Accolades for Twin Cities high schools, small cities

Real Estate Week in Review
Newsweek released its top 500 high schools in the nation, and 10 Minnesota schools have made the list (“10 Minnesota High Schools Make Newsweek’s Top 500,” WCCO, Aug 19). Based on their rankings and criteria, Edina High School is the top school in Minnesota and #71 nationally. Other cities include Orono (#101) with 100% graduation rate and 95% of those students attending college, Wayzata at 150 and Eagan at 197, and Minnetonka (292), Stillwater (326), Mound-Westonka (400), St. Anthony Village (403), Lakeville North (417) and Prior Lake (463).

Money Magazine also released its list, of Best Small Cities to live, with Chanhassen coming in at #7 (“Minnesota cities rank high on Money magazine’s best small places to live” Minneapolis-Saint Paul Business Journal, Aug 19). Other cities on the list include Rosemount and Edina (at #12 and #15).

US rental costs continue to rise, reports the Associated Press (“US home rents surge 4.2 percent from a year ago; apartment demand shows shift from ownership,” Fox Business, Aug 26).  Minneapolis was named as one city in which rents are rising, along with home affordability, creating an ideal time for renters to consider purchasing.

New Listings
New Listings

In the Twin Cities region, new listings are up from one year ago, while pending sales continue to trend above this time last year. Both are up this past week, while overall inventory is down, indicating a great time to list your home.

Pending Sales
Pending Sales

Vikings Possible Move to Chanhassen Spurs Development Talk

craneReal Estate Week in Review

A sprawling site in Chanhassen near Hazeltine National Golf Club (site of the 2016 Ryder Cup) near where the Vikings headquarters may move is on the radar for a lifestyle center with shops, restaurants, offices and housing, reports the Star Tribune. The retail portion alone would be roughly the size of Edina’s Galleria or The Shops at West End, and the entire project would be the largest ever in Chanhassen. “Having it [in Chanhassen] would really benefit area service businesses and restaurants,” Lori Anderson, President of the SouthWest Metro Chamber of Commerce, said. There are those fighting the Vikings’ move, however, including the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce. “The recognition of Winter Park, headquartered in Eden Prairie … it’s a good way for people to know where Eden Prairie is,” said Pat MulQueeny, the group’s president. “If the Vikings were to leave, it’s a loss. Definitely we’d like to keep them here.”

Total Wine & More is also planning a Chanhassen store – nearly 20,000 square feet on 2.7 undeveloped acres (Minneapolis Saint Paul Business Journal, July 2). Several neighboring businesses have sent letters of support — but many are against it. “A lot of trees have come down,” said Maple Grove City Administrator Al Madsen about the stack of paper the city received in opposition. MGM owner Cole Peterson was one. “They don’t follow the rules,” Peterson said. “They have a history of violating the law in all the states in which they have operated. They have a long list of fines and violations, lawsuits, suspensions, license revocations, etc.”

The Southwest Light Rail line, however, is now expected to end at the transit hub in Eden Prairie, part of $250 million in cuts meant to save the line, reports the Star Tribune. When the budget ballooned to 2 million two months ago, the project seemed dead. But while cuts still fall about $90 million short of the original goal, cities along the route pledged to increase their support. “It could have gone in a lot of different ways this morning,” said Met Council Chairman Adam Duininck. “Ultimately, we emerged with a strong consensus.”

Also in Vikings news, the team has agreed to split the cost of a downtown light rail bridge with the Metropolitan Council (Minneapolis Saint Paul Business Journal, July 6). As part of the deal, the Vikings contribution will be capped at 3.5 million, and they would get an even split of light rail station ad revenue.

Minneapolis is facing much development in the coming months, starting with the closure of Nicollet Mall to traffic and buses. Closing to motor traffic for two years, the project includes a redo of the entire mall, from Washington Ave to Grant Street, reports CBS Local. “The $50 million reconstruction project seeks to bring a pedestrian-friendly, green experience to the heart of Minneapolis. The project looks to line the mall with more trees, art and interactive experiences.” The mall will remain open to pedestrians, and cyclists until 2016, with a grand opening planned for 2017.

Cheapo’s exit from Uptown may bring in a national retailer, possibly TargetExpress, to its 20,000 square feet of space (Minneapolis Saint Paul Business Journal, July 3). CPM Cos. has also proposed 133 apartments above the space. They hope to meet with the planning commission in August. TargetExpress recently developed a location in Highland Park.