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.

Minneapolis firm sells three downtown buildings to San Francisco company

Posted by: Kristen Leigh Painter under Buying Updated: May 4, 2015 - 10:34 AM

 

510 Marquette Ave. was one of three buildings Swervo Development Corp. sold to San Francisco-based Spear Street Capital on Friday, May 1, 2015.

510 Marquette Ave. was one of three buildings Swervo Development Corp. sold to San Francisco-based Spear Street Capital on Friday, May 1, 2015.

 

Developer Ned Abdul's firm has sold three downtown Minneapolis office buildings to Twin Cities newcomer Spear Street Capital for $87.5 million. 

Abdul's Minneapolis-based Swervo Development Corp. sold 510 Marquette Ave., 123 N. Third Street and 300 1st Ave. N. on Friday. Spear is based in San Francisco with holdings in the U.S. and Canada, primarily on the coasts. This sale marks its first Twin Cities acquisition. 

510 Marquette, located in the central business district, recently underwent a major redevelopment effort. Swervo purchased the building in 2013 for $6.7 million. The skyway-connected building was originally constructed in 1921 as the Minneapolis branch of the Federal Reserve Bank. 

The other two properties are red stone and brick buildings in the North Loop neighborhood.

“Our approach has been – and remains – to acquire, repurpose and hold our properties for the long-term. In this case, however, we were presented a very attractive unsolicited offer from one of the preeminent real estate investment firms in the country," said Swervo president Abdul.

The sale represents 10 percent of Swervo's portfolio.

266 riverfront apartments headed to St. Paul

Posted by: Jim Buchta under Architecture Updated: April 30, 2015 - 2:33 PM

A view of the project, towards the right of the rendering, from downtown St. Paul. Rendering courtesy of Bloomington-based Kaas Wilson Architects.

Sherman Associates is moving forward with plans to build a pair of apartment buildings across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Paul next to West Side Flats, which the company completed last year. The new buildings will bring an additional 266 apartments to the area, including 184 market-rate units in one building and 82 units - most of them for lower-income renters - in a second building. Sherman's 178-unit West Side Flats project has been 95 percent occupied over the past several months, emboldening the company to continue building in the area, which is near the intersection of Fillmore Avenue and Livingston Avenue, according to Tony Kuechle, a senior vice president of development for Sherman.

Kuechle said the company hopes to begin construction in early spring of 2016. The buildings will include some commercial space, including room for a 5,000 square foot restaurant with outdoor patio on the river and facing downtown. "[We're] talking with a couple of operators but nothing signed," Kuechle said.

The company recently completed a rental conversion project and owns several buildings in the city, but isn't pursuing any other projects in the area at the moment. The company has several housing projects underway in Minneapolis, including The Encore luxury rentals near Gold Medal Park in the Mill District and the Thresher Square block near the new Vikings stadium, which will include new apartments, a grocery store and a hotel in the historic Thresher Square office building.

A view of the project, towards the right of the rendering, from downtown St. Paul. Rendering courtesy of Bloomington-based Kaas Wilson Architects.

Home prices in the Twin Cites aren't rising as fast as the national average, and why that's a good thing

Posted by: Jim Buchta under Buying Updated: April 28, 2015 - 11:44 AM

House prices in the Twin Cities haven't been rising at the same pace as the national average (3.1 percent in the Twin Cities during February versus 4.2 percent nationwide), but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Here's why: In some parts of the country house prices are increasing faster than the national average, fueling fears that price gains in those areas are outpacing wage increases. In Denver, for example, the index increased 10 percent and in Miami prices were up 9.2 percent, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which measures changes in the price of the same the house over time. Take a look at what happened nationwide:

Two more Downtown Minneapolis high-rise apartments face city approval

Posted by: Kristen Leigh Painter under Architecture Updated: April 23, 2015 - 5:51 PM

Two more downtown Minnneapolis residential towers will present revised design plans to a planning commission committee next week. 

Opus Group, based in Minnetonka, is proposing a 30-story tower on the surface parking lot currently called the Ritz Block, located on the north end of Nicollet Mall. It would be the first of two towers and completed in separate phases. 

Michigan-based Village Green has changed the exterior materials since the developer's first design renderings. It is proposing an 18-story tower that would salvage the historic Handicraft Guild Building near the corner of Marquette Avenue and 10th Street. 

The Minneapolis Planning Commission Committee of the Whole will discuss both plans at its meeting on April 30. A city staff report mentions several concerns over the number of above-ground parking stalls in Opus' plans. Floors 2 through 5 would be a parking ramp with 369 stalls, which goes against the City of Minneapolis' efforts to minimize the number of downtown parking spaces.

Below are the latest images.

10th and Marquette:

10th and Marquette project renderings (source: Village Green, City of Minneapolis)

10th and Marquette project renderings (source: Village Green, City of Minneapolis)

10th and Marquette project renderings (source: Village Green, City of Minneapolis)

10th and Marquette project renderings (source: Village Green, City of Minneapolis)

360 Nicollet:

360 Nicollet Project renderings (source: Opus Group, City of Minneapolis)

360 Nicollet Project renderings (source: Opus Group, City of Minneapolis)

360 Nicollet Project renderings (source: Opus Group, City of Minneapolis)

360 Nicollet Project renderings (source: Opus Group, City of Minneapolis)

360 Nicollet Project renderings (source: Opus Group, City of Minneapolis)

360 Nicollet Project renderings (source: Opus Group, City of Minneapolis)

Downtown Minneapolis to get another luxury apartment building along Hennepin Avenue

Posted by: Jim Buchta under Architecture Updated: April 23, 2015 - 12:09 PM

Ryan Cos. and Shorenstein are working together to build a boutique apartment building with about 165 units on a surface lot at 100 Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.

San Francisco-based Shorenstein, a real estate investment firm, will be the owner and Ryan will provide construction and development services.

This site is sandwiched between the 222 Hennepin Whole Foods/luxury apartment project, which was developed by Ryan and recently sold to a Washington-based investor, and the Federal Reserve Bank.

The project will transform the block, which has a concrete parking garage that sits off center on the block, and a large surface lot. It'll have a low-rise apartment building that will face Hennepin Avenue and be slightly taller than the parking ramp and a narrow strip of land on the opposite side of the parking ramp along First Avenue will get a separate smaller building with several side-by-side walk-up units with tuck-under garages. There will also be retail along Hennepin Avenue at the corners of First and Second Avenues.

Renderings haven't been made public yet, Ryan presented its plans to a neighborhood group and will begin the municipal approval process immediately in hopes of starting construction before end of the year, according to Tony Barranco, Ryan's vice president of development, office and mixed-use in its north central region. Construction is expected to be completed in spring 2017 with average rents in the low $2 per square-foot range.

The Minneapolis and St. Paul Home Tour kicks off this weekend with 50 houses

Posted by: Kristen Leigh Painter under Architecture Updated: April 23, 2015 - 5:52 PM

The sure signs of spring have arrived: birds chirping, grass greening and waves of homebuyers filling up the market.

To satisfy the inquiring minds of hopeful buyers and home-improvement aficionados, the Minneapolis and St. Paul Home Tour will open the doors to more than 50 homes across the two cities this weekend, with an emphasis on historic homes, creative renovations, remodeling and urban landscaping. 

Added this year are two examples of homes rehabbed by the Inspiring Communities program, which was established by the Saint Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority in 2013. The program focuses on rehabbing clusters of homes located in neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by foreclosure and high vacancy rates.

The two Inspiring Communities homes are located across the street from one another at 689 and 688 East 4th Street.

The tour, now in its 28th year, was started by the City of Minneapolis to encourage people to not flee the city for suburban living. The City of St. Paul joined the cause and the tour the following year.

The home tour hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. 

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