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.

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

Posted by: Jim Buchta under Architecture, Buying 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.

CBRE arranges loan for Woodbury development

Posted by: Janet Moore Updated: August 7, 2014 - 4:16 PM

CBRE Capital Markets said Thursday it has arranged a $12.4 million construction/permanent loan for Bielenberg Gardens, a grocery-anchored retail development in Woodbury.

The property is located across the street from the Bielenberg Sport Center, near the corner of Radio Drive and Bailey Road. It will be anchored by a 65,016-square-foot Jerry’s Foods grocery, a 6,269-square-foot Jerry’s liquor store and 12,300-square-feet of retail space.

The CBRE Capital Markets team said it secured the financing through its relationship with Omaha-based Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Co.

“Woodmen seperated themselves by providing a cost effective, interest-only construction loan followed by a long-term permanent loan that provided a fixed interest rate for both the construction and permanent loan,” explained Doug Seylar of CBRE.

The construction-permanent loan alleviated the interest rate risk inherent with separate construction and permanent loans, as well as the duplication of closing costs.

The sponsor, Jerry’s Enterprises Inc., was represented by CBRE’s Debt & Structured Finance group led by Seylar, Murray Kornberg and Scott Larson.

Artist paints unique billboard for baking company

Posted by: Janet Moore Updated: August 7, 2014 - 3:59 PM

After three days suspended above downtown Minneapolis, Andy Saczynski is now an official “walldog.”

Since Tuesday, the Florida-based artist has been hand-painting a billboard atop 930 Hennepin Av. for Immaculate Baking Co., a brand of scratch baking mixes and ingredients owned by General Mills.

The mural depicts the Minneapolis skyline in a colorful and clever way, although the 36-year-old mixed-media artist admits this is his first billboard — and that he’s afraid of heights. Or, he was afraid of heights.

“The first day I was a little shaky up there,” he said. “After two hours up there, I got pretty comfortable. I got my sea legs, I guess you could say.”

These days, billboards are usually digital or large-scale printing jobs. But at midcentury, it wasn’t unusually to see artists (or “walldogs”) scaling big buildings, paintbrushes in tow.

Saczynski’s work will be finished by Friday, and will remain on display throughout the month of August. He said he was approached after two of his works were selected for Immaculate Baking’s cookie and flour packaging, although his specialty is “assemblage art” using acrylics and found and recycled objects.

The billboard is intended to celebrate a new line of scratch baking mixes and organic ingredients for Immaculate Baking, which was purchased for an undisclosed amount by Golden Valley-based General Mills in 2013.

The billboard measures 40-feet by 18-feet and rises above the former National Camera Exchange building in the city’s entertainment district. The building has been vacant for a number of years, and is being marketed for sale by broker Neil Freidman of Minneapolis-based Jordan Realty.

Former State Farm site in Woodbury wins development approval

Posted by: Janet Moore Updated: August 7, 2014 - 2:43 PM

Woodbury city officials on Wednesday approved a plan to redevelop the former State Farm campus.

Florida-based developer Elion Partners, in a joint venture with Kraus-Anderson Cos. of Minneapolis, plans to redevelop the 100-acre site with offices, a Residence Inn hotel, banks, a high-end grocery store, restaurants and retail -- about 20 buildings all told.

The former 400,000-square-foot State Farm headquarters will be overhauled, as well. The insurance company moved into the building in 1994 and employed about 1,500 people there, but closed it 12 years later after moving operations to Nebraska.

The vote by the Woodbury City Council was unanimous, clearing the way for the 700,000-square-foot development that will be known as City Place. The property is strategically located at Interstate 94 and Radio Drive.

“The last 15 months have been a true testament of collaborative team work, and receiving this final approval is a reflection of a lot of hard work by many different people,” said Shlomo Khoudari, managing principal of Elion Partners, in a statement. He noted the project "has already awoken interest from corporate users."

Matt Alexander, Kraus-Anderson’s director of real estate development, said city approval was "the most important step in realizing the ‘work-play-live’ concept behind the development plan of City Place."

Kraus-Anderson expects to begin the site work on the multi-phased project later this fall, he said.

In May, a purchase agreement with TMI Hospitality was finalized to buy a site on the northwest part of the development for a 116-room Residence Inn hotel.

“The property sits at the gateway not only to Woodbury but to the entire metropolitan region, and has tremendous potential,” said Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens.

Home price gains now being driven by the jobs market

Posted by: Jim Buchta under Buying Updated: August 7, 2014 - 8:33 AM

Trulia's latest Trends report takes an interesting look at rents and house prices for the 100 largest metro areas in the nation. It shows some interesting shifts in the market. Namely, prices gains have moderated dramatically now that prices are being driven by wages rather than the rebound factor (investors and bargain shoppers). 

On the price side, for the first time in 26 months, no housing market saw an annual increase over 15 percent duing JulyOn the rental side of the equation, rents rose the most in markets that saw the strongest job growth. San Francisco was tops with a 14.3 percent gain, while the Twin Cities had a 3.4 percent gain - the 24th largest in the nation. 

Mortenson report: Construction costs continue to rise

Posted by: Janet Moore Updated: August 6, 2014 - 11:15 AM

All this construction in the Twin Cities comes at a cost. Literally.

Golden Valley-based Mortenson Construction, which is building the new $1 billion Vikings stadium and many other projects here and elsewhere, says in a new report that constuction labor, material and equipment costs have increased 5.1 percent year-over-year.

That compares with a 3.9 percent increase nationally.

This "confirms what Mortenson and industry economic experts have identified as an uneven recovery across the U.S. with widening inflationary gaps in construction pricing among regions," the report states.

Mortenson said it expect prices to increase by about 6 percent over the next year, as the economic and construction industry recovery continues.

This increase is highest among the six metro areas that Mortenson tracks, including Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix and Seattle.

Clark Taylor, chief estimator for Mortenson Construction, said in a statement, "There is a lot of activity in the market at the moment and it is fueling growth on a number of levels."

Categories in the Twin Cities that are increasing the most include: Earthwork, 5.4 percent; Steel framing/stairs, 3.9 percent; Gypsum board, 2.9 percent; Roofing systems, 2.9 percent and Electrical systems, 2.6 percent.

However, prices for HVAC systems, plumbing, structural steel, and floor/carpeting remain flat. The report alsoc cites Bureau of Labor Statistics data that shows strong growth in local construction employment -- double-digit growth.


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