Multifamily in Minneapolis: Past, Present & Future Design, Development & Construction Trends, Part 1


​I recently had the pleasure to be on a panel for Minnesota Commercial Real Estate Women’s annual Crewcast. With multifamily projects dominating a lot of the news and the commercial real estate industry in the Twin Cities, it presented a great opportunity to speak about the past, present and future of the sector.

Past: Limited Amenities and Location

In the past, developers in the Twin Cities saw Uptown, a neighborhood southwest of downtown Minneapolis, as the only place for market-rate housing. Younger generations wanted to live close to where the action was.

Entertainment, retail, transit and local attractions all played a part in making Uptown “the place to be.” Lakes, local amenities, art and culture were all appealing to renters who desired to live in Uptown. The community was ideal, but units were much different. Kitchens were isolated, eight-foot ceilings were common, units were large and few amenities were included in the property.

Uptown remains a hip place to live and continues to be a hot market for market-rate multifamily housing. Developers are now building high-amenity residences with a cool factor that remains appealing to the renter clientele today. Residential developers are continually mindful of making regular improvements to common spaces and units to keep up with new and unique offerings within the new products being delivered. 

In the past owning was hot—renting was not, making condos the perfect option. The Carlyle, a luxury 39-story condo skyscraper in downtown Minneapolis, was completed in 2007 and is highly amenitized with enclosed parking, a pool, a fitness center and yoga room, a wine room, a fire pit, guest suites and on-site wellness services.

Moving to the other side of downtown, you’ll find Grant Park. Completed in 2004, Grant Park features a 27-story, 330-unit condo tower and city and townhomes on the perimeter. The building features heated underground parking and high-rise condo living with high amenities—an indoor pool and hot tub, a health club, party room, guest suites and a meeting center. Luxurious finishes included granite and wood floors.   

Past trends leaned toward providing amenities in condos for the unit’s owners, but present trends have almost flipped with rental apartments featuring unique, luxurious amenities. Check back in the next few days to read about the Present and my projections for the Future in multifamily development in Minneapolis.

Read my posts on present trends and future trends in multifamily to learn more.