Two years ago, an old-school 1950s side-by-side duplex sat on a lot facing Kenwood Parkway in Minneapolis. Soon the lot will hold four metal-and-glass cubes stacked two by two.
These sleek urban condos will be packed with high-end amenities, including huge Kolbe Vista Luxe windows, radiant in-floor heat, smart home-automation systems and motorized window treatments. The tuck-under garages will even have heated driveways.
The four units are a contemporary version of a duplex, with separate entrances and garages. They’re designed for single-level loft-style living, with the upper abodes boasting rooftop terraces and treetop views.
In August, you can get an inside look at one of the completed and fully furnished condos during the Luxury Home Tour, which features eight residences valued at more than $1 million. The gawkfest will showcase everything from an 8,200-square-foot “mountain” retreat in Afton to a gabled city cottage with a backyard swimming pool in Minneapolis’ Linden Hills neighborhood.
Even if this price range doesn’t fit your budget, the tour is a chance to scrutinize the latest trends in finishes, products, materials, color schemes, light fixtures, cutting-edge design “and lots of wine cellars and saunas,” said Katie Hickman, marketing and PR manager for Midwest Home magazine, which organizes the tour.
Todd Simning’s company, Kroiss Development, tore down the old duplex on the Kenwood Parkway property, with “a vision to build something modern,” he said.
“The project became bigger than I anticipated and a major undertaking,” said Simning. “We were building four single-family homes instead of one.”
Simning collaborated with designer Gabriel Keller and architect Ted Martin of Peterssen/Keller Architecture in Minneapolis on the floor plans and architectural elements. The four condos had to be feasible for a long and narrow city lot that had a steep drop in the back, while also maximizing the hilltop views.
“The design fits with the 1960s modern homes on the hillside overlooking Bryn Mawr,” said Keller.
Owners can ride an elevator or head up a staircase from the garage into the three-bedroom, three-bathroom units, which are just under 3,000 square feet.
Keller and Martin’s plan includes a front porch on each main-level unit and a large balcony terrace on upper-level units “to create a strong connection to the street,” said Keller. The two upper units also have the premium perk of an additional rooftop terrace.
Inside, the wide-open floor plan delivers sightlines that span the front to the rear of the home, with a long white “gallery” hallway to display artwork and create a link between the public and private spaces.
The condos’ high-ceilinged open loft feel is enhanced by enormous windows and light streaming in on all four sides, which “gives it a different experience than most lofts,” said Keller.
The rooms, furnished and staged by Lenox House Designs, mingle warm organic materials, such as whitewashed white oak floors, walls of walnut cabinetry and textural area rugs so spaces don’t feel “cold, hard and modern,” said Keller.
The kitchen highlights trends such as a compact car-sized island for gathering, and innovative ways to conceal the range hood and appliances to keep the look clean-lined and uncluttered.
Since the kitchen is so open to other living spaces, Keller designed a contemporary version of a “scullery” kitchen behind it. There’s plenty of room for a pantry, cocktail bar, cabinets and wine refrigerator, as well as a second dishwasher to keep dirty dishes out of sight.
The luxe owners’ suite, shaped by floor-to-ceiling windows, is perched in the treetops with vistas of the downtown Minneapolis skyline to the east.
You can see cars whizzing by on I-394 through leafy branches — but you can’t hear them. “We put in acoustical glass to keep it quiet,” said Keller. And it’s easy to watch a movie in bed, thanks to an 80-inch projector screen that drops down from the ceiling but is hidden when not in use.
Three of the four condos on Kenwood Parkway are already sold, with three still under construction.
Rod and Sheila Lewis recently bought the completed condo for $1.85 million, and will move in after the tour.
The Burnsville couple are downsizing and chose this residence for its modern vibe, location, privacy and maintenance-free features after visiting several high-rise condo buildings in the heart of downtown.
“We’re classic-rock concertgoers, and like being so close to Target Field,” said Rod. “And we’re 1.7 miles from the rooftop at Seven.”