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Look toward downtown Minneapolis from most directions, and it's hard to miss the Eleven riverfront condominium building, the new thin, tall, sleek white tower in the Mill District that sprouted from a former parking lot into the skyline.

The 550-foot-tall riverfront condo at 1111 West River Pkwy. (which is slated to roll out the welcome mat to residents early next year) will be the city's tallest residential building.

The 42-story tower with 118 residences — 17 of which are penthouses — should make its mark in more ways than one. Developers Ryan Companies and Arcadia aim to make the complex stand out for the lifestyle it offers as well as its design.

"It will be like living at a hotel, but without the hotel guests,"said Eleven listing agent Kevin Mullen of WMG Partner at Lakes Sotheby International Realty.

Starchitect Robert A.M. Stern and his internationally renowned firm Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA) of New York designed Eleven's blueprint.

The firm was selected because it has experience with high-end condo towers such as 15 Central Park West (New York) and One Bennett Park (Chicago), and also because it has a reputation for working in different building styles and complementing neighboring structures.

For their first Minnesota project, the team led by RAMSA partner/lead design architect Paul Whalen ultimately decided Eleven would have an Art Deco touch while keeping contemporary living in mind.

"It has this very intentional Art Deco style and arched windows that are true to the area and pays homage to the Stone Arch and historic [Southeast Steam Plant]," said Carl Runck, director of real estate development for Ryan Companies.

The result: a slender-looking building built of precast concrete with double-height ceilings and windows in a variety of dimensions. It also has a stepped-back crown on the exterior to create a shapely silhouette in the same vein as existing downtown landmarks such as the Rand and Foshay towers.

Stepping inside

Luxury living also means top-of-the-line amenities.

Eleven will be home to a 4,000-square-foot yet-to-be-named chef-driven restaurant. Residents will have a separate private entrance from the restaurant that enters off a motor court into a double-height lobby with arched doorways. A library, boardroom and 24/7 concierge service will be on the first floor.

In addition to what will become the tallest residential tower in the city, there are many firsts, said Mullen.

The seventh floor will feature a multi-use sports court for playing pickleball, shooting hoops and more.

"This is unique to Minneapolis in that there's no other residential building that has an indoor sports court," he said.

An amenities deck will offer a billiards room with a bar, pool table and golf simulator as well as a demo-style kitchen, formal private dining room and lounge areas.

The indoor entertainment areas lead to an expansive landscaped deck spanning 18,000 square feet. The outdoor space features lounge areas, a pergola, a 25-yard lap pool and a fountain that doubles as a splash pad because "we look at this building as multi-generational," said Mullen.

The placement of the deck on the eighth floor means no matter whatever future development occurs, there will still be views of the Mississippi River and Stone Arch Bridge.

That's because project partner Luigi Bernardi of Arcadia owns the building across the street, and an easement guarantees that anything built in the future can't be taller than the current four-story structure.

"The view of the city [from the Eleven deck] won't ever be obscured," said Runck.

Designs of decadence

Depending on what side of the building one resides in, views range from the Mississippi River and Stone Arch Bridge to Gold Medal Park and the Guthrie Theater to U.S. Bank Stadium and the downtown skyline.

On most floors, there are four to five condo units. The 1,600-square-foot units include two bedrooms and three bathrooms. Prices start just shy of $1 million and climb depending on the view, location and square footage of each unit.

There are three style options for these units, but the finishes — cabinets, countertops, flooring and lighting — are custom.

"No two units will be alike," said Martha Dayton, president and principal designer of Martha Dayton Design. Dayton and Peterssen/Keller Architecture designed two of the style options, while Stern's firm designed the third.

The Chelsea style features a modern look. "This is our most contemporary design with steel hoods and shelving that is more open," Dayton said. "The Chelsea was unique in how we played with black finishes. It made it more fun, forward-trending."

The Kenilworth is for residents who might want a more traditional, classic style of paneling and cabinetry.

Stern's firm designed a "transitional" style, in which details such as millwork and beaded edges are mixed with clean lines.

"It's not stark, and it doesn't go too traditional. It's warm, modern," said Dayton.

While custom touches are meant to make each unit unique, there are some features that the condos will have in common — long hallway entries, 8-foot doors, a minimum of 10-foot ceilings, high-end finishes and bathrooms with soaking tubs, walk-in showers and heated floors. In addition to the primary bedroom, the majority of units will have en suites off the second bedroom.

Each unit also will have heated, setback terraces that are a minimum of 14-by-14-feet to provide outdoor living spaces.

Penthouse in plural

Eleven also will be home to a whopping 17 penthouses,starting on the 34th floor. Most take up half of a floor and are "blank canvases that are 100% customizable," said Mullen.

Owners can hire architects and designers and work with Eleven's builder partners Streeter & Associates and John Kraemer & Sons.

Penthouses can be up to five bedrooms and come with at least 4,500 square feet of indoor space and two terraces. The units start at $4.5 million before the build-out.

And then there's Eleven's creme de la creme: a yet-to-be-priced duplex penthouse that takes up the 41st and 42nd floors and encompasses 10,200 square feet of indoor and 2,200 square feet of outdoor space.

So far, three-quarters of the units at Eleven have been sold.

And the team behind it hopes that since they are developing a residential tower with custom touches and many firsts, it will continue to draw those shopping for high-end, luxury real estate.

"We're offering homes with a personalized design experience in the sky," Mullen said.