Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis, population 382,618 (2000) takes understandable pride in its historic buildings and its Heritage Preservation Commission has designated 165 individual historic structures and 12 historic districts.  The City uses TDR to promote the preservation and rehabilitation of historic landmarks.

The TDR program in Minneapolis preserved the Handicraft Guild Building, the 1906 landmark shown here.

Sending sites are buildings designated as historic or eligible for designation as a historic structure. The transferable floor area is the difference between the gross floor area of the historic structure existing on the sending site and the amount of development possible under the zoning code. Up to four transfers can occur from a single sending site. If the sending structure is not a designated historic structure, after a transfer occurs, it will nevertheless be subject to the same restrictions as a designated historic structure as well as the recommendations in the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

Receiving sites must be located in the downtown. A transfer cannot result in the destruction of a designated historic structure or a structure eligible for designation. The transferred floor area allows the maximum floor area possible under the zoning code on the receiving site to be exceeded by up to 30 percent unless the sending and receiving sites are adjacent. When the sending and receiving sites are adjacent, they can be treated as a single zoning lot. Once a transfer occurs, a construction permit cannot be issued for the receiving site until the historic structure at the sending site is rehabilitated according to the guidelines of the City Heritage Preservation Commission and the Secretary of the Interior’s Guidelines.

In reviewing an application for transfer, the Planning Director may require additional conditions needed to protect the public interest or ensure compliance with the zoning code and the comprehensive plan. The Planning Director’s decision on applications for transfer is final but can be appealed to the City Planning Commission.

The City reports that the TDR process was used to preserve the Handicraft Guild Building at 10th and Marquette in downtown Minneapolis. This building was designed by William Channing Whitney and built in 1906.