By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s a back-to-the-future makeover for the historic downtown building that was the original Dayton’s department store.

In its last incarnation, the downtown Minneapolis building was home to Macy’s, but the building will once again bear the Dayton name.

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Renderings unveiled Monday show a mix of food hall, retail and office space.

A seventh-floor terrace which has gone unused for generations will be transformed to an outdoor work and entertainment space.

The building will be known as the Dayton’s Project. The ambitious $250 million renovation seeks to capitalize on the architectural details of the original building and could provide a badly needed boost to a declining retail and restaurant scene on the Nicollet Mall.

The renovation has already let the sun into the historic space by uncovering windows shuttered for decades to keep shoppers from being distracted.

“It’s the beginning of the process of transforming the building from the introverted environment that it has become to one that engages to city and the outside as it was originally intended,” Brian Whiting, president of The Telos Project, said.

Plans include a food hall in the basement, street and skyway level retail shops with easy access for pedestrians, and large office spaces on the top nine floors. Office tenants will have access to amenities including a full service gym, a library and that seventh-floor rooftop terrace with seating, fire pits, work and entertaining spaces.

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The terrace, unused for decades, features stunning city views. As for the old wood-paneled JB Hudson space, developers are hoping to attract a restaurant.

Dayton family members, including Gov. Mark Dayton, have toured the site. The governor’s son Eric tweeted his support saying, “This is an important and exciting project for Downtown Minneapolis; I’m proud to have our name attached.”

City officials hope this project — as well as the completion of the nearly three-year Nicollet Mall construction — will lead the way for business to return downtown.

Steve Cramer, the President of the Downtown Council said,

“This one-two punch is going to be tremendous for our downtown and send a signal we are open for other retail and entertainment business along Nicollet,” Steve Cramer, president of the Downtown Council, said.

Gov. Dayton has not released a statement.

The office spaces are expected to be ready sometime next year, the retail and food hall are scheduled for completion by the summer of 2019.

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Negotiations with possible tenants are underway, but developers are not naming any names at this point.

Esme Murphy