The Paxon North Loop, one of the newest apartment buildings to hit the rental market in Minneapolis, fills a big hole: the site of a condo project that stalled during the Great Recession.

That eight-story condo building in the heart of the North Loop was being developed by Bejco, a Chicago developer, which went out of business in 2003 not long after crews had poured the footings and first two floors of the parking garage at what was then known as the Reserve Condominiums.

The 1.1-acre site at the corner of 1st Street and 4th Avenue N. ended up in the hands of the lender, New York-based Lehman Bros. That prime site — just a couple of blocks from the Mississippi River — was surrounded by chain-link fencing and sat vacant for a nearly a decade even as the neighborhood around it developed and matured.

After dozens of rumors and false starts, in the spring of 2013 Minneapolis-based Sherman Associates said that it would buy it and build a luxury apartment building there.

Nearly two years later, the Paxon is finished, residents are moving in and the building is nearly 40 percent leased, according to Patrick Carson of the Downtown Resource Group.

On a recent tour of the building with leasing agent Sydney Anderson and Sherman project manager Tony Kuechle, my colleague Kristen Leigh Painter and I got a look at the new building. Here's what stood out:

• A "P"-shaped outdoor swimming pool, party deck with grilling stations and party-size ice bins to keep those summer drinks cool.

• Walk-in storage lockers with most parking stalls.

• A fitness center with weekly yoga classes from CorePower.

• An upgraded finish package that includes premium glass backsplash tiles and gas ranges, which are rare in rentals.

• Walk-in closets big enough to be called a den.

We've posted a few photos of the project at

Jim Buchta