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.

Industrial space being rehabbed

Posted by: Janet Moore Updated: March 25, 2014 - 1:57 PM

Along the lines that the industrial commercial real estate market is rebounding. . .

Cushman & Wakefield NorthMarq said it has been hired by IRET Properties, a North Dakota limited partnership, to market the redevelopment of a new industrial property in Roseville.

The 220,556-square-foot industrial building is located at at 3075 Long Lake Road and will be ready to lease this November. This involves the redevelopment of the former Smurfit-Stone Container Corp., which will be demolished next month. Kraus Anderson has been selected as the general contractor.

Tom Sullivan of CWN says the property offers "businesses the chance to gain substantial square footage in what will be a state of the art, high clear distribution center with a highly centralized location and excellent interstate access."

Once the distribution center is redeveloped, about 192,000 square feet of space will be available for lease. The new construction will be built around existing tenant, Hood Packaging, which will continue operations during the redevelopment. Hood Packaging will occupy 28,477 square feet of the new property.


Case-Shiller: Twin Cities home prices up 9.4% during January

Posted by: Jim Buchta under Buying Updated: March 25, 2014 - 11:23 AM

Home prices are increasing at a more moderate pace than last year in the Twin Cities and beyond, according to the latest Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Home Price Index. A national 20-city composite for the month was up 13.2 percent compared with last year; the Twin Cities saw a 9.4-percent gain.

Here are some highlights from the report:

Twelve cities and the 20-city composite saw their annual rates worsen.

The 20-city composite posted its third consecutive monthly decline of 0.1 percent.

Las Vegas had the biggest annual gain (24.9 percent), but is still the farthest from its high set in August 2006.

Cleveland had the lowest annual gain (4 percent)

Here's what David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, had to say about the decline:

“The housing recovery may have taken a breather due to the cold weather....expectations and recent data point to continued home price gains for 2014. Although most analysts do not expect the same rapid increases we saw last year, the consensus is for moderating gains. Existing home sales declined slightly in February and are at their lowest level since July 2012.”


St. Paul music school expanding

Posted by: Janet Moore Updated: March 24, 2014 - 11:09 AM

Walker West Music Academy, a non-profit music school in St. Paul, is expanding.

The 26-year-old community music school is undertaking a major renovation of the Mytana building, which was previously occupied by the St. Paul College of Visual Arts. The school will move in to its new space, located at 760 Selby Av., this June.

The new 5,938-square-foot facility will increase programming space by 61 percent. It will feature 10 lesson rooms, a performance space that holds up to 100 people, a music lab, a conference room and offices. The new space was designed by Cuningham Group and is being built by Welsh Corp.

The cost is $550,000 and, as of last week, about 70 percent of the funds have been raised so far. Supporters include: the city of St. Paul, McKnight Foundation, St. Paul Foundation, Bigelow Foundation; the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council; 3M Foundation; Mytana Corp. and individual donors.

Walker West Music Academy says it "creates a music learning community rooted in the African-American experience," particularly improvisational music, including jazz, blues and gospel. The school provides affordable music education to more than 125 students of all ages every week.

Union Depot achieves LEED Gold status

Posted by: Janet Moore Updated: March 21, 2014 - 11:35 AM

The $243 million renovation of the historic Union Depot into a transit hub in St. Paul has earned LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The designation by the national organization recognizes Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, measured by environmental and sustainability best practices.

Owned by the Ramsey Council Regional Railroad Authority, Union Depot initially sought Silver LEED status, but took extra steps to reach the Gold level.

LEED Gold designation is a challenge to attain in an older building, especially one on the historic register," said Rafael Ortega, chair of the Authority, in a statement. "High levels of creativity were required to maintain the historical integrity of the building while modernizing it to be relevant for the next century."

Some of the key elements in the LEED certification included: building reuse; use of salvaged materials; asbestos abatement; construction waste management; lighting controls systems; optimization of natural light; storm water control; efficient landscaping water usage; bicycle station; electric vehicle charging stations; bike/pedestrian enhancements; public transit access; waste management and recycling.

The team that worked on the renovation of the early 20th-century structure included Mortenson Construction, HGA Architects and Engineers, and URS Corp., a transportation design and engineering firm).

City committee approves Ryan plant for hotel, apartments

Posted by: Janet Moore under Vikings Updated: March 18, 2014 - 5:42 PM

The Minneapolis Community Development and Regulatory Services Committee on Tuesday briefly discussed -- and then approved -- a plan calling for a hotel and apartments above a parking ramp in the Downtown East mixed-use development.

In a report last week, city staff recommended a plan put forth by Ryan Cos., the Minneapolis-based developer of the Downtown East project. The $400 million project includes twin office towers for Wells Fargo & Co., 200 apartments, retail shops and restaurants, a 1,610-space parking ramp, and a nearly two-block public park near the new Vikings stadium.

The city solicited separate proposals for a spit of land along 4th St. S. and the space above the parking ramp. An alternate proposal for a 300-room Marriott-branded hotel for the ramp was submitted by Golden Valley-based Mortenson Development.

When asked to comment on the city's actions, Mortenson Development's Bob Solfelt, vice president and general manager, said in a statement, “We appreciate the consideration of our proposal for a hospitality-focused development as part of the redevelopment of Downtown East. Our proposal provides a viable, hotel solution with committed ownership and financing that would serve the needs of the downtown community as it continues to thrive. We look forward to continued discussions with city leaders about its potential."

Ryan proposed a 150-room Radisson Red hotel, and another 200 apartments. The developer is also offering to pay the city $5.7 million for the purchase of the land and the so-called “air rights” above the ramp, which will be used by office employees, the public and those using the Vikings stadium. The ramp itself will be owned by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, the public body overseeing construction of the $1 billion sports stadium.

The City Council will consider the matter at its March 28 meeting.



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