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.

Posts about Architecture

North Minneapolis developer seeks approval for mixed-use project

Posted by: Kristen Leigh Painter Updated: November 26, 2014 - 6:02 PM
Broadway Flats design renderings

Broadway Flats design renderings

The City of Minneapolis Planning Commission will consider on Monday a mixed-use development project in North Minneapolis that could bring 103 apartment units and ground-level retail space to the neighborhood. 

Dean Rose lost his third-generation family liquor store at West Broadway and Penn Av. in 2011 when a tornado tore through the intersection and is using that as an opportunity to take the block in a new direction.

“I think what happened with the tornado was a turning point for us,” Rose said. 
“There had been concepts we had discussed in the past, and so we started thinking 'What else can we do besides putting our business back together?'"

Rose said he started toying with the idea of a mixed-use project on the highly trafficed site eight years ago, but the housing crisis of 2007 -- which hit North Minneapolis hard -- thwarted those plans. 

Now, he said, “We are leveraging our insurance proceeds into rebuilding a project that is much bigger than what we lost.”

Private-dollar investments have been scare in the neighborhood, which is why Rose says his project is unique.

Affordable yet chic housing is a primary focal point of the project, called Broadway Flats. Rose said the neighborhood produces young talent who often go on to work downtown, but can't find housing suitable to their wishes back in their neighborhood.

He hopes to change that. 

“It was imperative to me that we provide a level of housing of the same caliber in the rest of the city and in the suburbs," he said. 

The complex will offer studio, 1- and 2-bedroom units for between $730-1,100/month, he estimates. 

“The amenitites that come with that affordable piece, underground parking, community room, bike lockers, bike storage and fitness facility,” Rose said. 

He hopes that the proposed bus rapid transit line will create energy and activity in the area that will draw young tenants and customers to the retail, especially if Broadway Flats receives the transit hub designation. 

If approved by the city, the site will offer 19,000 square feet of retail with his store occupying 9,000 square feet.

“My focus is certainly to see us go after a local restauranteur. We don’t have dry cleaner services on the Northside. I think that would be a wonderful fit," Rose said. "It’s designed so that we have flexibility to create spaces to meet the demand of tenants.”

There are several ideas he has but ultimately he wants to add a new service or type of retailer that's not currently offered in the neighborhood. 

ESG Architects designed the building and Rose hopes to break ground in February. 

Redecorate without leaving your computer

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: November 24, 2014 - 12:08 PM

If you read my story in the Sunday paper about Justin Spoelstra and the software application he developed that enables home builders and their customers to try out more than 30,000 custom paint colors, flooring choices and other decorating options, here's a look at how that software was used to offer a customer four variations on a model home built by Creek Hill Custom Homes. The company, by the way, is called Preferred Interactive.

New housing for Old Home building in St. Paul

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: November 21, 2014 - 2:10 PM

An Art Deco building with a stone carving of a young girl and boy—Mistress Polly Plump and Master Henry Husky - that once housed the Minnesota Milk Co. and Old Home Foods is being converted into 60 income-restricted apartments that will be known as Western U Plaza. 

The $16.9 million project is being co-developed by Sand Companies and the Aurora St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation (ASANDC) with help from the U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), the community development subsidiary of U.S. Bank, which invested equity raised from federal historic and low-income housing tax credits. The deal includes $10.5 million in tax credit financing.

The 101-year-old building, which is at 370 W. University Ave. next to the Western Avenue Light Rail Station is in the Summit University neighborhood, will become 18 apartments. A new three-story building next door will have 42 units, including studio, 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments. Seven of the apartments will be rented to formerly homeless individuals, who will receive support services such as employment assistance and health care, and the rest will be leased to people who earn less than 60 percent of the area median income. Monthly rents will range from $619 to $1,018.

“Western U Plaza will help fill a need for high-quality, affordable housing that also gives residents easy access to the new Western Avenue Station to reach jobs and services by light rail,” Vihar Sheth, senior vice president of USBCDC, said in a statement. “We hope Western U Plaza will give a little additional push to the redevelopment that is already underway in the Summit University neighborhood.”

Construction will be complete in September 2015. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1903 and updated in 1932.

Rochester to seek construction firm for Mayo Civic Center Expansion

Posted by: Kristen Leigh Painter Updated: November 20, 2014 - 5:24 PM

Mayo Civic Center Expansion Rendering

The City of Rochester is seeking a construction firm to build its $79-million Mayo Civic Center expansion.

This is just latest development in a recent flurry of infrastructure investment to the city's downtown area. Rochester plans to issue a request for proposals Friday, with hopes of beginning construction during the first quarter next year. 

The civic center will comprise more than 200,000-square-feet of event space, nearly doubling the size, once the planned expansion is complete.

A Grand Ballroom, 14 breakout rooms, renovation to the existing Presentation Hall and a widening of the Rochester Civic Theater are some of the additions. 

“The new space is specifically designed to meet the needs of today’s meetings and conventions, and to bring larger events to Rochester,” said Brad Jones, director of the Rochester Convention & Visitors Bureau, in a news release. 

Meanwhile, 85 miles west, Mankato Civic Center is also undergoing a $30-million expansion.


Twin Cities apartment sales nearing a record

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: November 20, 2014 - 10:40 AM

Trammell Crow execs, Johnny Carlson and Grady Hamilton, at Junction Flats the day after the deal closed.

Trammell Crow execs, Johnny Carlson and Grady Hamilton, at Junction Flats the day after the deal closed.

Twin Cities apartment buildings are trading nearly as fast as developers can build them. Last week we reported that Trammell Crow sold the Junction Flats in the North Loop neighborhood to Greystar, a national development company that recently built the sprawling Elan apartments in the Uptown neighborhood in South Minneapolis.

The big news this week is that the Opus Group sold the barely used 253-unit Nic on Fifth building in downtown Minneapolis for what's rumored to be a record price for a Twin Cities apartment building.

What's next? The 222 Hennepin development in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, including 286 luxury apartments and a 40,000 square-foot Whole Foods store, hit the market this week and is expected to close within the next few months. (Here’s a link to the listing.)

This flurry of deals represents an unusual moment for the Twin Cities apartment market, which is benefitting from steady declines in the homeownership rate and a better-than-average jobs recovery. National investors can't resist. Apartment building sales (based on volume) this year could set a record depending on when the 222 deal closes. Stay tuned for more coverage on this topic.

New offices, hotel, apartments proposed at West End development

Posted by: Kristen Leigh Painter Updated: November 19, 2014 - 11:11 AM

(submitted site proposal)

The West End development in St. Louis Park may soon undergo a significant growth spurt if a five-building proposal by Florida-based DLC Residential is approved. 

The developer is presenting its plans for two 11-story office buildings, a hotel, parking ramp and two multi-tenant residential buildings at the city's planning commission meeting Wednesday night. 

DLC hopes to purchase the 13.48-acre site from Duke Realty. The site straddles the St. Louis Park-Golden Valley border, with about seven and six acres in each city's respective boundaries. Duke received preliminary approvals in 2008 for the first of four office buildings it hoped to build on the land. Both cities granted Duke several extensions, but the company never applied for final approvals.

The West End Redevelopment area includes 49 acres of land at the southwest corner of I-394 and Highway 100. The mixed-use hub is now home to The Shops at West End shopping center, The Flats at West End apartments, the Moneygram and 1600 office towers, and several restaurants. The Millennium at West End apartment complex is currently under construction. 

If DLC gains both cities' approval, the site would see an additional 363 apartment units, 2,600 parking stalls, 150 hotel rooms and 706,000 square feet of office space.


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