Pandemic, upended economy have yet to slow Twin Cities apartment projects

A Chicago developer paid more than $21 million this week for a pair of warehouses that will become part of a historic rehab project in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis.

A Chicago developer paid more than $21 million this week for a pair of warehouses that will become part of a historic rehab project that aims to bring more than 500 rentals and a rooftop ice rink to the North Loop neighborhood in Minneapolis.

The conversion of the former Duffey Paper buildings into apartments is among several large rental projects that are poised to break ground in the Twin Cities this year, despite a statewide stay-at-home order that has unemployment claims soaring and property owners fretting about how many leases will get signed next month.

Will Murphy, CEO of CEDARst Cos., which plans to break ground this month on the first phase of the project, said developers remain bullish about the long-term prospects for rentals in the best locations in the Twin Cities.

“Over the life of a 10-year investment, COVID is of little consequence to us,” he said. “There will be other macro events that we deal with, but COVID will be a distant memory.”

Developers are planning to break ground on thousands of apartments in the Twin Cities, including a 23-story tower near the Mississippi River, which drew the go-ahead from the Minneapolis Planning Commission this month; a 16-story tower in the Elliot Park neighborhood and a 36-story mixed-use development near Target Field.

These projects have been in the works for years, and developers say with approvals in hand, financing in place and contractors ready to work, it’s too late to turn back.

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Cedar Street has scored nearly $75 million in debt financing for a 342-unit office-to-apartments conversion in Uptown, one of several multifamily projects in the Chicago developer’s construction pipeline.

Some apartment communities are built from the ground up, and others are fashioned from existing structures. The Ardus, which recently opened in River North, is both — but it’s hard to tell by looking.

Time was, looking at brand-new apartment buildings meant managing your expectations. Sure, you might get a bright, fresh apartment with new appliances, a party room and an in-house fitness center.

Apartment dwellers have begun moving in above Miller’s Pub downtown, continuing a makeover of a drab stretch of Wabash Avenue beneath elevated trains.

The two-year transformation of Uptown’s former Combined Insurance building into a new striking apartment development known as the Draper is nearly complete.

A Chicago apartment developer has broken ground on a $65 million project just north of Pilsen, using a financing tool that’s popular in other big cities but has yet to catch on here.

A vintage office building just steps from the buzz of State Street has been transformed into 176 chic urban apartments in the River North neighborhood.

The 260 units, all studios and one-bedrooms, are positioned as a lower-priced alternative to the increasingly luxury-priced housing options in the neighborhood.

A Chicago developer paid more than $21 million this week for a pair of warehouses that will become part of a historic rehab project in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis.

A vintage office building just steps from the buzz of State Street has been transformed into 176 chic urban apartments.