A Twin Cities restaurateur has sold his downtown Minneapolis digs for a whopping $1,200 per square foot, setting a new record for the downtown condo market.
Unit No. 3702 in the 39-story Carlyle sold last week for $4.3 million cash without ever officially hitting the market. It wasn’t the highest sale price for a property in the Twin Cities, but on a per square-foot basis it was nearly 10 times the metrowide average.
“It really tells you something about the interest in downtown Minneapolis and where people see values going,” said Cynthia Froid of Keller Williams. “It’s a sign that the upper bracket is very much back.”
Froid and Barry Berg of Coldwell Banker Burnet co-represented the unnamed, out-of-town buyer, who bought No. 3702 through an entity called “Pretty Things LLC.”
The seller was Keyvan Talebi, who co-owns the Crave restaurant chain with his older brother Kam. Talebi, who declined to discuss the deal, paid $2.457 million for the unit in March 2008.
The deal comes at a time of intense competition in the downtown condo market. With only one downtown condo building under construction, the current supply of listings would last only about three months.
And while not every downtown condo is flying off the market or fetching record prices, Froid said this one had some rarefied features. The unit, which is one of two on the floor, has sweeping views of the downtown skyline and miles of Mississippi River, from three sky-high terraces with several hundred square feet each.
“There’s nothing downtown with this kind of terracing,” Froid said.
The unit also has a state of the art electronics system and custom finishes, including walls lined in mother of pearl and light fixtures from Murano, Italy, she said.
Upscale condos in downtown Minneapolis have been trading hands fast and furiously in recent months. Since November 2013 the median price-per-square foot for condos with more than 2,500 square feet has increased 25 percent, not including the Talebi sale, according to sales reported to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors (MAAR).
David Arbit, MAAR’s research manager, said the median price per square foot across the metro was $118 last month and nearly double for downtown Minneapolis condos.
The Carlyle, at 100 3rd Av. S., is the tallest condo building in the state and was built by Opus Corp. starting in 2004. At the time, the Art Deco-style building was billed as one of the most upscale on the market with a 24-hour doorman, a poolside outdoor kitchen and a wine tasting room with private, climate-controlled wine lockers.
With those kinds of amenities, the building has managed to attract top dollar.
In late 2013, Froid represented the seller of a top-floor Carlyle unit that sold for $2.8 million, or $869 per square foot. BJ Lavelle of the Downtown Resource Group, who represented the buyer in that transaction, said there’s no shortage of buyers with deep pockets willing to pay for these one-of-a-kind units. He has about five buyers willing to spend more than $4 million.
When Lavelle listed Carlyle unit No. 3802 last summer, it sold for more than the asking price at $2.685 million after receiving multiple offers.
“This should show confidence in the market,” he said. “And not just in upper-end market, but in the downtown market, as well.”
John Forsythe, president of Forsythe Appraisals in Little Canada, was somewhat stunned by the deal even though some Mill District condos have been selling for about $1,000 per square foot. Most high-end condos in the city are selling for $600 to $900 per square foot.
“I would be guarded about saying this is a new norm. As an appraiser, one sale doesn’t make a market, but it could be a trend if others follow suit,” he said. “This is definitely new territory for us.”