Twin Cities-based Artspace, a non-profit housing developer for artists, is celebrating the completion of the first new building in downtown Minot, North Dakota in 30 years. Artspace Lofts is a four-story, 34-unit mixed-use building that includes a gallery where the Turtle Mountain Tribal Arts Association will exhibit and sell work by Chippewa, Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara and Sioux artists, including regalia, beadwork, quillwork and baskets. Other tenants include the Children's Music Academy of Minot, which specializes in music education for kids, and the Minot Area Council of the Arts.
Why Minot? The oil boom has reduced the supply of affordable housing in the area and the problem was compounded by the 2011 floods, which severely damaged more than 4,000 homes.
If you're up for the driver, the Minot Artspace Lofts grand opening is Friday with an opening talk at 3 p.m. and a "wine walk" that will start at 5 p.m. There will be free entertainment and refreshments, and the event is open to the public. Plus, you'll have a chance to tour several of the artists' live/work spaces. The event is sponsored by National Equity FundTM and Wells Fargo.
Click here for more information about the project.
Construction started this week on 71 France, a high-end apartment complex next to the Byerly's store in Edina. At a groundbreaking ceremony at the site, Minneapolis developer, Schafer Richardson, investment partner, IRET, were on hand to turn some dirt. Details about the project:
U.S. home builders are clearing feeling more confident this summer. A monthly measure of the health - and confidence of builders and new home buyers - exceeded expectations during June. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) rose four points to 49, only one point shy of the threshold for what is considered good building conditions.
“After several months of little fluctuation, a four-point uptick in builder sentiment is a welcome sign and shows some renewed confidence in the industry,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “However, builders are facing strong headwinds, including the limited availability of labor.”
Here's how the survey works:
Builders rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for various components are used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.
Here's how all three index components performed this month:
Krista Wolter and Kathryn Kennedy of Coldwell Banker Burnet just listed this brick Victorian Queen Anne mansion along St. Paul's Summit Avenue. Here's what you need to know:
Here's a quote from Sheila Moar, who moved to the house with her husband more than 30 years ago from New York City:
"For all these years, this has been our only family home. We have loved this home for our family life, but for all the entertaining we like to do from small groups to holiday parties for over 100 people.... we have thoroughly enjoyed living in this home, raising our children from babies to grown adults now, who are 30 and 27 years old and live out-of-state. We have celebrated many birthdays, had beautiful 12 foot Xmas trees every year, had parties with multiple lst-floor fireplaces going all at once, thrown every kind of party, big and small, for our family and friends. We believe that this house should be shared with as many people as possible, as we have heard over and over again from so many, that this is their “favorite” home on Summit Avenue."
For a slide show and virtual tour of the house, click here.
More student housing is heading to Dinkytown. A developer has made a proposal to the Minneapolis planning commission's committee of the whole seeking to demolish the Riverton building at 1227 4th St. SE in Minneapolis and replace it with a six-story apartment building with 66 apartments and ground-floor commercial space. The plan requires rezoning of the property and a setback, signage and parking variances.
The site is near the popular Varsity Theater and is next to the Chateau, a student housing high-rise. The project is being pursued by the company that owns the Chateau. The proposal comes in the midst of a student housing boom, with several upscale buildings being proposed and under construction. What's next? The proposal will be reviewed on Thursday. Click here for a peek at how it'll look.
Housing construction in the Twin Cities this month has failed to keep pace with last year, but after five months builders are on pace to match last year. That's according to a new monthly report from the Builders Association of the Twin Cities, which said that there were 421 permits issued for a total of 519 units during four comparable weeks in the month of May, 2014. That was a 7 percent decline in permits and a 33 percent decline in units.
Year-to-date, permits are down by a bit over one percentage point, while total units permitted in 2014 were just 1.2 percent higher than at this point last year. So far this year builders were issued 1,855 permits for a total of 3,332 units.
BATC officials attribute the monthly lull to a tough winter and a decline in apartment construction for the month.
“The housing recovery has not been able to get momentum yet this year,” said Shawn Nelson, Builders Association of the Twin Cities 2014 president and president of New Spaces. “The incredibly bad winter weather slowed construction, financing is still tight for consumers—particularly first time buyers—and the impact and uncertainty surrounding the Governor’s mounting regulatory proposals, such as the billion-dollar home indoor sprinkler mandate, are providing significant challenges for consumers and builders."
The most active cities for May: