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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bare Ground -- For Now

Waiting for the Next Wave -- Part 1

When the economy comes back, where will Twin Cities developers pick up?

Most likely, where they left off when the recession and downturn arrived.

Here are six now-idled, high profiles sites in the Twin Cities that would appear to have better days ahead of them once credit eases and real estate prices firm.

Whether the developer and project stays the same, however, remains to be seen.

One. "2626 West Lake" (pictured above).

Don't recognize the sleek, contemporary buildings at the north end of Lake Calhoun, and just east of The Calhoun Beach Club?

It's because they were never built.

Unfortunately, Michael Lander's four building, luxury condo development is no more; a victim of disappointing pre-construction sales, the site now appears to be bank-owned.

I saw the (very impressive) 3-D sales presentation, and would have loved to see the buildings go up. Too bad.

My guess: either Lander or another developer takes another crack in the future. This is way too expensive a location for an empty lot to sit indefinitely.

Two. 36th and Wooddale Ave. in St. Louis Park.

This empty lot is sandwiched between two new condo/townhouse developments: Village in the Park Lofts, and Hoigaard Village.

Short-term, the immediate area may have some absorption issues to deal with, i.e., all the nearby new supply is ahead of demand.

Long term, however, the area is an affordable alternative to Excelsior & Grand, about a half-mile southeast (if you can give up proximity to Trader Joe's). Plus, it's just 2 blocks to a planned light-rail station at Wooddale and Highway 7.

. "The Bancroft."

Located at Chowen and 50th St. in South Minneapolis on the site of a former funeral home, The Bancroft targeted more affluent condo buyers looking for bigger spaces: over 2,500 square feet, at prices starting north of $500k.

You'd speculate that both those numbers are likely to shrink before any revived project breaks ground.

Part 2: Projects #4, 5, & 6

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