The River Towers Condominium Association, commonly known as "The Towers," is a 50-year-old twin high-rise residential community in downtown Minneapolis. Built in the 1960s, it featured significant modernist-style buildings that represented the first and largest urban renewal residential development off Hennepin Avenue at the historical Gateway Park site. Adjacent to the former “flop house” district – a source of urban blight for many years – The Towers development is now at the center of a vibrant neighborhood between the North Loop and the Downtown Minneapolis core, across from a bustling Whole Foods and next phase of urban development. The Towers continues to develop and improve and is an integral part of its surrounding community.
The buildings’ roofs serve as public spaces for residents, but a recent reserve study determined that the roof on Building B, the larger of the two structures, badly needed replacement. Upon further inspection, it was found that it was necessary that the roof be brought up to code on several key issues, requiring more work than originally planned.
THE FIRSTSERVICE RESIDENTIAL SOLUTION
On-site Association Manager Keith Myrmel CMCA, AMS of FirstService Residential, the community’s property management company, worked with the Board to coordinate the roof replacement project and manage the renovation team.
Additionally, an architect on the Board offered pro bono design planning services to the Association, which helped save significant funds. These services included designing a functional shared space for residents, complete with roof anchors, pavers, solar lighting, and sustainably sourced outdoor furniture. In addition, the plans included safety improvements and design details that masked unsightly roof mechanical equipment. Working together, the team accomplished the following:
Repairing the leaking parapet wall around the roof
Bringing the roof up to code by installing insulation and roof anchors
Adding “moveable” wood benches, planters and trash cans that enable access to the new roof anchors
Installing pavers both to protect the roof and enhance its cosmetic appeal
All roof renovations and upgrades are now complete, and what was once an area badly in need of significant safety and beautification measures is now a functional and inviting shared space with state-of-the art green technology and sweeping views of the Minneapolis skyline. In addition to the roof project, FirstService Residential has overseen numerous improvements to both buildings over the past decade, including renovating its Sasaki-designed courtyard and restoring its lobbies back to its original modernist style, while maintaining The Towers’ architectural integrity and enhancing residents’ lifestyles.