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

Home by John Howe, Frank Lloyd Wright's draftsman, for sale in Golden Valley

Posted by: Kristen Leigh Painter Updated: October 29, 2014 - 5:05 PM

(photo: Matt Dahlman/Red Pine Photography)

Nearly everyone knows about architect Frank Lloyd Wright, but few are familiar with his chief draftsman, John Howe, who designed more than 80 structures in Minnesota, including a Golden Valley home that was put up for sale this week.

The property at 601 Meadow Lane South is still in its orginal form having never undergone renovations. The realtor says it is in need of updating, but highlights the opportunity the house presents for someone interested in working with its uncorrupted design. 

Howe built it in 1969 closely following the PrairieMod design priciples:

  • form is function
  • bring the outside in
  • think natural

This contemporary house is blended with the surrounding landscape and is nearly invisble from the road. These intentional design elements reflect Prairie School-style architecture that is marked by horizontal lines, cantilevers and an emphasis on craftsmanship meant to imitate the Midwest's native prairie landscape. 

Only two owners have ever occupied the house. The current seller has lived in it for the last 31 years.

First look: Velo apartments in downtown Minneapolis

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: October 24, 2014 - 11:08 AM

Just Listed got a private tour of one of downtown Minneapolis’s newest apartment buildings, and this one has a theme: Vélo, the shortened version of the French word “velocipede,” or bike, and also the last name of a famous Italian cyclist, Marco Velo.  As you’d expect, the building is chock full of amenities for those with a fondness for their two-wheelers. That includes a bike repair room with tire pumps, tools and a work bench. There are three heated bike garages with assigned spaces. And the building has no shortage of cycle-themed art. Also worth noting:

  • The building has 101 units with 13 floor plans, with studios renting fastest. It is now 70 percent leased and about a third of the residents are new to the Twin Cities.
  • It also has a massage room, shuffleboard game, outdoor sun showers, and bocce court.
  • Despite the bike-centric amenities, the building has 1.2 parking spaces per unit in two levels of underground parking.
  • Oh, and you’ll never starve. Red Cow Restaurant and Bar — known for its gourmet burgers — will be opening on the building’s ground floor early next year.
Shuffleboard anyone? Builder owners, Paola and Luigi Bernadi of Sentinel Management and Aurora Investments; site manager, Amanda Kelzenberg and Nick Murnane, real estate manager for Opus Development.

Shuffleboard anyone? Builder owners, Paola and Luigi Bernadi of Sentinel Management and Aurora Investments; site manager, Amanda Kelzenberg and Nick Murnane, real estate manager for Opus Development.





St. Paul grants developer status to Opus/Greco for Seven Corners Gateway

Posted by: Kristen Leigh Painter Updated: October 22, 2014 - 4:44 PM

St. Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority has granted two Minneapolis-based development firms, Opus and Greco, preliminary developer status on the Seven Corners Gateway site.

Opus Development Co. and Greco Development have been greenlighted to flesh out its plans for the site, which is currently used as a surface parking lot.

HRA owns the highly visible 2.4-acre parcel that sits across 7th Street from Xcel Energy Center and has established an 18-month timeline with benchmarks for Opus and Greco. If the developers reach all of them by April 2016, which the city expects, the two parties will negotiate for final developer status. 

Opus and Greco's preliminary proposal beat out M.A. Mortenson Co. with its mixed-use plan. 

While the details will come to light over the next year and a half, Opus and Greco are proposing a hotel, luxury apartments and retail space in the building. But the proposal suggests that the public plaza will be its centerpiece, opening up toward the arena. 

Anytime Fitness to break ground on 38-acre campus in Woodbury

Posted by: Kristen Leigh Painter Updated: October 22, 2014 - 2:26 PM

Anytime Fitness will break ground Thursday on its new corporate headquarters that aims to practice what it preaches by offering a wellness-oriented campus experience for its employees.

The new 80,000 square feet building in Woodbury will give the company room to expand up to 250 people. It's current space in Hastings houses 150 employees.

Its new facility will mimic a national trend in office space development that caters to employee amenities. The 36-acre plot of land will be built out in two phases. Phase I will offer indoor and outdoor activities, such as biking and hiking trails, and both indoor and outdoor exercise areas. Phase II will add zip lines, an obstacle course and climbing walls. 

Anytime Fitness has hired architect firm BWBR and lanscape architect Coen + Partners to design the spaces. 

“The high-profile site will allow us to create a corporate campus that is iconic for both Anytime Fitness and the east metropolitan region," said Shane Coen, CEO and principal landscape architect of Coen + Partners, in a news release. "With the rolling terrain and adjacent wetlands, we have the opportunity to imagine a comprehensive design that fosters activity and allows people to experience why Anytime Fitness has become a global leader in fitness and wellness.” 

The soil work will begin late next week and the company's leadership hopes to move to the new campus in the spring of 2016. 

Architecture billings suggest "robust conditions ahead"

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: October 22, 2014 - 11:18 AM

From the latest AIA Architecture Billings Index:

"Architecture Billings Index shows robust conditions ahead for construction industry. With all geographic regions and building project sectors showing positive conditions, there continues to be a heightened level of demand for design services. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the September ABI score was 55.2, up from a mark of 53.0 in August. This score reflects an increase in design activity (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 64.8, following a mark of 62.6 the previous month. The AIA has added a new indicator measuring the trends in new design contracts at architecture firms that can provide a strong signal of the direction of future architecture billings. The score for design contracts in August was 56.8."

“Strong demand for apartment buildings and condominiums has been one of the main drivers in helping to keep the design and construction market afloat in recent years,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “There continues to be a healthy market for those types of design projects, but the recently resurgent Institutional sector is leading to broader growth for the entire construction industry.”

Here's a breakdown of activity by region:

South (55.3), Midwest (55.1), West (54.2), Northeast (51.0)

By sector index breakdown:

Multi-family residential (55.3), institutional (54.9), mixed practice (53.8), commercial / industrial (50.8)

Coming soon: Oak Cove in Cottage Grove

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: October 21, 2014 - 5:47 PM
Development site plan.

Development site plan.

Meridian Land Company and Capstone Homes Inc. are partnering of Oak Cove, an eight-acre housing development that will have 12 single-family lots at the intersection of Burr Oak Avenue and 74th Street South in Cottage Grove. Meridian Land, a subsidiary of United Properties, will act as developer and will oversee infrastructure improvements on the site. When the lots are ready in late October, Capstone Homes will purchase them from Meridian and start building two-story, single-family homes that will priced from $360,000 to $450,000. A model will be ready in time for the spring 2015 Parade of Homes tour. Previously, Meridian Land partnered with Capstone on 29 single-family lots at Mississippi Dunes, also in Cottage Grove.

Houses in the development, like this rendering, will be priced from $360,000 to $450,000.

Houses in the development, like this rendering, will be priced from $360,000 to $450,000.


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters