Water or city views? Twin Cities renters now have two new options.

In downtown Minneapolis, residents have started moving into Latitude 45, a brick-clad 13-story building with 318 apartments at the busy corner of Washington and 3rd avenues S.

And in Minnetonka, High Street Residential, a wholly owned subsidiary of Trammell Crow Co., is nearing the finish line on a one-of-a-kind project, the Island Residences, built on an actual island in the shadow of the Carlson headquarters.

Both projects embody new ideas in design and financing for apartment buildings while also standing out in a market that has exploded with options in recent years.

Latitude 45 replaces a surface parking lot and helps fill what’s been a residential gap between the central business district and the burgeoning Downtown East neighborhood.

Its neighbors are some of downtown’s most historic buildings, including the Renaissance Revival-style Milwaukee Road Depot and the stately Federal building, both of which are on the National Register of Historic Places. Latitude 45 is being called the closest skyway-connected upscale apartments to the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis.

The mixed-use building has some street-level retail space with a new restaurant called Eastside that’s being run by Ryan Burnet of Barrio and Bar LaGrassa fame. A Massage Envy Spa is about to open in it, as well.

The building was developed by Alatus, a real estate developer and manager based in Minneapolis. Its principal, Bob Lux, developed the Carlyle condo tower, which is just a block away. The Laramar Group out of Chicago will manage the project.

The project was developed as part of a public/private partnership with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, which contributed $472,000 for site clean up.

At a grand opening celebration last week, executives said the building was already about 30 percent leased. Monthly rents average about $2.50 per square foot, so that’s $1,300 to $1,600 for a 450 to 650 square-foot studio/alcove-style unit. Two-bedroom units range from $2,500 to $3,000.

Inside its apartments are furniture-style kitchen islands with several handy features, including wine storage and open shelf storage. There are sliding double corner doors on dens and alcove bedrooms and beveled subway tile bath/shower surrounds.

For residents with dogs, there’s a doggy play area with a bright red fire hydrant on a sprawling, heated turf-style surface that will make winter potty visits more bearable and a separate play room for the smallest breeds.

Meanwhile, the Island Residences project stands out because of the way it takes advantage of a natural feature.

The five-story building is in the middle of an island in a natural lake between the Carlson Towers at the northwest corner of Interstates 394 and 494 near Ridgedale Center.

Before construction began there were just two pedestrian bridges to the island. Now, there’s a permanent bridge to handle motor vehicles.

It’s likely to be the only apartment building in the metro area where the amenities include a stand-up paddle board and a landing for canoes, kayaks and paddleboards.

Grady Hamilton and John Carlson of High Street Residential, which is based in Chicago, said the 12-acre site was never on the market and that they bought it last summer after reaching out to its owner, Carlson Real Estate Co. Move-ins are expected to begin this fall.

Jim Buchta • 612-673-7376