Chicago-based Joshua Taylor, VP of Marketing for Magellan Development, was in town recently to check out the progress of the company's first Twin Cities project, a 354-unit apartment building that's going to add an interesting punch to the downtown Minneapolis skyline.
Here' the latest scoop:
Anyone who lives or drives through the Highland Park neigborhood in St. Paul has likely seen the sad, but spectacular, ruins of Ford's former Twin Cities Assembly plant, an economic engine until its closing in late 2011. The oldest part of the plant, which dates back to 1925, have yet to be demolished.
Now, a group called the Save Our Ford Heritage Committee, which consists of retired autoworkers, local history supporters, United Auto Workers officials, car collectors, and others, will hold an open house featuring Ford memorabilia from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19.
The event will be held at the Hillcrest Recreation Center, 1978 Ford Parkway in St. Paul. The event is free and open to the public.
The group hopes to preserve the history of the plant by displaying artifacts and memorabilia including workers' badges, samples of glass that was manufactured on site, historic photographs, postcards and drawings.Several historic Ford books and postcards will be given away as door prizes for those who attend the event.
The group is also hoping to display historic Ford vehicles at the open house (outside, of course).
According to a news release, the purpose of the event "is to draw attention to the fact that we are in the final hours before the demolition of the historic buildings is completed, and that as of yet, there is no plan for preserving any part of the historic structure.
"It is hoped that this event will generate broader interest leading to the creation of a more-formal committee structure to work for a preservation solution," the group noted. (The city hopes the site will be redeveloped into a mixed-use development.)
The group is, at the very least, pressing to create a permanent display on site to note the plant's formidable history. "Ideally, this would be set up in a portion of the original, historic building, or perhaps in a new location on the site."
Janet Moore covers commercial real estate for the Star Tribune.
The U.S. Commerce Department released figures this morning showing that home builders across the country sought more permits during August than in any single month in five years, and that starts were up 0.9 percent on an annualized basis. (Here's a link to a complete story at www.startribune.com).
That national report doesn't include local data, but if you're wondering how builders are doing in the Twin Cities metro, follow this link to a story that I wrote at the end of August, which shows that while apartments represented more than half of all planned units in the Twin Cities for that month, requests for permits to build single-family houses during the first 8 months of the year were up 31 percent compared with the same period the year before.
- Jim Buchta, residential real estate reporter
On Thursday at 11 a.m. the Builders Association of the Twin Cities and the University of Minnesota's Cold Climate Housing program will unveil the Department of Energy Challenge Home, the first of its kind to be built the rigorous green standards set forth in the new DOE Challenge Home program.
The Cold Climate Housing program's Pat Huelman - he was also the Challenge Home facilitator - along with the home's builder, Amaris Custom Homes, will be on hand.
The house is #307 on the Parade of Homes Fall Showcase; it's at 1017 Oak Bluff Circle in St. Paul. Or click here for details about what makes this house special.
Just Listed: The sprawling 22,000 square-foot house that record producer, James "Jimmy Jam" Harris built on Lake Minnetonka is on the market, and could be the area's next mega tear-down - there's been spate of them lately - because of its unique style/floorplan and prime location on a 3.5-acre lot with 300 feet of Lake Minnetonka shoreline on Hardscrabble Point. The house, which was built in 1991, has a master suite with its own wing of offices, an indoor movie theater and a walk-in shower room.
Harris paid $420,000 for the land in 1987, built the house for $11 million and sold it a year later for $7 million. The house went into foreclosure and is now owned by JP Morgan Chase.
Scott and Candi Stabeck of Edina Realty have the listing. You can take a virtual tour of the house by clicking here.
If you have an interesting new listing, or have heard of one that you think our readers would care about, send me an e-mail. email@example.com
Apartments continued to dominate housing construction in the Twin Cities this month, though plans to build single-family houses far exceeded last year’s pace despite higher a recent rise in mortgage rates.
During August, metro area home builders were issued 494 permits to build 1,114 units, according to data compiled by the Keystone Report for the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC). That’s a 28-percent increase in permits, and a 24-percent increase in units over last year.
Multi-family housing, mostly luxury rental apartments, represented more than half of all new units planned for the coming months, though with rates on the rise and inventories of new and existing houses getting tighter, builders are seeing significant increases in demand for new houses.
“Because mortgage rates and prices have started to rise, our builders expect to see some additional sales from buyers trying to beat future increases,” said Pamela Belz, Builders Association of the Twin Cities 2013 president and developer with Senior Housing Partners.
Here's a link to the full report, and watch the Saturday paper for a complete story, including the latest mortgage rates.