Home prices increasing at about national norm

Home prices in the Twin Cities metro are increasing at almost the same pace as the national average. CoreLogic said last week that single-family home prices in the Twin Cities increased 5.1 percent from January 2014 to January 2015 compared with a 5.7 percent increase nationwide. The report also said that was the 35th month of consecutive year-over-year increases, and that from December to January prices increased 1.1 percent.

Local data also show that home prices are on the rise. A full February report is expected this week.



Area CSA directory includes 66 farms

Minnesotans who want to buy food directly from a farm now have a catalog to view their choices. The Land Stewardship Project has published a free directory of 66 farms in Minnesota and western Wisconsin that sell shares under the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) system. The arrangement allows consumers to choose their farmers by buying shares in a farming operation on an annual basis. In return, subscribers receive a weekly supply of fresh produce throughout the growing season, typically June to October.

Subscriptions for some farms are sold out by early spring, so consumers may need to reserve shares early.

The directory is available at Land Stewardship Project's three offices, 612-722-6377 or landstewardshipproject.org.



Permits issued for St. Paul post office project

The city of St. Paul issued $38.4 million in building permits last week to Exeter Realty Co. for the Custom House project in the former downtown Post Office building.

Last month, St. Paul-based Exeter announced it sold the portion of the property that will house a Hyatt Place hotel to Des Moines-based Nelson Construction and Development for $2.85 million. The two companies will work in tandem to gut and restore the key historic elements of the property. The plan includes a 149-room hotel and 202 market-rate apartment units.

The permits were issued to the project's general contractor, Frana Companies, a Hopkins-based construction firm with an impressive portfolio of historic rehab projects, including such notable properties as ElseWarehouse and The Copham in the North Loop, Soo Line Building City Apartments in Minneapolis' central business district and Eitel Building City Apartments in Loring Park.