Just Listed brings you the latest news and information from the Twin Cities-area commercial and residential real estate market and beyond from veteran reporters Jim Buchta and Kristen Leigh Painter.

U of M picks Mortenson to build new Athletics Village

Posted by: Kristen Leigh Painter under Architecture, Vikings Updated: February 27, 2015 - 4:21 PM

The University of Minnesota has selected M.A. Mortenson to build its new Athletics Village, which will offer upgraded facilities for basketball and football, as well as academic resources for student-athletes. 

The Golden Valley-based development company is no stranger to sports complexes. Mortenson is currently erecting the new Vikings Stadium and ranks as the second-largest sports builder in the U.S. It's also currently constructing the new Atlanta Braves ballpark.

Other notable sports projects include local landmarks like Target Field, Xcel Energy Center and TCF Bank Stadium. The list is long nationally as well, including Coors Field in Denver (home of the Colorado Rockies), Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis (home of the Rams), the multiuse Sprint Center in Kansas City and many more.

Mortenson has been a front-runner in the competitively bid process from the beginning. The company conducted a cost analysis for the $150 million project and has a long history of doing business with the U.

Construction companies interested in the project had only three weeks to submit their proposals. Interestingly, earlier this month Mortenson appointed a new director of project development for its Sports Group, Logan Gerken -- a former Gopher basketball player and U of M graduate in architecture. 

Ultimately, the U cites Mortenson's extensive track record with sports facilities and work plan as the reasons for its selection.

"From the first day we shared plans for this project, we have been working against a very aggressive timeline to get these badly needly facilities built," said Norwood Teague, director of athletics at the U, in a statement. "Today's announcement is the latest point of progress as wel move toward providing our student-athletes with modern facilities that will help us fulfill our promise to help them achieve greatness in the classroom, in competition and later in life."

The U hopes to break ground no later than September and with a targeted completion date of July 2017.

Frappuccino factor: Proximity to a Starbucks helps boost Twin Cities house prices

Posted by: Jim Buchta under Buying Updated: February 27, 2015 - 11:23 AM

Several weeks ago we had a little item in this space about a national study from Zillow.com that said house prices near a Starbucks increase faster than houses near a Dunkin' Donuts shop. Now we have the local data, which shows that in the Twin Cities metro, homes within a quarter mile of a Starbucks appreciated 14.3 percentage points more than all homes in the metro between 1997 and 2013.

That data originally appeared in an excerpt from "Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate," Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff and chief economist, Stan Humphries, who attribute some of that increase to a tendency for Starbucks to locate their stores in relatively upscale neighborhoods. "Whatever the reasons—because they genuinely like drinking coffee, or because they see Starbucks as a proxy for gentrification—it seems pretty clear that people are paying a premium for homes near Starbucks," the authors said. "And furthermore, it looks like Starbucks itself is driving the increase in home values."

Here's the low-down for the Twin Cities metro:

Opus to move quickly on plans for Ritz Block, which includes 32-story tower

Posted by: Kristen Leigh Painter under Architecture Updated: February 27, 2015 - 12:16 PM

Rendering of Phase One, courtesy of Opus Development Co.

Opus Development's next downtown Minneapolis project, located on the surface parking lot across Nicollet Mall from the library, is picking up steam at City Hall. 

The plan has been in the works for a while, but is now gaining traction less than a month after the highly watched competition for the Nicollet Hotel Block, catty-corner from Opus' new site, captured the public's interest.

The latest plans show some minor tweaks to the Minnetonka-based developer's original vision for the site after the city requested more commercial, ground-level activity. 

"We’re excited to be continuing our history of enhancing downtown Minneapolis and to be building on the success of The Nic On Fifth with another luxury high-rise residential development on the Ritz block," said Dave Menke, president of Opus Development Co., in a statement. "We're currently working with the City through the approval process and look forward to sharing more information and updated plans in the coming weeks."

This mixed-use development includes two separate towers that will be completed in two different phases. Phase one's footprint will be more than 60,000 square feet and include a 32-story residential tower with 364 units, 12,000 square feet of ground-level retail and 430 parking stalls. The building will have a skyway across S. 4th. Street, providing a connection to Xcel Energy's second corporate headquarters tower, which Opus is currently building.

Renderings of phases one and two, submitted to the City of Minneapolis

Phase two is contigent on the market and could either be another 32-story residential complex or a 20-story office building.

Opus -- racing a plethora of other high-rise residential tower projects on the north end of downtown -- hopes to begin construction on Phase One this year, with completion in 2017.

For now, the project's environmental assessment worksheet, part of the city's due diligence process, will be available for public comment until April 1. The zoning and planning committee will discuss the staff's report and recommendation on April 23.

Project updates: New developments on two northeast Minneapolis high-rise apartment buildings

Posted by: Jim Buchta under Architecture Updated: February 26, 2015 - 6:48 PM

New developments on the Superior Plating site, and a tower proposed for the Nye's block - both in northeast Minneapolis:

Peter Chmielewski, vice president of development for Lennar Multifamily Communities, said the company made a down payment on the purchase of the Superior Plating site, and on Feb. 7 submitted its formal notice to proceed with its mixed-use development on a once-polluted site in northeast Minneapolis

The company hasn’t yet closed on the land, but expects to do so in the coming months and plans to start construction before the end of the year. In the meantime, “We are proceeding on this project at full speed as if we already own the land,” said Chmielewski. Lennar is making a big splash in the Twin Cities. In addition to the Minneapolis project, the company is developing luxury apartments in Edina and Bloomington. The two-block site at the corner of 1st and University avenues is being sold by an entity called First and University LLC, which recently completed a lengthy remediation project.

The site was the longtime home of Superior Plating, which vacated the premises several years ago. After proposals by several other developers, Lennar and the project designer, ESG Architects, got an enthusiastic endorsement for their plans from the Nicollet Island East Bank Neighborhood Association in January. The first phase of the project will include 253 luxury rental units, most of them in an 18-story tower, and 22,184 square feet of commercial space.

Also this week, the Nicollet Island East Bank Neighborhood Association board voted 13 in favor, 3 opposed and 3 not voting on a resolution to accept the recommendations of a task force that recently reviewed a proposed high-rise apartment tower on the site of the Nye's Polonaise Room. The project, which is a joint venture between the restaurant owners and Minneapolis-based Schafer Richardson, will include a 30-story apartment tower atop commercial space that will including two of the original Nye's buildings. An estimated 225 to 250 people attended the meeting, including many who are concerned that the height and scale of the project could have a negative impact on the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic church next door.

Project updates: New developments on two Twin Cities high-rise apartment buildings

Posted by: Jim Buchta under Architecture Updated: February 26, 2015 - 6:33 PM

New developments on the Superior Plating site, and a tower proposed for the Nye's block - both in northeast Minneapolis. Peter Chmielewski, vice president of development for Lennar Multifamily Communities, said the company made a down payment on the purchase of the Superior Plating site, and on Feb. 7 submitted its formal notice to proceed wit its mixed-use development on a once-polluted site in northeast Minneapolis The company hasn’t yet closed on the land, but expects to do so in the coming months and plans to start construction before the end of the year. In the meantime, “We are proceeding on this project at full speed as if we already own the land,” said Chmielewski. Lennar is making a big splash in the Twin Cities. In addition to the Minneapolis project, the company is developing luxury apartments in Edina and Bloomington. The two-block site at the corner of 1st and University avenues is being sold by an entity called First and University LLC, which recently completed a lengthy remediation project. The site was the longtime home of Superior Plating, which vacated the premises several years ago. After proposals by several other developers, Lennar and the project designer, ESG Architects, got an enthusiastic endorsement for their plans from the Nicollet Island East Bank Neighborhood Association in January. The first phase of the project will include 253 luxury rental units, most of them in an 18-story tower, and 22,184 square feet of commercial space. Also this week, the Nicollet Island East Bank Neighborhood Association board voted 13 in favor, 3 opposed and 3 not voting on a resolution to accept the recommendations of a task force that recently reviewed a proposed high-rise apartment tower on the site of the Nye's Polonaise Room. The project, which is a joint venture between the restaurant owners and Minneapolis-based Schafer Richardson, will include a 30-story apartment tower atop commercial space that will including two of the original Nye's buildings. An estimated 225 to 250 people attended the meeting, including many who are concerned that the height and scale of the project could have a negative impact on the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic church next door.

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