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Photos: First look at plans to replace Nye's with 29-story tower

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Architects have revealed plans for a 29-story tower to replace historic Northeast Minneapolis bar Nye's Polonaise, which is closing this summer.

A proposal to build a tower with 189 apartments, under- and above-ground parking, and street-level retail space will go before the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission next week.

Two of the existing buildings will be saved. The plans show the three-story, 110-year-old "Harness Shop," currently home to the Chopin Dining Room, will be moved 30 feet to the west and join the bar building on the corner of the lot.

But gone will be the distinctive funnel-shaped entrance of Nye's that currently separates the two buildings on East Hennepin Avenue.

According to the plans, there will be 6,500 square feet of retail space on ground floor level, on East Hennepin Avenue and Second Street, as well as one level of underground parking and five levels above ground.

The Star Tribune reports the plans from Twin Cities-based Schafer-Richardson and restaurant owners Rob and Tony Jacob have been met with concern by the adjacent Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, which expressed concerns about shadowing and blocked sight-lines in the neighborhood.

MPR notes the plans cleared their first hurdle this week, being given the tentative approval of the neighborhood's group task force.

The decision to close Nye's and replace it with apartments has prompted the creation of a protest group to save the venue, which currently has more than 8,700 followers on Facebook.

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