Almost four months after getting final city approval, the developers of a proposed boutique condo project in the heart of the North Loop neighborhood in Minneapolis have pulled the plug on 602 North First, a 30-unit project two blocks from the Mississippi River.

"We just don't see sufficient demand for this type of high-quality construction," said Curt Gunsbury, owner of Solhem Companies.

Gunsbury and business partner, Robb Miller of TE Miller Development, planned to develop an 8-story glass-and-concrete building that would take the place of two low-rise buildings that were to be demolished. The units would have ranged in size from 1,700 to more than 3,000 square-feet and were priced from the $700,000 to about $3.3 million.

The decision comes at a time when the market is awash in rental apartments, but has scant condo construction and very low little inventory of existing for-sale units. Last year Jim Stanton of Shamrock Development quickly sold nearly every unit at StoneBridge Lofts in the Mill District and in late March started building Portland Tower, a 17-story high-rise at the corner of 9th Street and Portland Avenue near the new Vikings Stadium where the bulk of the units will range from $300,000 to $800,000. Stanton also recently purchased a Mill District site where he plans to build upwards of 400 condo units.

Last month the developer of another proposed upscale condo project in the Linden Hills neighborhoods pulled the plug on the 19-unit project citing the exit of a key investor even though eight of the 19 units had buyers.

At the end of January, there were fewer than 150 properties on the market, including only 10 new units, compared with more than 600 at the peak of the market in late 2007, according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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