St. Louis Park's luxury apartment building spree worries some city officials

  • Article by: Ben Johnson , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 7, 2013 - 1:24 PM

Some city officials worry that new luxury units might crowd out other development needed for a diverse population.

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CullenMay. 8, 1311:17 AM

It costs a lot to build housing! By the time one acquires land and constructs the building, it is often $200/square foot. There is no way to rent them for less than Don's proposal unless St. Louis park (or some other entity) wants to buy down the cost to build the buildings.

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twincitizen1May. 8, 13 1:57 PM

New construction is expensive whether the apartments are labeled 'luxury' or not. It's best to let the market work, unless you want to hand out millions in subsidies for new affordable units. As more new units come online, older and cheaper units will become available as more people 'move up' to the new units. It won't happen overnight, but we need to keep building units like the article mentions in SLP, as well as Uptown, North Loop and other close-in parts of the metro. It is not the SLP City Council's job to determine what the market can bear. This is not the same thing as the housing boom last decade. The worst thing that could happen if we overbuild luxury apartments is that the rental rates would have to come down to fill them up...and that really wounldn't even be 'the worst thing', now would it?

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frenkelMay. 8, 13 2:40 PM

It the rents fall and property owners can't meet their mortgage the building(s) could go into default. The 'market' is full of speculators who usually use other peoples money so if they default they just move on and let the city determine what to do with the property. There are plenty of US cities that have been left with partially or fully developed property that has gone into default.

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mattaudioMay. 8, 13 3:06 PM

City council worried about congestion? Congestion is not a bad thing. There's no way to avoid congestion due to induced demand, so congestion actually saves money in the long run. Thought this was obvious.

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twincitizen1May. 8, 13 4:15 PM

When it comes to the proposed apartments that are literally connected to the future Wooddale LRT Station (as well as bus service and regional trails), the City could always allow the developer to build with minimal to zero parking, aside from a few spaces for car shares and short-term guest/business parking. People who choose to own cars wouldn't live there, the units would be more affordable due to not building underground parking at 30k/space, and there would be no added automobile congestion. Problem solved!

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kgravesMay. 9, 13 1:55 PM

How is it that the city council didn't realize the issue of too many high rent apartments until AFTER they were built?

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Arch4003May. 13, 1312:28 PM

And maybe when the housing market heats up again, more folks might want to buy. Who knows, maybe some of these rentals will turn into condo buildings eventually.

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SR71RECONMay. 13, 13 5:17 PM

Why would any company buy land and spend money to build a "low rent" apartment complex when for a little more investment thay can build a "high rent" complex that will make more money?

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