Category Archives: Minneapolis Real Estate

Whole Foods + Apartments Coming to Minneapolis!


Milliken Development, owner of the former Washington Ave Jaguar Dealership announced January 14th they plan to go before the Minneapolis Planning Commission to finalize the details of a mixed-use project. The project currently is set to include a Whole Foods on the first floor with some other commercial components. Above the ground level would be six floors of high-end apartments totaling approximately 250 units. The developers noted the block would be developed in such a way as to allow future expansion of an additional two towers reaching somewhere between 12 and 20 stories respectively. Once approved through the city Milliken Development would begin demolition as early as spring of next year. The developer plans to achieve a base LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), which is a designation for sustainable design.


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Real Estate Search + Google Maps

Over the past few years there have evolved a few sites on the web that give anyone relatively easy access to real estate listings all over the country. Recently the site Trulia has taken things a step further by incorporating the mounds of data from the MLS (local Real Estate listing service) and google maps together on one site. Since its launch in September of 2005, the site has grown to 1.5 million unique monthly visitors with 2 million properties for sale. The site’s “heat maps” allow users to compare prices and popularity by state, county, city or neighborhood. The local real estate guides provide information such as sales statistics, real estate price trends and community information such as crime statistics. Click the picture below for a tour.

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Eye opening experience with Condo Association Dues!


  So I have been working with a client for the past few weeks checking out various condo projects in Minneapolis. My client has lived in Uptown for quite some time now in a older brownstone. When we first started looking she was after the whole exposed brickwork and raw space look. Living in more of a raw space myself I could understand her rational on this value. However as we started to narrow things down a bit a something jumped out that I have seen time and time again: Association Dues vary significantly from project to project depending on a number of factors involved.


  Her top pick was a condo in the North Loop that had been around for quite some time–in fact it was one of the first conversions in the city from an old factory to lofts. This particular unit had been kept up very well. She loved the exposed brick and ductwork. The views of the river were also fantastic–however here’s the clincher: parking was not included and the dues, parking and electric for a 1 bedroom unit ran close to $600/month! How can that be you ask? Well there’s a few reasons: the age of the building can dictate the costs involved to keep it maintained. This building had an older roof and windows that were going on 20 years old–because of this the Homeowners Association was building up reserve funds to pay for these capital improvements to the building. Also in this particular situation the parking was not owned rather it was rented. Some of the early oversight by developers of the late 80’s and early 90’s was not to include parking within the structure in hopes to keep the pricing of the units reasonable for buyers. In hindsight they didn’t realize how the density of the city would someday require enclosed parking for most all condo units.My clients second choice: a relatively new condo in the same area with similar square footage. The reason? Dues on a newer building were a fraction of the conversion’s dues, parking was included as well as Warranties from the developer (more on that next time). After sitting down and going over the numbers of both options it became clear which made more dollar$ and sen$e and she is now a happy condo owner!

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Working with the right Real Estate Agent!

In the Minneapolis/St Paul market there are thousands of agents out there working with buyers and sellers. Many of the agents sell all sorts of Real Estate-however few focus on a particular niche of the market and stick to it.

As one of the top real estate agents in downtown Minneapolis, Ben Ganje has been involved with numerous condominium projects in the past and is currently selling Skyscape Condos and working with other buyers and sellers in the market.


Unlike a typical single family home, condominiums have a completely different set of details to understand and having an agent that can explain these and interpret them to your advantage is for a successful buying or selling experience. If you are thinking of looking to buy or sell it may be a good idea to have a conversation with Ben about your next step in the Urban Life!

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Restaurants, Condos & Parks brewing along the Minneapolis Riverfront!


In the past few months there has been a slew of restaurants that have opened along the Minneapolis Riverfront in Northeast Minneapolis as well as completion of the latest condo projects: Cobalt, Flour Sack Flats and the full on construction of the Phoenix on the River and most importantly the latest in a series of new parks to the Riverfront: Water Power Park on Main St SE.

The latest restaurants include Picosa on Main St SE next to some of the well dining joints along the river such as Vics, Tuggs and Pracna on Main. Picosa features a casual latino dining experience and begins serving lunch and stays open well into the night. From the outdoor seating the views of the riverfront and Minneapolis are flawless.

The Brass Rotisserie about 6 blocks north of the river on 528 University Ave and opened yesterday (6/27.) Owner/Chef Alex Roberts of Restaurant Alma–is going for a casual Carribean style menu featuring rotisserie chicken and slow-roasted pork with side dishes of grits, rice, beans and sweet potatoes.

Kim Bartmann owner of the Bryant Lake Bowl in Uptown is also opening her third eatery in Northeast called The Red Stag –a Northwoods style supper club with a green twist. The Red Stag will be the first restaurant in the state built to meet the standards of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the national standard for green building.

Two weeks ago during the Stone Arch festival another park in St Anthony Main was opened: Water Power Park. The park which connects St Anthony to Hennepin Island via a walking bridge gives visitors close-up views of the falls as well as an amazing view of the city.


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The Master Plan of Saint Anthony Main


It seems like only a few months ago we finally had our first urban grocery just across the River from downtown in Northeast Minneapolis. Since then the area has seen quite a uptick in traffic both in cars and pedestrians but it’s been a long time coming.

Once known as a heavy industrial working-class area from the early 1900s till only recently in the 80s when developers started seeing the potential that laid ahead as the exodus of the milling era was abandoning the riverfront. Since then the area has slowly developed all types of residential and commercial projects, most notably of recent addition would be the Lund’s Grocer that opened in the Cobalt Condominiums building off University and Central Ave.

In recent years attention has focused in terms of development on the strip of Riverfront nestled between Northeast and the University of Minnesota East Bank campus called “Saint Anthony Main”.  This is the last frontier of area along the riverfront in Minneapolis to develop and already plans have started to clearly take shape.  In the 80s this area was the place to be as recent apartments such as the Falls/Pinnacle and condominium projects LaRive and Winslow House had lured tenents and owners alike out of the burbs and into downtown Minneapolis.  Riverplace was built along Main Street that housed numerous cafes and restaurants that are still in existence today.  There are a cluster of condominium projects now on the market in the area: Phoenix on the River, The Flour Sack Flats and Cobalt Condominiums.  Despite the apparent housing glut on the metrowide level this micro market has seen fantastic sales results of pre-construction sales as well as resales in the area and the momentum doesnt look to be slowing anytime soon.

What are the significant drivers of buyers coming to this area of Minneapolis?

There are a number of reasons why this area has been well-received by the real estate market.  First and foremost the location is ideal as St Anthoy Main is set directly across the Mississippi River from downtown giving anyone proximity and amazing views of the city.  Being along the Riverfront also gives access to some of the main trails running through the city as well as parks complete with the Stone Arch Bridge connecting the area to Downtown Minneapolis.  Having the river separating the area from downtown also gives St Anthony Main a more tight-knit, neighborhood feel.  During the summer the area plays host to a number of Riverfront events ranging from fireworks displays to weekend art fairs in the parks.  The spectrum of residents living in the area varies from large collection of empty nesters that take advantage of the local ammenities to young urban professionals that see the excitement of living downtown but want more of a low-profile neighborhood feel.  A fair amount of residents are students and teachers of the University of Minnesota as well given the fact that the college is blocks away.

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