Spectrum Signs Honors the History of Minneapolis at the Nordic



United Properties is a large, locally-owned developer who has been developing properties in the Twin Cities since 1916 and specializes in industrial, residential, office, healthcare, and retail development and management. United Properties has worked with Spectrum Signs doing signage forms, develop sign plans, and help with the tenant signage.

The Partnership

United Properties has been working with Spectrum Signs for over 25 years. This project is slightly different than previous installations because it was more collaborative than previous projects. The main reason for this collaboration was due in part to The Nordic being in close proximity to the Loose Wiles building, which was also included in the signage project. This meant for special consideration throughout the project, which is why there were so many parties involved. 

Usually in projects like this, the client would explain what they need and our team, in turn, would communicate the process for the project. Once that information has been gathered, our team would go about getting the information by conducting site surveys while meeting with the property managers. Lastly, all of the parties together would look at the sign options, as well as a breakdown of what the client was looking for and collaborate together in further detail.

The Challenges

Since the buildings were located in the Historic District, the city was and remains very restrictive with what signage is allowed, so Spectrum Signs had to take into consideration other building signs in the neighborhood and the overall historic aesthetic of the area. This made the project a little bit more involved for United Properties. Our team also had to be mindful of possible signage for this property because the space is commercial, residential, and retail.

One of the biggest obstacles Spectrum faced was the process of getting developments approved through the city. Since the project was going to be in the historic district of Minneapolis, our team was required to go through a special permitting process which was quite collaborative. During the city process, Spectrum met with the city to go through the application process and did our research about what the historic district used to be when it was originally developed. The goal was to preserve the history and integrity of the area, while still leaving the option open for new buildings to be constructed.

The Solution

By researching historical signage in downtown Minneapolis, Spectrum Signs was able to replicate an entire sign package for all three buildings that would not only be approved by the city of Minneapolis but would also resemble the neighborhood’s historical past. In order to gain approval for the sign, Spectrum worked alongside a city employee as well as an architect to ensure the design was approved by the city and all the paperwork was in order.

The Results

Besides the United Properties loving the new signs, having them outside of The Nordic building and retail spaces are garnering recognition. The new signs have also helped with parking and providing more direction for people who are driving around the building. One of their clients,  Thr33 Jack, is doing really well and the signage has brought a lot of attention to their business.

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Central Park Commons entrance sign, designed and built by Spectrum Signs