.

It can be easy to miss the T3 building tucked behind an upscale apartment complex and a strip club along Washington Avenue. But as soon as someone enters the space, it is hard to miss its singularity.

The building smells like wood mixed with a whiff of a new car. The lobby has all the modern furniture of other office suites, but it gives off the aura of a lodge.

T3, which stands for “timber, transit, technology,” recently received one of its first affirmations when Amazon.com Inc. signed on to lease office space. The company has said it eventually will employ 100 workers in Minneapolis.

Already, the building is home to a fitness studio for Bar Method Minneapolis, a fitness chain whose workouts include dance conditioning techniques. In addition, a restaurant tenant also has plans to debut a new concept at the space.

“Heavy timber structures have a long history in warehouse construction, so the new T3 building is a great fit in the North Loop,” said Nick Koch, an associate vice president at HGA Architects and Engineers and a chairman of neighborhood development group 2020 Partners.

While brick-and-timber buildings have become a popular choice for creative offices, noise and draftiness can be problems.

“We just decided to create something that had the same authenticity and feel [of a brick-and-timber building] … but all of the modern amenities and creature comforts of new construction,” said Brent Robertson, managing director of the office-agency division for JLL, which is responsible for leasing T3.

The building offers Wi-Fi in its public spaces including the rooftop deck. In addition, T3 has fully embraced its location on the Cedar Lake Trail. It has bike rentals, bike storage and a bike repair station.

The 220,000-square-foot building was constructed with 8-foot-by-20-foot panels of engineered wood that were stacked across beams of glued, laminated timber. The panels themselves consisted of smaller strips of wood nailed together.

Concrete still is used in some areas of the building, including the entire first floor. Weathered steel wraps the outside to protect it from the elements.

Mass timber structures are significantly lighter than their steel and concrete equivalents so it takes less time to erect them. Builders needed less than three months to install the timber frame of T3. The dead load or weight of the building also ends up being lower.

“As the only structural material that comes from a renewable resource, the sustainability, the aesthetic and the authenticity of the material make it a natural to be used more frequently in commercial applications,” said Bob Pfefferle, director of Hines Minneapolis.

Another positive is that building with wood is believed to use less energy than building with other materials, Landreman said. The wood also naturally helps store carbon. The 3,600 cubic meters of wood that was used in the building will end up sequestering about 3,200 tons of carbon for the life of the building. Most of the wood was made of lumber from trees killed by the mountain pine beetle.

Designers and developers found a sweet spot with the T3 building with its relatively simple design and moderately tall height that easily can be replicated, said Jacob Mans, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota’s School of Architecture, who is studying Minnesota-made mass timber systems.

“There’s just a lot of smart things in that building,” he said. “I think you will see this building type show up a lot more when you are trying to develop a lot of building footprint in a short period of time.”

Wood buildings are perceived to be more vulnerable to fire but that’s because many people don’t understand mass timber, Mans said.

Mass timber construction might actually perform better in a fire than noncombustible materials because the wood is thick and solid and chars at a slower and more predictable rate. Wood buildings also have been shown to perform well in earthquakes.

Hines has plans to start construction later this year of a similar T3 building in Atlanta. There also have been discussions about an 80-story timber tower in Chicago.

In Minnesota and many other states, office buildings are allowed currently to have up to six floors of wood. But for many architects, the sky is the limit for the potential of wooden buildings.

“It’s mostly a code issue and the public accepting being in a tall wood building,” Mans said.

T3 will inspire confidence for developers to keep building with wood, said Kate Simonen, an associate professor of architecture at the University of Washington.

“The T3 project is already influential in that the project team has demonstrated a viable construction model,” she wrote in an e-mail. “The construction industry is notoriously risk-adverse. Early adopters, especially those that share information about the project success and challenges, can have a big impact on the industry.”




City of Shakopee | Re-Imagining Downtown

By: the City of Shakopee, www.shakopeemn.gov

A downtown is an important part of a community’s identity, and it’s one reason Shakopee city leaders want to make Shakopee’s downtown more of a destination.

“I heard someone say recently that you have to love your downtown before others will. I think that’s what we are trying to do here. Put some love into our downtown,” said Shakopee Economic Development Coordinator Samantha DiMaggio.

Shakopee’s downtown has a long, proud history of business development. The area currently has the community’s highest concentration of independent business owners and continues to be a vibrant tax base.

“These businesses built Shakopee,” DiMaggio said. “When it comes to development, everybody takes their turn, and now the time has come for us to invest in downtown.”

In May, the city hired Loucks Inc. to create an implementation plan that would provide the city with actionable steps for enhancing the visibility and vitality of downtown Shakopee by:

  • Creating a mix of streets and open space
  • Balancing pedestrian and traffic needs
  • Employing sustainable design strategies
  • Adding streetscape amenities

Loucks consultants looked at previous studies and spent several weeks in the downtown, talking with business owners, residents and patrons. They wanted to get an idea of how the area is currently used and how it could be used in the future, DiMaggio said.  

What they discovered was a need to create more destination spaces where people can gather and meet.

For example, thousands of out-of-town guests come to Shakopee’s downtown every year to attend weddings and other events at Turtle’s Social Centre. Yet, there’s no real outdoor space for them to congregate. The implementation plan includes plazas where people can sit on a nice day or explore public art.

Downtowns are the heart of any community, to the point that communities without downtowns have invested millions in building new ones, said Michael Kerski, the city’s director of planning and development.

“Typically downtown is where a sense of community starts, grows and stays,” DiMaggio said. “That’s a hard thing to create, that sense of community.”

In October, Kerski presented the implementation plan to the City Council, highlighting three projects: River City Plaza, Gateway Plaza and the Lewis Street parking lot. The two plazas would provide welcoming entrances to downtown, featuring art that celebrates Shakopee’s history. 

The Lewis Street lot would demonstrate how to grow urban trees. The lot’s pavement is crumbling and in current need of repair.

The city has approximately $1.5 million set aside for downtown improvements. While that figure does not cover all the proposed projects, the city wants to use the money toward projects that will have the biggest impact. DiMaggio is hopeful the projects may spark future improvements through business partnerships.


In addition to downtown improvements, the city is also studying ways to better leverage its riverfront, like the communities of Stillwater and Red Wing. DiMaggio said many visitors do not know the Minnesota River runs near downtown because they must cross Highway 101 to reach Huber Park or go through the underpass to the Minnesota Valley State Trail.

“We have a really huge natural feature that no one can really access,” Kerski said.

Enhancing the riverfront starts with stabilizing the eroding river bank. Last winter, the City Council identified riverbank stabilization as one of its goals on the 2016 Work Plan. However, stabilization does not come cheap. In fact, the city postponed the second phase of Huber Park development because it cost upward of $2 million.

However, the city recently reached out to the Scott Soil and Water Conservation District to study the erosion and create a plan for stabilization. Once the report is completed, city leaders will discuss how they would like to proceed.


Developing a downtown destination takes more than just infrastructure. It is also important the area attracts unique businesses, including restaurants, retailers and attractions, Kerksi said.

Kerski points to Greenville, S.C., where he previously worked, as an example of a community that reinvigorated its downtown. In 1990, the community built a performing arts center to increase visitors. It has also an active art walk that brings people downtown year round to view more than 40 pieces of original art.

“A downtown redeveloped around authenticity can become an attraction for the region,” Kerski said. “For example, Greenville embraced its river and other attractions have built around it.”

In October, Main Street Shakopee hired a new coordinator, Elliot Johnson, to assist the business side of downtown. 

“I look forward to working with Shakopee businesses and Main Street to continue growing this vibrant community for many years to come,” Johnson said.


Panel OKs variances for soccer stadium

By: Matt M. Johnson of Finance and Commerce, July 29, 2016 2:43 pm

The St. Paul Zoning Committee lifted a proposed Major League Soccer stadium over two small hurdles Thursday, but not before venting some discomfort with the piecemeal nature of the approval process.

A preliminary plat for the 20,000-seat, $150 million-plus professional soccer stadium has been working its way through the city’s planning structure for several months and is on track for final approval by the St. Paul City Council on Aug. 10.

The project, which is to rise on about 16 acres near the northeast quadrant of Interstate 94 and Snelling Avenue, is also waiting for approval of a property tax break in a special session of the Minnesota Legislature that may convene in August.

If built, the stadium would be the home of Minnesota United FC, which currently plays its home games in the National Sports Center soccer stadium in Blaine. Last December, the team’s ownership group led by former UnitedHealth Group CEO Bill McGuire committed to building the St. Paul stadium. The team was awarded a franchise expansion with Major League Soccer in March 2015.

At issue Thursday were two variances for aspects of the stadium development that do not comply with St. Paul regulations. The stadium does not technically meet the city’s standard for high-density development at its proposed site, a former bus garage and land owned by the Met Council. Also, a recent reconfiguration of one of the streets on the site, Simpson Street, required action to designate a proposed stadium parking lot for stadium use only.

The city planning staff presented the variances for approval ahead of an Aug. 3 public hearing before the City Council. The Zoning Committee is a subcommittee of the Planning Commission.

Zoning Committee chair Gaius Nelson said he would have preferred if the variance request had been part of the team’s original development proposal.

“I think there has always been the concern that this has gone so quickly with such little detail in front of us that we’re exempting design standards,” Nelson said. “It makes it a little hard for us to understand what we’re getting.”

The variances do little to change the form of the stadium development proposal. The most significant change is a re-drawn Simpson Street. Simpson was previously planned to dead-end into a stadium parking lot from connections to St. Anthony Avenue and a proposed extension of Shields Avenue. It is now planned as a through street.

The new public right of way separates a planned parking lot from the stadium’s main property. The variance designates the parking lot — at the southeast corner of the project site fronting St. Anthony Avenue and I-94 — for stadium use only.

On the density variance, city planner Kady Dadlez said the staff recommends that the stadium’s low development density be given a pass as the structure is “unique” in how it sits on a site.

City regulations require that buildings constructed on that site meet a floor area ratio, under which the building square footage is equal to or greater than that of the property it is built on. Because it lacks a roof and has a soccer field at its center, the stadium falls 81 percent short of that mark.

“It’s almost like calculating the floor area ratio of a doughnut and not including the center part of it,” Dadlez said.

Representing the team’s ownership at the meeting was Jeff Shopek, a principal with Maple Grove-based civil engineering firm Loucks. He said intense development anticipated for the rest of the 34.5-acre redevelopment site in the 400 block of Snelling Avenue will more than make up for any deficiencies the stadium might have.

“Part of the stadium intensity is to help the surrounding development have a higher FAR,” he said.

In its unanimous approval, the committee included a caveat that requires the developer to apply landscaping and design standards in its master plan for the property to the parking lot. The approval moves the variance request on to the city’s Planning Commission. The item is on the commission’s Aug. 5 meeting agenda.

Mollie Scozzari, a spokeswoman for the St. Paul Planning & Economic Development department, said no construction work can occur at the stadium site until the city approves the preliminary plat and an environmental review. She said the review should be complete on Aug. 9.






On June 18, 2016, Loucks will celebrate its 40th anniversary! Forty years of developing remarkable project sites. Forty years of inspiring you to make the best use of your land. Forty years of doing the ground work that makes your project more remarkable.

In the coming months, we look forward to occasionally sharing details with you in this format about current and past projects, places, and people that have helped us reach this important milestone. Thank you for forty amazing years!

Quick facts: MN United FC Stadium, HCMC, & Andover City Campus
Loucks on the Move . . . Announcing our New Saint Paul Location
PEOPLE         The Award-Winners that Power Your Projects 

  • Project Partners | Minnesota United FC, Populous, S9Architecture, Tegra Group, Mortenson Construction, and the City of Saint Paul
  • Loucks Services | civil engineering and land surveying
  • Goal is to build a stadium and create a civic space that enhances the game day experience and adds vitality to the village
  • Centrally located at Snelling-Midway site on the Green Line
  • Site redevelopment opportunities include: office, retail, residential, open space, hotel, fitness, and entertainment
  • Stadium designed to seat nearly 20,000
Nick Mannel | 763.496.6757 | nmannel@loucksinc.com
Paul McGinley | 763.496.6759 | pmcginley@loucksinc.com
Jeff Shopek | 763.496.6715 | jshopek@loucksinc.com

  • Project Partners | BWBR, Mortenson Construction, Dunham, and Hennepin County
  • Loucks Services | master planning, civil engineering, landscape architecture, and helipad relocation survey
  • Largest expansion in HCMC’s history
  • Reorganizes nearly two million square feet of space and consolidates over 40 primary and specialty clinics currently spread across nine buildings
  • Site design provides private and public gathering spaces, including an outdoor café patio, private courtyard space, healing garden, and public entry plaza
  • New skyway and underground tunnel will provide convenient access between the existing hospital and new expansion facility
  • Incorporates a new public pocket park within the historic Elliot Park Neighborhood
Jon Donovan | 763.496.6724 | jdonovan@loucksinc.com
Paul Kangas | 763.496.6737 | pkangas@loucksinc.com

Click BWBR video link to preview HCMC AOSC 
  • Project Partners | HCM Architects and City of Andover
  • Loucks provided three master plan concepts, based upon key stakeholder input and feedback, which helped decision makers identify preferred plan
  • Relocates proposed Public Works facility to create a central public gathering space
  • Creates future expansion options for existing facilities, including a City Hall and Community Center
  • Establishes campus access points with improved gateway features
  • Defines walking paths and trails for improved safety and connections to surrounding uses
  • Locates parking access near related activities to optimize access for all
  • Utilizes natural green spaces to provide buffers between the campus and neighborhoods
  • Maximizes flexible open space to facilitate a variety of public activities
Nate Ekhoff | 763.496.6722 | nekhoff@loucksinc.com


The Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects recently awarded Loucks Senior Landscape Architect Bill Sanders the 2016 Theodore Wirth Award for Excellence in Parks.

He received the award for his 30-plus years of public service to the Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board (CAAPB), and for his overall distinguished body of work in park design, which includes the Minnehaha Park renovation plan in Minneapolis.

Bill Sanders is an award-winning landscape architect with more than 50 years of experience in urban, streetscape, parks and recreation, commercial, and residential planning and design.