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

Just Listed: Senator built Minneapolis house with no shortage of 1904 glitz; you can have it for $240,000

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: February 5, 2014 - 1:28 PM

Sen. John Pauly, who also owned a cigar company, built this house for his family in 1902 in the Homewood neighborhood in North Minneapolis. The house, which is at 1407 Fremont Avenue, isn't short on woodwork. It also has stained glass windows in most rooms, art glass doors on cabinets and built-ins. There's an original mural above the paneling in the dining room - you can see that in the picture above - and stenciling and pocket doors. There's even a bell locator in the kitchen that will tell the maid when someone in another part of the house needs more tea. Deb Wagner of Greenway Homes Realty, 612-226-1479, has the listing. 

Twin Cities home builders off to a strong start

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: January 30, 2014 - 3:34 PM

Three new apartment buildings helped boost the number of new units planned for the Twin Cities nearly 40 percent during January, according to the latest permit data from the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC).

During January builders were issued 358 permits to build 1,059 units, a 51-percent increase over last year and the best start to the year since the housing bust began.

Rental housing, including the second phase of Mill & Main Apartments just across the Mississippi River from downtown Minneapolis and two buildings in Golden Valley and Eagan, represented 64 percent of all planned units. Most of the permits issued to build single-family houses were in Lakeville, Prior Lake and Woodbury.

Shawn Nelson, BATC's new president said while 2013 ended with more than 10,000 housing units permitted, that’s still well below the average new homes permitted in the Twin Cities throughout the 1990s. “A region our size should be able to support around 12,000 to 15,000 new homes just to keep up with household growth and replacement housing stock,” he said.

Here's a link to all the details.

After years on the market, a bidding war ensues and one of the Pillsbury mansions finds a buyer

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: January 21, 2014 - 4:20 PM

After several years on the market, the storied 23,000 square-foot Pillsbury mansion on Blaisdell Avenue in south Minneapolis has a new owner. NuWay Inc, a non-profit that helps people overcome chemical dependency issues, paid $1.2 million for the building and plans to convert it back into housing. The Renaissance Revival mansion had been built in 1913 for John Pillsbury Snyder and his wife, Nelle, who a year earlier were aboard the Titanic when it sank on April 14, according to the AIA Guide to the Twin Cities. Both were rescued aboard life boat No. 7. In later years the house was been converted to commercial use in the early 1960’s and had been used most recently by Pinecrest Inc as a commercial office and showroom space. Built in 1913, the house had been on the market for more than two years and originally listed at $2.9 million. Mark Hulsey, managing broker of RE/MAX Results Commercial, received multiple offer on the property. “Blaisdell is a very unique property with multiple potential uses,” said Hulsey. “It was challenging to sell since the whole property required significant capital improvements for many explored uses.”

Star Tribune photos by MARLIN LEVISON Russell Underdahl and his family owned the former Pillsbury mansion and used it as a business headquarters for Pinecrest Doors, which makes high-end custom doors, grills and shutters. The mansion was packed with antique furnishings and wild game busts that the Underdahls have spent years acquiring. In this photo, Russell Underdahl climbed the marble stairway from the main living quarters to the upstairs bedroom and study areas.

Star Tribune photos by MARLIN LEVISON Russell Underdahl and his family owned the former Pillsbury mansion and used it as a business headquarters for Pinecrest Doors, which makes high-end custom doors, grills and shutters. The mansion was packed with antique furnishings and wild game busts that the Underdahls have spent years acquiring. In this photo, Russell Underdahl climbed the marble stairway from the main living quarters to the upstairs bedroom and study areas.

 

Star Tribune photos by MARLIN LEVISON Russell Underdahl and his family owned the former Pillsbury mansion and used it as a business headquarters for Pinecrest Doors, which makes high-end custom doors, grills and shutters. The mansion was packed with antique furnishings and wild game busts that the Underdahls have spent years acquiring. In this photo, Russell Underdahl climbed the marble stairway from the main living quarters to the upstairs bedroom and study areas.

Just Listed: Irwin Jacobs hopes his 32-acre Lake Mtka estate will fetch $22 million

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: January 20, 2014 - 2:31 PM

Well-known Twin Cities businessman, Irwin Jacobs, is trying to find a buyer for his sprawling Wayzata estate, a can't-miss-it manse on a tree-studded hilltop along County Road 15 (Shoreline Drive) in Orono. The property includes a 13,000 square-foot brick main house with slate tile roof, a 3,500 square-foot guest house with two bedroom suites, a pool house, a barn and a gate house.

At $22 million, it's not the most expensive listing in the Twin Cities. Meredith Howell of Coldwell Banker Burnet has the $24 million listing for the Pillsbury/Jundt estate just down the street. That 32,000 square-foot-plus house is on 13 acres on Brackett's Point.

Co-listing agent, Bonnie Velie, director of Distinctive Homes/Previews division for Coldwell Banker Burnet, said that while the house is "the most classic of traditional homes, and you might expect a house of this era to be quite formal," it's also a highly livable house that with no shortage of casual areas.  The main house, which has been expanded several times, was built in 1939.

Jacobs, 72, is well-known for buying properties at rock-bottom prices and flipping them quickly for a profit. Not so in this case. Jacobs has lived in the house for more than 40 years, and Velie said that with adult grandchildren, Jacobs is hoping to downsizing to a house that is "less complicated to maintain."

Jacobs feels that the time is right to find a buyer, especially with the pace of upscale houses on the rise. By October of last year sales of  $1 million-plus properties had outpaced the previous year before by a long shot. And with housing construction on the rise, especially in closer proximity to downtown Minneapolis, there's a growing shortage of developable land. Because of that, this 32-acre property, which has 720 feet of shoreline on Smith's Bay and 1,231 feet along Tanager Lake, might appeal to a developer for subdivision. Here's a link to the listing.

Remodeling activity expected to double by mid-summer

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: January 16, 2014 - 12:50 PM

With house prices on the rise, homeowners are expected to ramp up spending on everything from sump pumps to shingles during the first year, according to a new Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) report released today by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

The double-digit gains in annual home improvement spending projected for the first half of the year should moderate some to just under 10 percent by the third quarter. Here's what Eric Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center, had to say aobut what's driving the trend:

“The ongoing growth that we’ve seen in home prices, housing starts, and existing home sales is also being reflected in home improvement activity,” he said. “As owners gain more confidence in the housing market, they are likely to undertake home improvements that they have deferred.”

At $3.8 million, no buyers for 'Jimmy Jam house,' so it's headed to auction block

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: January 14, 2014 - 2:09 PM

The house that's unofficially known as the "Jimmy Jam house" is headed to the auction block. The 22,000-plus square-foot house on Hardscrabble Circle went into foreclosure (Jam was NOT the previous owner) and has been on the market for four months. Listing agent, Scott Stabeck of the Stabeck Group at Lakes Sotheby's Realty in Wayzata, said that although the one-of-a-kind house (some say it would sell faster if on a California cul-de-sac during the early 1990s) has been a hot ticket for house shoppers - there were nearly 40 showings and two serious, but unsuccessful offers during those four months - JP Morgan/Chase has now decided it's time to get rid of it, and quickly.

The house that's unofficially known as the "Jimmy Jam house" is headed to the auction block. The 22,000-plus square-foot house on Hardscrabble Circle went into foreclosure (Jam was NOT the previous owner) and has been on the market for four months. Listing agent, Scott Stabeck of the Stabeck Group at Lakes Sotheby's Realty in Wayzata, said that although the one-of-a-kind house (some say it would sell faster if on a California cul-de-sac during the early 1990s) has been a hot ticket for house shoppers - there were nearly 40 showings and two serious, but unsuccessful offers during those four months - JP Morgan/Chase has now decided it's time to get rid of it, and quickly.

"People are intrigued by the house, and it will obviously be a deal," said Stabeck. "The land is worth $3 million alone, so it will basically be a free house."

The bank has hired Hudson & Marshall, a Dallas-based auction company, to work with Stabeck to host an on-site auction on Thursday, February 6. Bret Richards, sale manager for Hudson & Marshall (here's a link to the auction flyer), said that there is a reserve amount, but that's not public.

"The goal is not to give the property away, but to sell it at a fair price," said Richards.

What's fair will be determined by the bank that owns the house, and prospective buyers will have to arrive with a $2,500 cashier's check just to bid. The house will be sold as-is and there will be no financing contingencies allowed. The house is now listed at $3.8 million, but most recently sold for $7 million in June 2007. Its estimated market value is $6.4 million and annual property taxes alone are $95,000.

So here's a little more about the house: It is on 3.5 acres with 300 feet of Lake Minnetonka shoreline and has a 12-car garage, seven bedrooms and a sprawling home theater. The auction will be Thursday, February 6 at noon at the house. But there will be two open houses on February 1 and 2 from 1 to 3 p.m.

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