In 1881 a small group of Minneapolis businessmen formed a syndicate and purchased a Nicollet Avenue lot between 5th and 6th for $77,500. The syndicate hired architect Frederick Kees and Burnham W. Fisk to design an ambitious retail and office complex. Work began on the project the following year. Kees went on to design the Minneapolis City Hall, the Masonic Temple, the Grain and Flour Exchange Buildings and the Loring Theater.
Completed in 1883, the Syndicate Block boasted 5 acres of floor space. Early tenants included the Minneapolis Club, Medical offices, The Fred D. Young and Company( later Young Quinlan) the Minneapolis YMCA, Heffelfinger Footwear, Minneapolis Dry Goods, and The Leader store. John Bradstreet’s custom furniture and interior design business took up six floors of the Syndicate Block before a fire ravaged the building in 1893.
In 1911 the southern corner of the building was destroyed by fire and replaced with a 6-floor Classical Style addition. The Leader Store moved their front door to Nicollet Avenue and renovated the lower facade in the 1930’s. In the middle of the last Century, J.C. Penny’s moved in and the entire building was covered in a beige and salmon metal panel facade. The building was demolished in 1989.