Here’s an update on several developments in the Twin Cities real estate business in recent weeks:

Sm+RT Homes opens first model home in bid to fill vacant lots

In May, we reported that a team of local businesspeople had formed a development company that would use factory-built houses to help fill the hundreds of vacant lots in north Minneapolis. That venture, Sm+RT Homes, has opened its first model home — a 1,700-square-foot bungalow at 4309 Irving Av. N. in Minneapolis and will start building four more homes.

Based on feedback, one of those models will include a new design feature that allows homeowners to more easily convert a section of the house into a separate, rentable dwelling unit. The first two open houses in late August drew more than 100 prospective home buyers to the Irving Avenue model home.

Those major components of those houses are being built by Dynamic Homes in Detroit Lakes, Minn., then trucked to the homesite for installation, a construction method that will shave up to 30 percent off the cost of building a traditional site-built house.

The houses can also be delivered much more quickly, in 45 to 60 days compared with 90 to 120 days for a site-built house. That four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath bungalow on Irving will sell for $224,900, including a state-of-the-art home theater system with whole-house audio, security cameras on the front and back of the house and on the garage and an electronic system that can be controlled from the owners’ smartphone. Other Sm+RT Homes models start at $179,000.

Mill District condo in Washburn Lofts sells for record $6.3 million

In early August, a Minneapolis Mill District condo in the Washburn Lofts building sold for a record $1,442 per square foot or $6.3 million. Public records have been filed showing that the buyer of that 4,300 square-foot, top-floor condo was Robert Pohlad, a prominent Twin Cities businessman. Pohlad family holdings include the Twins, Minnesota United FC, United Properties and Northern Lights Broadcasting. Public records also show that the Fieldwood Trust paid $3.5 million for the property in 2011.

Weidner Apartment Homes gets approval for Elliot Park development

In mid-April, Weidner Apartment Homes received the thumbs-up from the Minneapolis Planning Commission for its plans to build approximately 250 market-rate apartments on a 1.7-acre site at E. 14th Street and Park Avenue in the Elliot Park neighborhood. “1400 Park,” as it’s being called, will be a redesigned project, giving it a more historic look with brick and more traditional design elements, including arched window and door openings

The six-story building is the first new construction apartment project in the city for the Kirkland, Wash.-based developer, which is partnering with Twin Cities-based developer Dan Hunt. The team hopes to break ground early next year. The project is near a full-block site that’s being the redeveloped led by Kraus-Anderson, which is building a six-story headquarters building, a brewery, a hotel and an apartment building.

Lennar Multifamily plans celebration for the opening of IndiGo

As we reported last week, Lennar Multifamily broke ground on its sprawling NordHaus apartment/retail project on the former Superior Plating site in northeast Minneapolis. In two weeks, the company will celebrate the opening of IndiGO at Bloomington Central Station at 8001 33rd Av. S in Minneapolis.

Linden Hills Brownstone Apartments among notable apartment sales

There have been several major apartment building sales in recent weeks, including the sale of a vintage Linden Hills Brownstone Apartments at 2716 West 44th St. in Minneapolis, just two blocks from Lake Harriet. Though not a big building, the deal was notable because of its relatively rich per-unit price. The 1931 art deco building sold for $2.42 million or $161,000 for each one-bedroom unit. The deal was brokered by the Minneapolis-based CBRE Multifamily team of Ted Abramson and Robert Lockman Hennepin Properties LLP.

CBRE also brokered the sale of the Woodlands of Minnetonka, a 252-unit apartment community at 10275 Greenbrier Road in Minnetonka. Heartland Realty Investors, a Minneapolis-based investment and property management firm, paid $44.9 million for the property. The seller was Trilogy Real Estate Group, which recently completed $3.1 million in interior and exterior improvements to the 277,760-square-foot property. CBRE’s Abe Appert, Keith Collins and Laura Hanneman represented the seller.