Developer Pitches 360 Downtown Mpls. Condos

Developer Pitches 360 Downtown Mpls. Condos

Jim Stanton’s plan would revive the never-built “Eclipse” project.

While everyone else is building apartments, developer Jim Stanton is looking to build another large condominium project in downtown Minneapolis.

Plans for the “Eclipse” project call for two towers with a total of 360 residential units on the block bounded by Hennepin Avenue, Washington Avenue North, Third Street North, and First Avenue North.

The project is up for discussion before the Committee of the Whole of the Minneapolis City Planning Commission on January 30. The site is directly across the street from the brand new 222 Hennepin project, which includes 286 luxury apartments and a Whole Foods grocery store.

The Eclipse plan revives a proposal that Stanton pitched during the condo boom, but which was never built before the market crashed.

Janelle Widmeier, a senior city planner with the city’s Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) department, said that Stanton received approval in 2005 for a 503-unit project on the site. So the scope of the project has since been scaled back.

Widmeier said that the current plan calls for a 17-story tower and a 20-story tower rising above a common base. The project would include about 18,000 square feet of ground floor retail space and 759 parking spaces. The project would be built on land that’s currently surface parking or open space.

Stanton, of Coon Rapids-based Shamrock Development, is a veteran developer with a knack for going against the grain. On Thursday morning, Stanton could not immediately be reached for comment.

He’s currently nearing completion of another condo building, the 164-unit Stonebridge Lofts, which is near the Guthrie Theater in downtown Minneapolis. Stanton was the first local developer to begin building for-sale condos again amid the rental apartment development boom.

While there are a few other boutique condo projects in the works, Stanton’s Stonebridge Lofts is the largest local condo project under construction. The project’s website indicates that 118 units—more than 70 percent of the project—have already been sold or reserved. The building is set to open in May. Unit prices range from $300,000 to $1.4 million.

Fritz Kroll, a real estate agent with Edina Realty who focuses on downtown condo sales, welcomes the news of a new condo building.

“We really need new condos. There’s just such a shortage of inventory and there’s always people that want to buy new,” Kroll told Twin Cities Business.

“I think 360 units is a nice size,” Kroll added. He believes that the new building could draw people from nearby apartments who are looking to own, rather than rent, their own units.

Why build condos when everyone else is building apartments? In the case of Stonebridge Lofts, Stanton recently told Twin Cities Business: “I decided to go where the competition ain’t.”