Condo/Rental Building Boom
Increasing City’s Density
Since, I dunno . . . forever, the population of St. Louis Park, a first-ring Minneapolis suburb, has hovered around 50,000.
Might that be about to change?
Slow-Motion Building Boom
Judging by all the high-density (for Minnesota) residential development — much of it for seniors — I’d say “yes.”
The list of recent developments includes: Excelsior and Grand (condo’s and rental); TowerLight on Wooddale (senior rental, pictured at left); the Ellipse (luxury rental); the Flats at West End (luxury rental, pictured at bottom); Hoigaard Village (rental, pictured at top); 36Park (senior rental, pictured below right); and Village in the Park (senior condos, pictured below left).
What accounts for all this development?
I count four reasons:
One. Demographics — specifically, the now-aging Baby Boomers.
As tens of millions of ‘Boomers enter their retirement years, they’re swapping single-family housing for apartments and condo’s.
With a major caveat: they want more amenities — and want to stay in the same neighborhood(s) they’ve lived in for decades.
Which leads to factor #2:
Just west of Minneapolis and its gorgeous chain of lakes, St. Louis Park combines proximity to city culture and recreation with still-affordable (and plentiful) land.
Buyer’s market or Seller’s market, high interest rates or low, the golden rule of real estate — “whoever has the gold, makes the rules” — applies regardless.
Since the housing bust six years ago, lenders are mostly financing new construction rentals.
So, that’s what builders are building.
Four. Light Rail.
With the Southwest Corridor due to come on-line by 2017, new development is springing up along the planned route — and in particular, close to new stations.
In St. Louis Park, that means major intersections along Wooddale, Louisiana, and Blake, all just south of Highway 7.
Add it all up, and I calculate that the next census will show St. Louis Park’s population around 52,000 – 53,000.
The graduating class size of St. Louis Park Senior High — still about 400, down from 800-plus(!) almost 40 years ago.