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
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Rents Rise while Highland Shines: Real Estate Week in Review

Residential News

The cost of residential rents has climbed 3.5% since June of last year, reports the Star Tribune (“From rents to haircuts, an unfamiliar trend is emerging for US consumers: price increases,” August 1).  It is the fifth straight month with an annual gain of that size, and at the fastest yearly pace in six years. The rising cost of rent is considered the biggest driver of inflation, and apartment vacancy rates being at the lowest levels in 25 years is the biggest driver of rising rent costs.

The Ford Motor Co. development site, provided by Google Maps
The Ford Motor Co. development site, provided by Google Maps

Business and Development News 

The City of Saint Paul has solicited proposals from consultants to assist with the development of the Ford Motor Co. site in Highland Park. According to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, two firms have stepped up to assist: Abramson and Associates, and RTKL Associates Inc. “St. Paul hopes to create a ‘world-class connected, livable, and green’ project on the site, according to the city’s request. It also wants a ‘net zero’ energy site with green space and green connections; a mixture of uses including a robust jobs component; and a design that encourages biking, walking, and transit to reduce vehicle traffic” (Two companies respond to assist St. Paul with Ford site, August 3). Ford will select the master developer, expected this fall.

Another Economic Boon to the Saint Paul Area

Real Estate Week in Review

University of Minnesota

Fox9 reported this week on the University of Minnesota housing improvement plan (“8 objectives in U of M housing improvement plan,” May 3). The plan is to make on-campus living more attractive to students, and their budgets. Improvements include:

“- Renovate or replace Pioneer Hall
– Guarantee campus housing for all first-year students meeting the application deadline
– Modernize “Superblock” dining facilities
– Increase the number of first-year students living in residence halls another year
– Increase demand on St. Paul campus housing (Bailey Hall)
– Ensure transfer students “receive housing support”
– Develop second-year experience programs with non-U of M housing partners
– $3 million in safety, efficiency and comfort improvements for Greek housing”.

At this time, “it’s unclear exactly how much all the improvements will cost, and who is fronting it.”

In other University news, Sanford-Brown announced on Wednesday their campuses in Twin Cities area will close after current students graduate. 14 sites will close, including locations in Mendota Heights and Brooklyn Center. The decision is said to focus their resources on universities in Colorado, Atlanta and Houston.

Stadium News

The Saint Paul Saints are ready for opening day at CHS field, reports REJournals.com, offering a virtual tour. The Saints will take the field in their new Lowertown location for the first time on May 21. It is set to be “another economic boon to the Saint Paul area.”

The Star Tribune reported this week the Ryan Companies proposal for a new Radisson Red hotel near the Vikings stadium. “The developer has submitted a proposal to the City of Minneapolis for a five-story, 164-room Radisson Red hotel on one of the two liner parcels behind the new Wells Fargo towers that Ryan is currently building.”

Radisson Red

Residential Real Estate

The Star Tribune reported last week that 25% of US renters are using 50% of their income for housing (“1 in 4 US renters must use half their pay for housing costs,” May 1). With interest rates low and the rental rates high, many buyers are finding it is more affordable to purchase a home than rent one, along with the numerous benefits of homeownership. Contact Miller Grossman (651-434-7887 or MillerGrossman@CBBurnet.com) to discuss your options and begin your search.

In Other News

Plans for the 159 unit mixed use development at 100 Hennepin Ave in Minneapolis were unveiled this week. The six story building will include a coffee shop, possibly a restaurant, and 11 walk-up townhomes along 1st Avenue North.

100 Hennepin

Local nightlife favorite Cowboy Jack’s is set to take over part of the now defunct Epic Nightclub (which closed in 2013 after a fatal shooting), where the new Shout House occupies the first floor. It is set to include a bar, booths and tables, and a 2nd floor patio. There is no set open date at this time. Cowboy Jack’s currently operates nine locations in three states, most in the Twin Cities.

The Tea Garden in Uptown has a new owner, new name and new look, set to be a more elegant experience catered to a wider audience. The selection of teas will jump from 50 to over 100. Says Steve Day, owner of Plymouth-based general contractor SullivanDay Construction, the focal point of Sencha is a round, 11-foot tea bar, topped off by a rotating tea rack overhead. The overall effect is “wicked cool.”