St. Louis Park, Minn.–The Ellipse on Excelsior, a 132-unit apartment community in St. Louis Park, Minn., has just opened its doors, offering tenants a few unique options for pursuing an environmentally friendly lifestyle.
The theme at Ellipse, according to Minneapolis-based Bader Development, which shelled out $31 million to build the property, centers on the merging of sustainability and luxury; essentially, “feeling good about living well.” Residents have their choice of 23 different apartment floor plans, access to 16,000 square feet of ground-level commercial space and some additional amenities that are not often found at area multifamily properties–bike-sharing and car-sharing programs.
Designed by DJR Architecture Inc., Ellipse stands five stories high at the corner of Excelsior Boulevard and France Avenue, approximately five miles southwest of Minneapolis. “The location draws a very active demographic that is more prone to biking than driving,” Robb Bader, vice president of Bader Development, tells MHN. “With the city lakes and trails around us, the area is very bike-friendly, and we wanted to encourage people to use bikes instead of sucking up gas. Bike-sharing is becoming a little more popular and there are a few programs out there–the City just started one in Uptown–but they are few and far between.” And to further accommodate tenants who opt to travel on two wheels instead of four, a “hydration station” is provided in the common area, so bikers who forgot to fill up on their way out do not have to buy a new bottle of water, thereby decreasing the use of plastic.
And for those who feel the need to get behind the wheel every now and again, Ellipse’s Share Car program serves as a sustainable alternative to maintaining a vehicle that is infrequently utilized. The program provides residents with the option to drive to locations farther away without having to endure the expense of car ownership. “We’re not right in the middle of town so we wanted people to still feel comfortable at our property,” Bader says. Additionally, by replacing the need for approximately 15 to 20 privately owned vehicles, Share Car supports the reduction of fossil fuel emissions. Ellipse is one of just two apartment communities in the Twin Cities that make the car-sharing program available to tenants.
But car owners are welcome at Ellipse, too; the property features a 177-space parking facility.
Beyond the sharing of bikes and vehicles, Ellipse is green through and through. “We were able to recycle 70 percent of our construction waste,” he notes. Units feature Energy Star-rated appliances, low-emission paint and energy-saving windows. Also, the building is surrounded by plantings that require a negligible amount of water and it sits within close proximity to public transportation.
With the rarely found bike and car sharing programs, as well as the other green amenities, Ellipse stands out from the competition. “I do believe that the sharing programs are something that people are open to but don’t expect. It still has that ‘wow’ factor, and once they get to the site and see that it’s available, I think it does play a part in decision-making.” Ellipse opened three weeks ago and 85 units have already been leased.