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.

Posts about Architecture

Historic North Loop building slated to become boutique hotel

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: September 4, 2014 - 12:44 PM

A Chicago/Milwaukee development duo is planning to convert the historic Jackson Building in the North Loop neighborhood in Minneapolis into a 120-room hotel with a restaurant/bar aimed at creating "an enclave for locals and appeal to travelers in search of an authentic, one-of-one Minneapolis experience."

The yet-to-be-named hotel could become only the second hotel in the North Loop is and is slated to be developed by a joint venture ( "300 Washington Avenue LLC") between Milwaukee-based Fe Equus Development, which developed the Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee, and the Aparium Hotel Group of Chicago, which will manage the hotel and restaurant/bar.

The dark red brick building has been a fortress-like presence at the bustling corner of Washington and Third Avenues since the very late 1800s and was at one time a farm implement showroom and warehouse. Even as the warehouses around it have been redeveloped, the five-story building has been vacant for years. Wayzata Partners was the most recent owner of the building, but their attempts to convert the building into 70 market-rate rental apartments failed and the building went back to the bank.

The 300 Washington Avenue LLC bought the 93,000 square-foot building at the end of July from MinnWest Bank for $4.6 million and is working with Twin Cities-based ESG Architects on plans for the conversion.To finance the project, the group plans to apply for historic tax credits, and says they've lined up a lender to finance construction. Plans have yet to be submitted to the city, but construction is expected to begin next year in time for a 2016 opening.

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'Twas the dog days of summer for Twin Cities home builders

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: August 29, 2014 - 2:44 PM

With home sales down and apartment development in a lull, home and apartment construction slowed considerably in the Twin Cities metro this month. During August home builders were issued 413 permits to build 532 units - a 50 percent decline in planned units compared with last year, according to data compiled by the Keystone Report for the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC). Here were the top-five cities for construction during August:

  1. Minneapolis: 83 units.
  2. Maple Grove: 40 units
  3. Blaine: 32 units.
  4. Woodbury: 26
  5. Lakeville: 21 units

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A first look at what could be the next new condo tower in downtown Minneapolis

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: August 28, 2014 - 12:47 PM

Here's a first look at the condo tower Jim Stanton of Shamrock Development wants to build at 8th St. and Portland Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. Stanton, always willing to take a chance, now owns the quarter-block site in the Eliot Park neighborhood just a couple blocks from the new Vikings Stadium where he plans to build a tower (designed by Oertel Architects Ltd in St. Paul) with about 15 floors and about 110 units.Though thousands of apartments are under construction in the city, only a couple solid proprosals have been presented. Stanton's plan has yet to make its way through the city and community approvals process, but Stanton is confident it will move forward this fall. He was the first developer to build new condos post-Recession in Minneapolis and the market responded favorably. At StoneBridge Lofts, which is along Gold Medal Park in the Mill District neighborhood along the Mississippi River, all but eight of the 164 units sold less than a year after the building was finished. Stay tuned for a full story in the Friday paper.

Construction up a whopping 71 percent in the Twin Cities metro last month

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: August 26, 2014 - 12:29 PM

With an abundance of construction cranes towering around the metro, this should come as no surprise: Construction contracts in the 13-county Twin Cites metro during July were up a whopping 71% percent compared with last year, accoriding to the latest McGraw Hill Construction report:

New student housing cooperative near U of M aims to offer more affordable rentals

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: August 25, 2014 - 1:17 PM

A new student housing cooperative near the U of M aims to offer a less expensive alternative to the hundreds of luxury rentals being built in the area, and to give residents more control of their community.  Riverton Community Housing starts construction Tuesday on its Fourth Street Student Housing Co-op, a six-story, 66 unit building at the corner of 13th Ave. SE and 4th St. SE in Minneapolis. The building, designed by UrbanWorks Architecture, will have first-floor commercial space, below-grade parking and a fitness center. There will also be a bike room with direct access to the street, bike storage and a bike repair station. The lobby will have a gathering space and an electronic message center to keep students connected.

Rents haven't been set yet, but a leasing manager for Riverton tells us that rents will be 10 to 15 percent less than the competition, and that there are no income restrictions.

Julie Snow, known for her sleek, modern designs, gets the AIA Gold Medal

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: August 22, 2014 - 3:36 PM

Julie Snow won the AIA Minnesota's Gold Medal, the highest award given to an individual member in recognition for her "lifetime of distinguished achievement and significant contributions to architecture."

Snow is the founding partner of Snow Kreilich Architects, which is based in the Art Deco Rand Tower in downtown Minneapolis. She's known for her distinct architectural designs for everything from Light Rail Transit stations in Minneapolis to the Port of Entry Station in Warroad, Mn. Her residential projects include glassy rural retreats, break-the-mold condominiums and apartment buildings and progressive energy-efficient houses.

 AIA Minnesota President Tom Hysell, AIA, and a member of the nominating jury, had this to say about her work:  “Her body of work has consistently exemplified the excellence in Minnesota design. Her graceful modernism—from elegant cantilevered spaces in oceanfront houses to the elegant rooflines of U.S. border stations—achieves simplicity that only comes from the highest rigor in design and attention to detail.”

Snow is a graduate from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. She lived and worked abroad for several years and has worked for several firms, including HGA, and taught at the College of Architecture at the University of Minnesota.

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