115 5th Street NE., Minneapolis

Type: Rental apartments

Units: 22

Owner: DRS Investments

Developer: Master Properties Minnesota LLC

Details: A long-vacant, 103-year-old building will become 22 units of market-rate rental apartments under a sale approved last month among the city of Minneapolis, real estate investor Doug Simek and builder Master Properties.

After calling for redevelopment proposals in 2011, the Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development agreed to sell the tax-forfeited property to Simek’s St. Paul-based DRS Investments for $90,000 after he and Master submitted a plan to convert the former factory and water-bed warehouse into the La Pompadour Apartments, named after a cosmetics company that occupied it in the 1930s.

Master President Greg Ottum said the building, which has been vacant for at least a decade, is in poor shape and will require a $1.3 million rehabilitation to transform it into 21 one-bedroom units of between 502 and 769 square feet and a single two-bedroom unit of 586 square feet.

Aimed at the young singles and recent graduates market, rents in the building will range from $838 to $1,538 per month.

“It has no roof and there has been extensive interior damage over the years,” Ottum said. “But it’s got solid wood post-and-beam construction, and we will have open layout that will leave the joists and the bottoms of the wood floors exposed.”

The redevelopment team’s plans call for the rehabilitation to be completed and the units rented by Oct. 1.


Don Jacobson is a freelance writer in St. Paul. He can be contacted at hotproperty.startribune@gmail.com.