Project Highlights
  • Largest historic preservation project in MN
  • Adaptive reuse of a 1901 department store into modern mixed-use development
  • Provides revitalized street and skyway level public amenities to energize the Minneapolis Central Business District

The Dayton’s Project, located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, is the historic restoration and repositioning of the century-old former Dayton’s department store into a modern mixed-use office and retail center. Extensive preservation efforts inside and out were seamlessly paired with new modern amenities and sustainable, energy efficient building systems. Originally constructed in 1901 from wood, steel, cast-iron, brick and stone, the five-story building underwent 16 major additions of varying concrete systems between 1910 and 1963 to reach its current height of 12 stories. The historic façade, plaster ceilings and priceless architectural details were preserved throughout while the structure was renovated and repositioned for new offices and mixed-use retail highlighted by a new food hall. Totaling 1.2 million square feet, The Dayton’s Project represents one of the largest historic renovations in the country.



reference mock-ups ensured quality


office/retail space in the Twin Cities


53 obsolete escalators
Service Provided
  • Structural Engineer of Record


“The Dayton’s Project stands out as one of the largest and most complex projects in my 30+ year construction career. Engineering excellence was on full display as MBJ balanced historic preservation and structural reinforcement efforts with new engineering solutions.”

Don Kohlenberger, President, Hightower Initiatives, Owner’s Representative


MBJ’s engineers solved five key structural engineering objectives that contributed to the project’s success including 1) replacement of the existing MEP infrastructure with energy efficient building systems, 2) modification of vertical movement (stairs, elevator, escalators), 3) renovation of the historic façade and roof, 4) new floor openings for visibility and circulation, and 5) new rooftop terrace and outdoor amenities. We created multiple 3D structural Revit models to effectively communicate with the owner and project team. These models were visual tools and especially helpful during demolition and construction. Extensive demolition and large floor openings of multiple existing floors was performed. Demolition included the removal and recycling of 53 obsolete escalators and as a result, significant infilling and structural reinforcing was required. Through comprehensive preservation efforts, the Dayton’s Project was named to the National Register of Historic Places. Original elevator doors, and other building hardware, lighting fixtures, railings, and floor tiling were restored along with the intricate crown molding.

The team structurally reinforced the existing roof infrastructure to add a new indoor winter lounge and outdoor summer terrace complete with a green roof, seating, and a separate bar area atop the original building. The Dayton’s Project is the perfect blend of old and new. Extensive preservation efforts inside and out were seamlessly paired with new modern amenities including new HVAC systems, new wellness center, sitting area, and rooftop comforts.


Minneapolis, MN



Construction Cost:



601w Companies, Telos Group, United Properties