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 Janet Moore.

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2,000 new apartments in the Twin Cities not enough to stoke vacancy rates

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: August 13, 2014 - 1:12 PM

The 7West Apartments near the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis has been leasing ahead of projections. Staff Photo by Jerrry Holt

Nearly 2,000 new apartments hit the market in the Twin Cities metro so far this year, but there were plenty of renters to fill those spaces. The average vacancy rate in the metro during the second quarter was 2.7 percent compared with 2.6 percent during the previous quarter and 2.3 percent last year, according to a second-quarter report from Marquette Advisors.

Most of those new units were upscale luxury apartments, boosting the overall average market rent to $1,004, a 2.6 percent year‐over‐year increase.

All eyes have been on downtown Minneapolis, where 601 new units - or 30 percent of all new construction - hit the market during the first half of the year, boosting the average vacancy rate to 5.7 percent from 5 percent during the previous quarter and 3 percent a year ago.

Looking forward, another 1,000-plus units are expected to come online during the last half of 2014, followed by more than 800 during 2015. We're working on a full report on this topic for the Thursday paper.

World's most expensive house hits the market in Hong Kong

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: August 8, 2014 - 11:43 AM

At almost $23,000 per square feet, this house in Hong Kong is reputed to be the world's most expensive house on a per square foot basis. The property is in the Twelve Peaks subdivision in the exclusive Victoria's Peak neighborhood. At nearly $106 million, it's not the most expensive house on the market in the world - that distinction belongs to a house in London.

The house has 4,661 square feet, including four bedrooms, a private pool, garden, rooftop terrace and a two-car carport. To see the house, click here.

Housing construction in the Twin Cities revs up in July

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: July 31, 2014 - 1:09 PM

Home builders picked up the pace this month. Twin Cities builders were issued 443 permits to build 903 units, according to the Builders Association of the Twin Cities. Half of those units (a single permit can be issued to build multiple units) were rental apartments and other kinds of multi-family housing.

Both permits and the number of units were up considerably from last year, but the number of planned units was down slightly from the previous month. The report comes after a quieter June report, but such volatility is common from month to month.

Here's a link to the full report with all the numbers.

New details emerge on three key downtown Mpls housing developments

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: July 29, 2014 - 6:51 PM
The proposed 40-story tower by Alatus. Rendering by Humphreys & Partners Architects

The proposed 40-story tower by Alatus. Rendering by Humphreys & Partners Architects

It's going to be an interesting night at the Minneapolis City Planning Commission's Committee of the Whole meeting Thursday. Developers will be releasing a bevy of interesting new details on three high-profile housing developments planned for in and around downtown.

  • One of the juciest tidbits that will be discussed is the expansion of a previously discussed plan for a high-rise residential tower. Bob Lux and the team at Alatus will present plans to build a 40-story residential tower at the corner of Central Ave and 2nd St SE across the river from downtown Minneapolis. Original plans called for a 25-30-story tower. This one calls for a tower with about 325 "residential units" (Lux hasn't committed to apartments or condominiums) adjacent to the existing St. Anthony parking ramp. The existing Washburn-McReavy Funeral Home and St. Anthony Athletic Club would be demolished. An earlier plan called for retaining part of the Washburn-McReavy building and relocating it elsewhere on the site.
  • Curt Gunsbury and Robb Miller, the folks who brought you 7West and the Soltva apartments are whipping up plans for a 24-unit luxury condominium building next to the Garr Scott Lofts building at 602-606 N 1st St in the North Loop. Because the project is within the St. Anthony Falls and Warehouse historic districts and would require demolition of two buildings, the project requires feedback from the Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) and the City Planning Commission (CPC). The 8-story building would have two levels of underground parking and would be only the second condominium building in Minneapolis to break ground. The project is being called the 602 Condominiums and would require a handful of conditional use permits and variances, including permission to increase the height of the building from 6 stories (84 feet) to 8 stories (90 feet).
  • Sherman and Associates is moving forward on its plans for the second phase of a project that was originally proposed in 2006. Instead of building a 103-unit condo building as originally proposed, Sherman plans to build a 122-unit, 12-story luxury apartment building with three levels of underground parking on the block bounded by Washington Avenue and 2nd Street South between 9th and 10th Avenues South next to the 64- unit Zenith condominium building and the Aloft Hotel.

It's 'aloha' for Twin Cities-based Artspace

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: July 28, 2014 - 2:40 PM

After six years in the making, Twin Cities-based Artspace received word that its first off-shore project is one step closer to reality.The nonprofit real estate developer, in partnership with Honolulu-based PA’I and Honolulu-based HKI, plans to build the Ola Ka ‘Ilima Artspace Lofts, a mixed-use arts development that includes 84 units of affordable housing live/work housing for artists and their families, space for other non-profits and gathering space for community events.

The Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC) approved the Artspace request for low-income housing tax credits to help finance the $38 million project, which will be located in the Kaka’ako neighborhood of Honolulu.

"The HCDA has been following this project for over a year now, and we're excited that it's one step closer to providing much needed housing for lower income groups," said Hawaii Community Development Authority Executive Director, Anthony Ching.

The tax credit brings $17 million in upfront equity to the project’s capital budget, enabling Artspace to focus on the final phase of fundraising. Construction is expected to start in 2015.

Just Listed: The nation's 12 largest condominium listings

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: July 22, 2014 - 9:51 AM
This 14,260 square-foot condo near the top of Trump Tower in Chicago is on the market for $32 million.

This 14,260 square-foot condo near the top of Trump Tower in Chicago is on the market for $32 million.

As part of my reporting for a story in the Tuesday paper about a record-breaking $8 million Minneapolis condo that hit the market recently, I asked Zillow.com to scour the national listings in search of the biggest condos on the market. The Minneapolis unit, by the way, is the 12th largest in the nation, and it's interesting to note that the biggest units aren't the most expensive.

  1. 20,000 sqft, Miami Beach, FL – http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/605-Lincoln-Rd-Miami-Beach-FL-33139/2106486697_zpid/
  2. 17,868 sqft, Morgantown, WV – http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1701-Waterfront-Pl-Morgantown-WV-26501/2107397160_zpid/
  3. 15,768 sqft, Honolulu, HI – http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2500-Aha-Aina-Pl-LOT-B-Honolulu-HI-96821/2107991513_zpid/
  4. 15,691 sqft, Las Vegas, NV – http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/9101-Alta-Dr-UNIT-1801-Las-Vegas-NV-89145/79878576_zpid/
  5. 15, 434 sqft, New York, NY – http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/10-West-St-New-York-NY-10004/61965199_zpid/
  6. 14,260 sqft, Chicago, IL – http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/401-N-Wabash-Ave-UNIT-89A-Chicago-IL-60611/113952385_zpid/
  7. 14,000 sqft, Sunny Isles Beach, FL – http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/17001-Collins-Ave-APT-4904-Sunny-Isles-Beach-FL-33160/92441535_zpid/
  8. 13, 528 sqft, Marco Island, FL – http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/970-Cape-Marco-Dr-UNIT-2506-Marco-Island-FL-34145/63473338_zpid/
  9. 12,370 sqft, Dallas, TX – http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3505-Turtle-Creek-Blvd-E-Dallas-TX-75219/2105973405_zpid/
  10. 13,842 sqft, Naples, FL – http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/4101-Gulf-Shore-Blvd-N-N-PH1-Naples-FL-34103/60549581_zpid/
  11. 12,050 sqft, Naples, FL – http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/4101-Gulf-Shore-Blvd-N-PH-2-Naples-FL-34103/60541852_zpid/
  12. 11,777 sqft, Minneapolis, MN -- http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/222-2nd-St-SE-APT-1701-Minneapolis-MN-55414/101655481_zpid/

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