Constructed in 1972, Gateway Tower has stood at the entrance to downtown Duluth for over 40 years. As the building’s aging facade and mechanical systems began to fail, a major renovation was needed to bring new life to the building. After years of planning, the occupied renovation started in December of 2016. Perhaps the most distinct improvement is the new exterior facade. Consisting of new insulation, windows, backup panel and metal siding, the new building envelope attributes a 40% average improvement in air sealing. Working with Duluth Energy, the mechanical engineer designed a new HVAC and domestic water system that allowed the existing system to remain in use while new equipment was installed. Another important design element allows the building to easily accept hot water in lieu of steam as part of a future Superior Street project.
The sitework started with a soil correction to remove the buried remains of the original train depot that sat on this site in the 1950’s. New sidewalks, curbs, asphalt, site lighting and landscaping provide a fresh new look as you approach the building. The new entrance off Michigan Street features a large canopy, storefronts and improved accessibility. New amenities include an exercise room, common area restrooms, management offices, community room, kids room and a mail lounge. Dated and tired finishes were replaced in the existing laundry room, corridors and 14th floor lounge that provides excellent views of Canal Park and the harbor. Less noticeable, but critical items, include roofing, elevator modernization, complete fire suppression system, fire alarm panel, makeup air unit, PRVs, waste/vent piping and an emergency generator. Renovation of the 150 dwelling units were completed in 7 months. This includes updated floor plans for the new kitchen layout and fully accessible upgrades to 8 units. All finishes were replaced including light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, flooring, doors and cabinets.