LPM Apartments’ floor-to-ceiling windows look out onto Loring Park, the Basilica of St. Mary, the Wa
LPM Apartments’ floor-to-ceiling windows look out onto Loring Park, the Basilica of St. Mary, the Walker Art Center’s Sculpture Garden, and the expanse beyond. Photo by Brandon Stengel
A pool with a stunning skyline view. A lush backyard—on the roof. A spa—for your dog. Cars and mailboxes that are never cold. No snow shovels in sight.
Is this really Minnesota? You betcha.
More and more Minnesota residents are choosing the lease life, and more buildings are popping up to meet the demand. Brent Wittenberg of Marquette Advisors reports that 3,335 new market-rate apartment units opened in the Twin Cities metro area last year. An additional 4,182 are scheduled for completion this year, with ever-expanding amenities. Whether you’re a family with kids, an empty nester, or a young professional, here’s a closer look at how luxury leasing suits you—sometimes to a T.
If You’re a Family with Kids
For families with young children, a central locale minimizes chauffeuring kids to school and activities, and provides more ways to shake out the sillies on foot, bike, or lake. (When it is your turn to drive the carpool, heated parking makes winter trips warmer, too.)
“It’s very practical,” says Craig Bassett, who calls Elan Uptown home with his wife Hellen and their sons Jordan, 7, and Logan, 5. A job move for Craig, who is a software engineer, brought the family halfway around the world from their house in New Zealand to Minneapolis last year. Now, most places are within walking distance. “Logan’s preschool is only three blocks away from our apartment and we always walk to school rain or shine,” he says. “Jordan’s school is only a seven-minute drive or a 25-minute walk. Everything is so central.”
Many apartments are also within blocks of parks and trails, offering up a healthy dose of nature right in the heart of the city. Mill & Main and 7west Apartments are connected to miles of trails overlooking the Mississippi River. LPM Apartments sits along Loring Park. EDITION, opening its first of three buildings this month, will flank the new Downtown East Commons Park. And The Encore, opening later this year, looks onto Gold Medal Park. For the Bassetts, who are avid bikers, Elan Uptown’s amphitheater leads directly onto the Greenway.
Onsite amenities help families get moving at home, too. Pools are a summer favorite, and when the kids are busy, fitness centers let parents sneak in a workout. At Elan Uptown, a screen descends from the yoga studio’s ceiling, providing dozens of instructor-led courses at the push of a button, 24 hours a day. Rayette Lofts offers yoga on its rooftop in the summer, and brings Saint Paul Athletic Club instructors to its fitness center to lead free spin classes for residents year-round.
Craig says luxury also lies in the minimal upkeep: “Less space means less cleaning to do, and you get to apply the minimalist way of life.” Limited storage means less accumulation of “stuff” (and fewer messy rooms). And no yard means no yard work, leaving more time for family time.
If You’re an Empty Nester
When the kids have flown the coop and the extra bedrooms are gathering dust, many empty nesters are shedding family homes in favor of high-end urban apartments. The move usually means a smaller space, but it doesn’t require tossing everything you own. “People are looking for space that allows for de-cluttering a large home, but enough room to keep their heirloom furniture,” explains Laura Fitzgibbons, manager of sales and marketing at The Encore.
DeeDee and Robin Roberts, longtime homeowners in the Merriam Park neighborhood, had been pondering a move when they heard about The Vintage on Selby just a few blocks away. “It had everything we wanted: storage space, an open floor plan, big windows with lots of light, underground parking, and in a neighborhood we love,” DeeDee says. They moved in the day it opened.
Downsizing doesn’t mean an end to entertaining. Across the metro’s luxury apartment scene, shared amenity spaces allow for hosting larger groups, often without the cleanup. The Vintage on Selby and The Nic on Fifth sport club rooms with lounge areas, fireplaces, and full kitchens. The Penfield’s club room offers a bar, fireplace, and gaming area.
Before guests arrive at the Roberts’s home, grocery shopping can be done in a snap—Whole Foods is onsite—and cooking can happen in their apartment, in the club room, or, in the summer, at one of the outdoor grilling stations. An in-house grocery store is not an anomaly: 222 Hennepin is also home to a Whole Foods, and The Penfield houses a Lunds. When East End opens in 2017, Trader Joe’s will be downstairs. Meals “out” can also be enjoyed onsite: Rayette Lofts houses Saint Dinette, The Walkway’s first level is dedicated to Restaurant Scena on Lake, and Eastside opened at Latitude 45 last summer.
Green space is also plentiful. Akin to a backyard (albeit at a higher elevation), The Vintage maintains a 4,000-square-foot lawn on its roof, and The Penfield offers a landscaped green roof dotted with private cabanas. Rayette Lofts recently added a rooftop garden, EDITION will sport a landscaped Sky Deck, The Encore will feature a courtyard, and The Nic on Fifth maintains a zen garden walking path beyond its outdoor pool and lounge area.
For the Robertses, leasing also offers carefree flexibility. “We no longer have the responsibilities that come with owning a house,” DeeDee says. “Now when we are able to travel, we just close the door and have no worries.”
If You’re a Young Professional
When 27-year-old Justin Gothelf moved to Minnesota from Florida for a job in television media and sales last year, he wanted a place to call home that was close to highways, dining, parks, and shopping. He found 36 Park Luxury Apartments in St. Louis Park. “Everything’s very convenient for my lifestyle,” he says. “I don’t have to go far. Frankly, I don’t even have to drive.”
With both the office and a night on the town steps away, central locations cater to the “work hard, play hard” crew. Many apartments have near-perfect walk and transit scores, which rank proximity to shops, services, and public transportation. For downtown Minneapolis dwellers, EDITION, The Nic on Fifth, and Soo Line Building City Apartments are also skyway-connected for climate-controlled walkability.
For residents who prefer to kick back at home post-workday, a wealth of amenities makes it easy to relax, get fit, or grab a drink or a bite. “When it’s not freezing out, I can’t tell you how many times I picked up some steaks, grilled out on the 10th floor, and just hung out,” Gothelf says. “There are amazing views, it’s always clean, and you’re just sitting on a couch and you’re comfortable.”
As a new Twin Cities resident, Gothelf also enjoys the sense of community he’s found among his neighbors, befriending folks of all ages. Regular residents-only events like poker, movie, and painting nights also bring neighbors together.
Gothelf’s apartment experience in a word? “Spoiled. I’m scared for what other apartments I may ever live in because I don’t think they will be this easy.”
Looking to lease? These luxury apartment residences are all new in the last three years.
222 Hennepin Apartments
222 Hennepin Ave., Mpls.,
Open: 2013 Units: 286
36 Park Luxury Apartments
3601 Park Center Blvd., St. Louis Park
Open: 2013 Units: 192
1800 Washington Ave. S., Mpls.
Open: 2013 Units: 218
Dock Street Flats
337 Washington Ave. N., Mpls.
Open: 2014 Units: 185
713 Washington Ave. S., Mpls.
Open: 2017 Units: 180
Pricing: Not yet available
2837 Emerson Ave. S., Mpls.
Open: Phase I, 2013; Phase II, 2014 Units: 590
212 10th Ave. S., Mpls.
Open: Fall 2016 Units: 123
The Flats at West End
5310 W. 16th St., St. Louis Park
Open: 2013 Units: 119
313 Washington Ave. S., Mpls.
Open: 2015 Units: 318
Pricing: Upon request
1369 Spruce Pl., Mpls.
Open: 2014 Units: 354
Mill & Main
501 SE Main St., Mpls.
Open: Phase I, 2013; Phase II, 2015 Units: 338
The Nic on Fifth
465 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.
Open: 2014 Units: 253
One Southdale Place
6800 York Ave. S., Edina
Open: 2014 Units: 232
360 N. 1st St., Mpls.
Open: 2015 Units: 140
101 E. 10th St., St. Paul
Open: 2013 Units: 254
261 E. 5th St., St. Paul
Open: 2014 Units: 88
Soo Line Building City Apartments
101 S. 5th St., Mpls.
Open: 2013 Units: 254
115 N. 2nd St., Mpls.
Open: 2014 Units: 101
Vintage on Selby
176 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul
Open: 2015 Units: 210
415 Oak Grove St., Mpls.
Open: 2013 Units: 119
1320 W. Lake St., Mpls.
Open: 2014 Units: 91
Pricing: $1,355-$5,000 and above