Honoring Minneapolis History at The Nordic + Sable + Loose-Wiles

North Loop Minneapolis, MN

Project Type: Commercial, Office, Residential

Sign Package: 3 buildings,- Nordic, Sable and Loose Wilde Tenant signage, directional signage, ​​LED Halo Illuminated Signs, Wall-Mounted Cabinets & Plaques, Monument Signs, Projecting Signs, Non Illuminated Letters, parking ramp

Industry: Commercial Property


The Nordic is a mixed-use building that combines office and retail in a modern warehouse aesthetic. United Properties built The Nordic as part of a three building project which also included the historic Loose-Wiles building and Sable, a new condominium building. 

United Properties has been partnering with Spectrum Sign Systems for over 20 years. They chose us to create signage for all three buildings that would honor the historical character of the building and meet the requirements of the historical preservation commission. 

To protect the historic look of this area, the city requires that the project, including signage, look as close to what it would have in that era. Working in historic districts can be complicated and time consuming due to paperwork and approvals. 

Since we have experience working in historic districts, our permitting professionals went to work researching the area. The process with the City of Minneapolis was quite collaborative and entailed meetings with a Minneapolis city planner and architect to go through the application process and discuss ideas. 

With all of the research information, the design team took into consideration other building signs in the neighborhood, the overall historic aesthetic of the area, and the requirements for a historical area. Requirements included restrictions on lighting, materials and size. They had to balance this with creating signs that would appeal to commercial and retail/office tenants and residents.

United Properties wanted several canopy signs which were not allowed per the HPC and would require a certificate of appropriateness. We dug through archives to find photographs of the area and were able to prove that canopies had been approved/used in the past. 

Along with the certificate, the planner had us request a number of variances and bundle it all into a development plan. We kept all of the signs within code size, and got approval for variances on quantity of signs, location of monument, sign types (individual letters / canopy signs), lighting, height of signs on the wall and elevations allowed to have signs. 

We pulled together a detailed sign plan and presented it during several meetings with the full HPC and the planner on United Properties behalf. During the meetings, we explained the project and the reason why we were requesting variances and a certificate of appropriateness. The HPC granted all of our requests. We handled this aspect of the project completely for United Properties.

This was the most involved permitting project we have worked on to date and took five months to complete and get approval. 

The end result?

Spectrum Signs created a sign package for all three buildings that preserved the historical area's charm, unique character and identity, were attractive to tenants and residents alike and were approved by the City of Minneapolis.

Project Highlights
  • Built in the Minneapolis historic district
    Worked collaboratively with the Historical Preservation Commission
  • Preserved the historical area's charm, unique character and identity
  • 5 month permitting and approval process handled by Spectrum Signs

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