Photos by Caitlin Abrams
The Nic on Fifth is the newest luxury apartment building in a city that seems to sprout another one every season. At Fifth Street South and Nicollet Mall, the 26-story Nic sits blocks from fellow luxe residences 222 Hennepin Apartments and Soo Line Building City Apartments, which opened in 2013. It welcomes its first residents on Friday, with many more to follow as the sawdust settles.
Construction crews with power tools are putting finishing touches on the light rail stop at the front door – soon to be the busiest station in the city when the Southwest light rail begins service. But in The Nic’s largest (and eponymous) top-floor penthouse, a sizeable balcony affords quiet, panoramic views of Minneapolis.
From various angles, you can survey the winding Mississippi, Nicollet Mall, the stands of Target Field, and the green roofs of Target Center and the Minneapolis Central Library. The contrast of being at once "in it all" and "above it all" is captivating. A modern-day Jay Gatsby would approve.
A view of Nicollet Mall from a 10th floor apartment.
Kitchens throughout the building come in white or espresso finishes and feature open-concept designs, with large islands overlooking the dining and living areas. This model is in "The Nic" penthouse, which contains three bedrooms and four bathrooms, and spans 2,791 square feet.
The espresso kitchen in "The Michael," a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment spanning 1,053 square feet.
Also in "The Michael," the kitchen looks onto a living room and balcony.
Room with a view: One of two bedrooms in "The Michael."
Nick Murnane, real estate manager at Opus Development Company, says the demographic is a mix of young professionals, baby boomers, and empty nesters. About 60 percent of the residents are older than 40, and many are shedding their longtime suburban homes to try out an urban lifestyle. Some are keeping their primary residences and residing part-time at The Nic in lieu of an up-north getaway home. “I’ve heard the words ‘urban cabin’ being thrown around,” Murnane says.
With three-bedroom penthouses renting from $5,000 to $9,000 per month, and the smallest studio or “alcove” units ranging from $1,300 to $1,600, price tags aren’t cheap. But neither are the amenities.
On the sixth floor, kitchen and lounge areas lead to an expansive terrace with a pool, spa, zen garden walking path, and series of outdoor lounge spaces.
A trio of Weber grills in the outdoor kitchen awaits resident grill masters, and the Fit on Nic gym houses elliptical machines, weights, a yoga studio, and several other methods for undoing all that grilling. On the same floor, a dog walking area has its own drainage system, and is heated for year-round comfort.
Those who don’t call The Nic home can still benefit from its presence: 24,000 square feet of retail space, "mostly service and food," says Opus Development Company president Dave Menke, will fill the first and second levels in coming months, including a restaurant and patio at street level. No word on tenants yet, but we’re guessing they’ll be tasty. 465 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-424-5384, theniconfifth.com