Apartment market booming in Uptown

Uptown will have a surge in new rental options in coming months

In total, with the Greeleaf, Flux and Lake & Knox projects all nearing completion, more than 300 new apartments will open during the next five months. The projects are concentrated along the Midtown Greenway from Lyndale Avenue to Lake Calhoun.

The new units will add supply to a tough rental market. Earlier this year, Forbes pegged Minneapolis’ rental vacancy rate at 3.3 percent, the second lowest in the country behind New York City.

The rental market is particularly tight in Southwest, where as of July only 2.3 percent of apartments were vacant, according to Minneapolis-based Marquette Advisors.

The vast majority of the new units are high-end, with one-bedroom apartments at both Flux and Lake & Knox renting for more $1,000 per month.

Flux, a 216-unit development on the greenway near Fremont, is all about premium amenities. The development features the largest outdoor pool in Uptown, full concierge and furnished guest suites.

Brent Webb, marketing and leasing director for Flux said most everyone interested in renting at Flux is a working professional, as is also the case with Blue, another high-end Greco rental project completed near Lyn-Lake in 2007. The price points are simply too high for most students and service-industry workers.

 “We think that, just with the way the economy is and with all the uncertainty, people aren’t wanting to purchase because they aren’t sure where they’re going to be in a year or two,” Webb said.

While Flux offers premium amenities, CPM Development, developers of Lake & Knox, emphasizes that project’s spacious and luxurious apartments, some of which feature dramatic views of both Lake Calhoun and Downtown.

Lake & Knox’s 57 units feature open floor plans, bathrooms for each bedroom, gas fireplaces and large patios. A commercial space on the first floor will likely be the future home of a wine bar or deli, said Daniel Oberpriller, co-founder of CPM.

Oberpriller said CPM “really went all out given the luxury location and size of the building.”

“You won’t live around a lot of people like you would at Flux or Blue — this will be a pretty small group of people,” he said.

On the other end of the Uptown area, the Greeleaf project at 28th & Lyndale uses federal tax credits to offer affordable one- and two-bedrooms for folks who make less than 60 percent of Hennepin County’s median income.

That means that one bedrooms are available to individuals earning less than $34,740 and two bedrooms for pairs earning less than $39,720.

For qualifying renters, one bedrooms at Greenleaf start at $647 per-month while two bedrooms rent for about $1,000.

All 63 units feature hardwood floors and new appliances. Each floor has a laundry room and the tenants have access to an on-site fitness and community room, with heated parking provided underground.

The ground level features a restaurant and commercial space. Brighton has been in talks with a bakery about the restaurant space but no lease has yet been signed.

Peggy Lucas, co-founder of Brighton, said she believes “there is a lot of demand” for new affordable rental housing in the Lyn-Lake area.

“A lot of the newer apartments are significantly more expensive, so we think [Greenleaf] will take care of some of the people who can’t afford other options” she said, adding that everyone from pilots to cooks has expressed interest about renting at Greenleaf.

“It’s a niche that isn’t there,” she said.