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April 22, 2020

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

By Editor Star Tribune

Star Tribune

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.