Development in the works at Dinkytown's UTEC building site

A large-scale apartment complex could replace the University Technology Enterprise Center in Dinkytown.

The office building currently houses several businesses at 1313 5th Street Southeast, including Minnesota Public Interest Research Group, The Wake student magazine and the Computer Mega Mall.

The new mixed-use building would feature 336 residential units and three ground floor commercial spaces, one of which would be a grocery store, said Kimberly Holien, a Minneapolis city planner.

GEM Realty Capital Inc., discussed project plans at a Minneapolis Committee of the Whole meeting on June 28.

“The Committee of the Whole is kind of an information meeting of the [Minneapolis City] Planning Commission where developers or applicants can bring their projects before they actually prepare their official land use submittal,” Holien said.

After revisions based on the committee’s comments, the next step is to go before the Planning Commission for a public hearing

The committee discussed a pedestrian walkway through or around the site, window placement, signage, entrances, and traffic circulation, Holien said, but concern for current UTEC tenants was not part of the conversation.

Skott Johnson, president of the Dinkytown Business Association, said his biggest concern is the type of retail that would move to the ground level spaces.

“I wish when a developer comes in that they would do a little more research into what is already here,” he said.

A positive aspect for businesses, he said, is that more people will be living in the Dinkytown area.

Holien said GEM Realty is hoping to go to the Planning Commission sometime in August, but she has not yet received an application.