ACEC/MN awards AET, ERA and Ryan Companies Grand Award for Downtown East

Jan 30, 2018

Photograph 6 Completed Project Site Commons View.jpg

On January 26, 2017, the American Council of Engineering Companies of Minnesota (ACEC/MN) awarded American Engineering Testing, Inc. (AET), Ericksen Roed & Associates, Inc (ERA) and Ryan Companies US, Inc. an Engineering Excellence Grand Award for the structural engineering of Downtown East in Minneapolis, MN.

Downtown East is the largest private project in recent memory for Minneapolis, revitalizing a long-forgotten commercial area. The 12.5-acre site consists of two 17-story Wells Fargo office buildings, a four-story Millwright office building, a seven-story Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) parking ramp, three multiple story residential buildings, a 4.2-acre city park called The Commons, a Radisson Red hotel and four new skyway connections.

Downtown East provides a healthy mix of businesses, restaurants and residential spaces that creates a vibrant setting both during the day and in the evening. The Commons, a sorely needed downtown amenity, is a public gathering place and frequently used by workers, pedestrians and residents for social outings and events. Throughout the course of the project, thousands of construction workers, engineering consultants and material suppliers were employed. Now completed, the development employs more than 5,000 employees.

ERA served as the structural engineer of record while AET provided geotechnical engineering and special inspection services for the massive project. The previous site use and planned design inspired collaborative engineering innovation across the project team. The history of the site is storied, including part of the site serving as the former home for the Star Tribune office building. When years of potentially contaminated soil was discovered on site, AET created a strategic approach to maximize the reuse of the soil and remove potential obstructions for construction. Open floor building designs created an opportunity for AET and ERA to develop a new method to construct level floors in a traditional structural steel frame building and the two large towers on the site brought more innovation in their foundation design.

A combination of sophistication, savvy and social capital allowed the project team to complete the highly complex development project. The collaborative, inclusive spirit guided the project from start to finish and resulted in a game-changing development the citizens of Minnesota can be proud of.

Media Inquiries:

Christine Wiegert, Marketing Director
(800) 972-6364

About American Engineering Testing, Inc.
American Engineering Testing provides geotechnical, environmental, construction materials, building forensics, petrography, chemistry, and nondestructive testing (NDT) services to public and private sector clients in a broad spectrum of industries. With upwards of 400 employee-owners, AET has a strong reputation as knowledge leaders in our fields of practice. Having its corporate headquarters in St. Paul, MN and over twenty offices throughout the United States, AET's skill set and technical expertise have developed connections that reach nationally and internationally to sophisticated clients in a variety of market sectors. 

About Ericksen Roed & Associates, Inc.
ERA (Ericksen Roed & Associates) provides full-service structural engineering for a broad range of facility types. We pride ourselves on being a team of knowledgeable professionals, working toward the common goal of providing our clients affordable structures that stand the test of time. As a highly relationship-oriented firm, we advocate for owner and client needs, always looking out for their best interest. Our highest priority is to meet scheduled delivery dates, provide quality documents and offer innovative design. ERA staff thrives on quickly and efficiently finding the best solutions for each of our client’s unique needs.