New developments reshape the Twin Cities

Ben Stark, Staff Writer

The Twin Cities’ real estate market is booming. It does not take an economist to
tell you that new apartments are being built in Minneapolis. Every quarter, new cranes pop up around the downtown skyline, and the cover of the “Star Tribune” has a new building on it every week.

On Augsburg’s campus, housing numbers are decreasing as students find options off campus. In addition to affecting universities, these new apartments are causing major changes in Minneapolis’ neighborhoods.

The growing real estate in Minneapolis follows years of low vacancy rates. City developers plan to add an additional 13,000 units to the almost 24,000 new units. Since 2010, the Twin Cities have added apartments at the 24th fastest rate in the country: 2.5% annually. This is only half the growth rate in other rapidly developing places such as
Denver, but nevertheless, the region is building.
Stadium Village is one neighborhood growing rapidly to accommodate student housing
needs. The newest high rise is the Hub, a 431-unit building on Harvard Street. The building boasts all the amenities that students could want: a pool, a hot tub, a fitness center, study nooks and the ability to walk to class. The University of Minnesota cannot offer these amenities without significant increases in tuition, but private developers are able to invest outside money in apartments.
Instead of moving off campus into houses, students are moving into luxury apartments. Older working millennials are switching from single family housing units to high-rise apartments. New apartments in the North Loop Warehouse District and Uptown’s Calhoun Square have reinvented the areas. Many Augsburg alumni have benefited from development in these neighborhoods. Kate Ellison, a North Loop resident and Augsburg Senior, said she loves “the hip restaurants and walking to the Metro Transit stations.”

Some negative aspects of the city’s rapid development are that it has pushed out longterm residents and hurt some of the neighborhoods’ original character. Developers and preservation groups have disagreed on many aspects. But in the North Loop, new developments have been built around existing warehouses, and the city has kept many of the old brick streets. Each neighborhood has taken their own stance on new development.

In 2015, the Preserve Historic Dinkytown Council created a four-block commercial historic district in Dinkytown. Local residents and the University of Minnesota created the zone to preserve the historic “Dinky” buildings. Around this zone, new student housing has updated the area, making Dinkytown a neighborhood which adapted to rapid growth while maintaining its character. The next time you are out and about, observe how each neighborhood is adjusting to its new growth.

This article first appeared in the Friday, March 23, 2018, Edition of The Echo.