Staff Directory 10644536

Jim Buchta

Reporter | Residential real estate
Phone: 612-673-7376
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: French

Jim Buchta has covered real estate for the Star Tribune for several years. He also has covered energy, small business, consumer affairs and travel. 


Buchta has taken breaks from those beats to edit the Star Tribune's Real Estate sections and Travel, and to ghost write a book about getaway homes. He also has an intense interest in architecture, agriculture and the environment. He lives part-time on a tree farm and has a particular expertise in building science and food.
Recent content from Jim Buchta
A 14-story condominium building proposed for 800 Washington Av. S. in the Mill District would be built with high-tech, self-cleaning bio-concrete.

Trying for a new look for Twin Cities condo buildings

Two Minneapolis condominium projects strive for a distinctive look
Shooli partner Meghan Flynn sews the bottom of a dress shoe at the repair shop in Minneapolis on a Landis l stitcher machine used for repairing soles.

Shoes in disarray? Twin Cities startup's app brings repair shop to your doorstep

The startup has tapped into an unexpected market with a quick-turnaround concept for repairing, refurbishing shoes.
This Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, file photo shows a home offered for sale in the Atlanta suburb of Roswell, Ga. A shortage of starter houses is choking h

Twin Cities home sales slip in March as supply of starter houses drops

It's been a less-than-stellar spring for first-time home buyers in the Twin Cities.
In-Focus Systems site foreman Andrew Henriksen, left, and technician Gavin Pendal worked to install a 133-inch projection screen and Epson 4k projecto

For Twin Cities hotels and rentals, Final Four is sweet, but no Super Bowl

College basketball is big business for lodging, but it doesn't match the corporate-fueled frenzy of pro football.
The Vicinity Apartments by Sherman Associates is one of several market-rate apartment buildings under construction in Minneapolis, which was the busie

Twin Cities homebuilders see big declines in March

Despite a slow start to 2019, some industry analysts expect a banner year for sales.
Twenty years ago, an auto-immune disease caused Beth Ehresman, right, to have massive heart failure and now she is living on disability. She lives at

As rents rise in the Twin Cities, suburbs embrace affordable housing efforts

With rents rising across the metro, cities find stable options to help, and keep, tenants.

HomeServices ranked as nation's largest real estate company

Acquisitions have been key to the growth of the Twin Cities-based firm.
Realtor Clay Lowen, center, showed a home in Robbinsdale to first-time homeowners Brandon Chheoun and Gina Solt earlier in the month.

Twin Cities housing market gets even tighter as new listings lag

Listings in February lagged year-ago levels by 14 percent as the median sale price hit $265,500.
Iron Clad apartment project under construction at 811 S. Washington Ave, Minneapolis.

Weather contributed to decline in homebuilding in Twin Cities

Homebuilders said permits for single-family houses in the Twin Cities were down 3 percent over last year.
To stay competitive in the crowded rental market, apartment towers such as the soon-to-be-completed Ironclad are loaded with amenities.

Three high-rises with nearly 800 apartments to hit downtown Mpls.

A bumper crop of creative amenities aims at making these buildings stand out more than they already do.
Software developer Tyler Hanson, left, and Dan Nelson, owner of Olio Outdoors, are working to create Olio Engine, a web-based operating system aimed a

Online platform will help businesses grow without workers, equipment

On the morning of a winter storm warning last week, you would expect Dan Nelson — the owner Olio Outdoors, a company that does snow…
Keller Williams sales agent Nick George (far left) and first-time home buyers, Kate and Matt Shalbrack with Kate’s father, Sheldon Matheson (second

First-time buyers face scramble in Twin Cities housing market

The metro's median sale price hit $258,900 last month, an all-time high for January.
Rhys MacPherson, left, project manager, and Jack Poling, managing partner of MSR Design talk about their new office in downtown Minneapolis on Thursda

After leading a Minneapolis riverfront revival, MSR Design heads downtown

Leaving its historic home isn't easy, but the design firm has decided to embrace change.
An apartment complex in Frogtown, a St. Paul neighborhood.

Strong apartment market continues to push up rents in Twin Cities

Minneapolis added nearly 5,000 apartments last year, not enough to match jobs.
Last month metro-area builders were issued enough permits to build 440 single-family houses, making it the best January in a dozen years, according to

Twin Cities homebuilders were bullish on single-family homes in January

New-home permits soar in January despite land and labor shortages.
A report commissioned by Housing First Minnesota says it's nearly impossible to build a single-family house in the Twin Cities metro area for less tha

What's driving up new home costs? Fees, local builders say

A report commissioned by a builders group said municipal fees and regulations in the Twin Cities make it nearly impossible to build a single-family house for less than $375,000.
Brooklyn Center-based Oak Management and Development is proposing a 10-story apartment building near the corner of James and Lake Street in the Uptown

10-story Uptown apartment project is early test for city's density plan

Apartment project early test for city's new density plan.
This home on Lake Minnetonka was one of Minnesota's most expensive listings in 2018 at $15.795 million.

Ranking the hottest housing markets in the Twin Cities

Find out how your community fared in our searchable Hot Housing Index for 2018.
With the help of Keller Williams sales agent Nick George,center, Owen and Bailey Kinsky will soon close on their first home in Stillwater.

Home sales dipped, but prices reached record high in 2018

The overall market failed to post the big gains real estate agents had expected as a lack of lower priced homes kept lid on sales. Throughout the Twin Cities metro there were only 59,223 home sales last year, a decline of more than 2,000 from the year before.
Shade Tree Construction carpenters worked on building a 2,100-square-foot, three bedroom, three bath, side-by-side model townhouse in Mounds View.

2018 wasn't the blockbuster that Twin Cities homebuilders had hoped for

Builders paid more for land, labor and materials, making it difficult for them to cater to a segment of the market where demand was most fierce: first-time buyers and downsizing baby boomers.
Todd Urbanski, president of the Minneapolis Area Realtors, tells young agents that “people will work with you if they know you, like you and trust y

Minneapolis Realtors chief says housing still a bargain in Twin Cities

Todd Urbanski takes the reins as 2019 president of the Minneapolis Area Realtors at a time of moderate tumult.
A model home in the Summerlin neighborhood of Woodbury in November 2017.

Zillow plans to bring sight-unseen house-buying service to Twin Cities

No-visit, all-cash house buying is expected to expand in coming year.
Gino Blefari has been named CEO of HomeServices of America (HSA)

HomeServices of America taps new CEO to lead expansion

Gino Blefari replaces HomeServices of America founder Ron Peltier, who will become executive chairman.

Minneapolis-based HomeServices of America buys one of Florida's biggest brokerages

The deal includes 40 offices and 1,750 sales agents and staff in 21 counties in Florida.
After the first full business week since the government shutdown began, executives and entrepreneurs are starting to see more effects. The flow of mon

Federal government shutdown means delays for Minnesota house buyers, small-business owners

After the first full business week since the shutdown began, executives and entrepreneurs are starting to see more widespread effects.
Owner Tasya Kelen, center, helped employees Missy Walk and Jeremie Mercer as they produced a batch of Zesty Lemon Rosemary blend cashews.

Healthy nut company gets second chance with new Twin Cities home, social mission

Isadore Nut Co. discovered the solution to its cost problem in the kitchen of a Golden Valley apartment building.
Lyman Cos., a Twin Cities company that operates a lumber yard, subcontracting crews and supplies builders with cabinets and other building components,

Labor crunch in Twin Cities adds up to homebuilding delays, higher costs

Labor crunch in Twin Cities building trades has led to increasing construction delays and higher costs.
During November sellers listed 3,992 properties, 12.6 percent more than last year, according to monthly report from the Minneapolis Area Realtors.

More homes on Twin Cities home market, a good sign for buyers

Rise in listings, decrease in sales suggest Twin Cities area prices should decline. But for now, median sale breaks $265,000 in November, a record.
Dominium, one of the nation’s largest for-profit developers, has called off plans to convert a sprawling warehouse in the North Loop neighborhood in

Dominium pulls out of North Loop affordable housing project

Developer says it will focus on projects in the suburbs.
File photo of Target's logo.

Target office building in downtown Minneapolis sells for $171 million

One of the downtown Minneapolis office buildings that houses Target Corp. has a new owner.
The project, which for now is called 7200 and 7250 France Avenue, calls for 309 housing units, including 10 owner-occupied townhouses and 22 rental to

Apartment, condo project with 309 units gets OK in Edina

The project includes 309 housing units, commercial space and enclosed parking.
Ortner

Home rental firm Renters Warehouse acquires OwnAmerica Real Estate

Its deal for OwnAmerica Real Estate is part of plan to evolve how it does business digitally.
In St. Paul: AECOM envisions up to four towers overlooking St. Paul’s waterfront that would include hotel rooms, apartments, offices and condos.

Big developer AECOM looks to stretch its reach in the Twin Cities construction market

Seeking new markets, Los Angeles-based AECOM goes after Twin Cities residential projects.
The open concept dining room and living room in a 2,100-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath, side-by-side model townhome Wednesday in Mounds View.

Building permits are off, but townhouses stay Twin Cities bright spot

Side-by-side townhouses in inner-ring suburbs continue to see strong demand.
LaShonda McGowan is a mother of three, daughters Aliya, left, and Athena, are shown above. She moved her family into a home with help from Habitat for

Habitat for Humanity ramps up mortgage loan program

The organization known for its construction efforts is turning its attention to the mortgage side of the real estate industry.
Ron Simon

Ronald Simon, lawyer and high-profile sports agent, dies at 84

Simon's professional relationship with Kent Hrbek lasted a decade longer than Hrbek's baseball career. Their friendship lasted until Simon's death.
Edina Realty realtor Kath Hammerseng talked Christine Arnoldi, center, and her daughter, Andrea, through the process of listing Christine’s house on

Twin Cities home sales slipped in October, inventory increased

An uptick in new listings continued the slow rebalancing of the area's housing market.
240 Park is a 17-story apartment tower with 205 units that’s being developed by the Wilf family in downtown Minneapolis. Construction is expected to

Twin Cities remains a strong draw for apartment developers

The number of units hitting the market continues a bullish pace, though demand appears to be softening in some areas.
Grady Linder, left, and Ryan Lloyd, have launched a no-frills camper-van rental service called Voyager Campervans.

Company transforms vans into mini-campers for the nimble set

Modified vans are aimed at travelers who want to keep it simple, but don't want to sleep on the ground in a tent.
John Smaby, who was elected as president of the National Association of Realtors. (Sarah Pierce Photography)

John Smaby is now president of National Association of Realtors

The Edina agent follows in his father's footsteps.
Joel MacIntosh is CEO of St. Louis Park-based WolfNet Technologies, which manages property data and photos for almost all of the real estate listings

St. Louis Park real estate data giant WolfNet embraces artificial intelligence

Founder Joel MacIntosh sees deal with Ojo Labs as step into industry's future.
The funding will help Beacon almost double its Lydia Apartments in Minneapolis, which serves formerly homeless adults.

Minnesota Housing to invest $87.5M in low-income housing projects

Funding will boost housing developments in 55 communities.
Brenda Tushaus, CEO at ReMax Results, said her father is one of her role models because he was “hardworking” and “never missed a day of work.”

ReMax Results CEO looks ahead for agency, real estate industry

Brenda Tushaus brings a tech background to her new role in charge of revenue-generating business initiatives and leading the strategy for growth.
Building materials for a home currently under construction sat near several already inhabited homes in the Settler’s Ridge development.

Single-family construction in Twin Cities perks up during October

The respite from recent declines comes as rising mortgage rates suggest a slowing market ahead.
Real estate agent William Huffman, left, encouraged Kayla and Matt Dutton to reduce the price on their Otsego home.

Once-hot Twin Cities housing market is beginning to cool

Home sales are down from a year ago, more sellers are cutting their asking price and mortgage rates are climbing.

Merger involving St. Louis Park's WolfNet aims to improve homebuying

Combined company will work on a tool to help people search for homes more quickly.
Long time coming: The 30-story 365 Nicollet apartment tower fills in an undeveloped gap on the mall. With available units as high as $7,495, the tower

365 Nicollet tests downtown Mpls. luxury apartment market

It's one of the biggest, most expensive rental projects ever undertaken by Opus Development, with some units fetching more than $10,000 a month.
Entry-level townhouse construction is on the rise throughout the Twin Cities. At Lennar’s Harvest Commons subdivision in Woodbury, prices start at $

Twin Cities sees sharp drop in single-family home building

Twin Cities sees sharp drop in single-family home construction
The garage at the M on Hennepin features the car matrix parking system that can shuffle cars on its two levels, allowing residents to have 24 / 7

CARMATRIX: Limited parking? No problem

With little room for much-needed car slots, Minneapolis developers turned to a Rubik's Cube stacking system for their project.

NorthstarMLS, Southeast Minnesota Realtors to merge

Multiple listing services are consolidating as technology changes the way data is used by agents.
Edina Realty realtor Kath Hammerseng, left, talked Christine Arnoldi and her daughter, Andrea, through the process of listing Christine’s house on t

Twin Cities still home sellers' market, but shift may be emerging

Supply remains tight, but there's been an uptick in the number of homes hitting the market, and prices are starting to moderate.
Opendoor’s Matt Bohlinger, left, and P.J. O’Neil chatted with owners Laura and Jason Riviere at the Farmington home they want to sell.

Opendoor looks to become big player in Twin Cities housing market

Opendoor makes unsolicited offers, streamlines sales process.
Whole new avenue: The view from 2nd Street and Park Avenue S. showcases two major projects underway: the mixed-use 205 Park Av. and the high-rise Iron

Remake of Washington Avenue in Minneapolis enters final phase

Millions of dollars are being poured into the redevelopment of the last surface parking lots on the east end of downtown Minneapolis.
Single-family home construction in the metro increased more than 3 percent in August, compared with last year. Above, a home went up in north Minneapo

Housing construction in the Twin Cities up slightly during August

The sluggish pace of single-family homebuilding continues to be a drag on the industry.
Home buyers in the Twin Cities and beyond will have to wait until at least 2020 for key indicators in the housing market tilting toward buyers, accord

Experts: Housing market could shift to buyers, but not soon

At least 2020 is when experts see key indicators in the housing market tilting toward buyers.
FILE- In this June 20, 2018, photo, a member of a construction team works on the site of Gables Station, a mixed use project featuring apartments, ret

Minnesota, United States have a trade-worker shortage, survey says

An overwhelming majority of construction firms are having a hard time hiring qualified workers — particularly hourly craft professionals, it says.
Nordstrom department store in Ridgedale Center

CBRE, Brookfield joint venture acquires Ridgedale Center

Minnetonka mall sold in "very attractive" deal that includes two other facilities.
Former colleagues in the U.S. Senate Amy Klobuchar (top right) and Al Franken (bottom left) spoke fondly of the late John McCain (left) and his servic

'He exemplified heroism': Minnesota colleagues pay tribute to John McCain

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar remembered the late Sen. John McCain as a friend as well as a colleague, while Al Franken recalled his first encounter with the late Arizona senator.
Workers dug up pipes near the M on Hennepin apartments. About 2,245 new units hit the Twin Cities market in the first half of 2018.

Resilient Twin Cities apartment market faces big test ahead

Developers expect a surge of new units in key parts of the metro, and signs of a market shift have already emerged in some cities.
Carpenter Caleb Morrison worked to frame out a house in the Settler's Ridge development in Inver Grove Heights.

For Minnesota builders, court victory could mean lower fees

Homebuilders say a limit on fees cities can assess will make housing in the Twin Cities more affordable. The fees help pay for roads, gutters and other infrastructure.
The Building Science Group, which Jon Porter, left, leads, includes experts tasked with various aspects of the building process.

Kraus-Anderson launches building science group

New design, construction techniques have prompted the contractor to bring science expertise in-house.
Jeff and Angela Parsons put in an early — and successful — bid on an Inver Grove Heights home designed by a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Median home sale price rises to $268,000 in the Twin Cities, a record for July

More houses are coming on the market, but buyers are still scrambling to find entry-level properties.
Solaris Redevelopment Corp. is building a six story apartment building with 156 apartments atop 20,000 square feet of retail space that surrounding a

Colorado developer looks to juggle two North Loop apartment projects

Solaris looks to add more than 300 upscale units in hot Minneapolis neighborhood.
Minneapolis-based Ryan Cos. is buying the Wells Fargo property in the heart of Rochester and plans an extensive renovation of the 1980s building. It i

Ryan jumps into Rochester development outburst

It will spend more than $26 million to perk up a run-of-the-mill bank building.
Workers were connecting utility lines at the site of Great River Landing in Minneapolis, a 48-unit apartment building for men who were incarcerated.

Minneapolis on track to build record 5,500 apartment units

But there's growing concern about the depth of the rental market in certain areas.
200 Central, a 40-story luxury condo tower that's been mired in legal challenges, cleared a final hurdle this week. The project is one of two luxury c

Court decision clears way for 40-story Minneapolis condo tower

Proposed height drew neighborhood opposition.
Edina Realty is developing a suite of digital tools aimed at streamlining and integrating existing software and other technology that agents already u

Edina Realty launches digital assistant to help agents be more efficient

Edina Realty is launching Emma, a virtual real estate assistant that helps agents make better use of technology.
Workers were connecting utility lines at the site of Great River Landing in Minneapolis, a 48-unit apartment building for men who were incarcerated.

After great spring, Twin Cities homebuilders see slowdown

Applications to build for-sale houses were nearly flat while rental apartment construction tanked, reversing a two-month trend.
The Wilf family plans to build a 17-story tower with 201 apartments on a parking lot - one of the last undeveloped sites along Washington Avenue in do

Vikings owners propose 17-story apartment tower in downtown Minneapolis

A representative of the Wilf family's real estate business will present plans next week to a downtown neighborhood group.
Dominium’s Nick Andersen said it’s hard to develop affordable housing in a neighborhood like the North Loop without a subsidy from the local munic

In the North Loop, a move toward 'housing for everybody'

Several income-restricted apartment projects are coming to an area known for soaring rents.
A rendering of Calhoun Towers, a proposed $100-million-plus project with about 750 units.

Calhoun Towers apartments get nod from Minneapolis Planning Commission

This week the Minneapolis Planning Commission unanimously approved controversial plans for a pair of new apartment towers overlooking Bde Maka Ska. St. Louis Park-based Bader…
Real-estate agent Artemisa Boston, center, showed a Coon Rapids home to her clients on Wednesday.

Twin Cities housing market still smiling on sellers

Sale prices set records as shortage of entry-level homes continues to upend market.
After Chris Iles and his wife, Tinen, bought a bigger house, they rented out their Minneapolis bungalow.

No houses available to buy in Twin Cities? Blame rentals

More owners of affordable homes rent them out rather than offer them for sale.

Realtors in West St. Paul, Bloomington top charts

  An annual survey by Real Trends, a Denver-based real estate research company that ranks the top agents and teams across the country, found several…
Twin Cities homebuilders are having their best summer in a decade.

Twin Cities homebuilders having best summer in a decade

Building permits were up sharply in June for houses and apartments. "Builders are still making up for the slowdown caused by the long winter," the builders' association president said.
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