Green Apartments Break Ground in Minneapolis' Uptown

Work has started on Elan Uptown, a 591-unit mid-rise apartment complex in Minneapolis. Greystar and equity owner Multi-Employer Property Trust formed a joint venture to develop the former Bennett Lumber site in the Uptown area of south Minneapolis.

Minneapolis—Work has started on Elan Uptown, a 591-unit mid-rise apartment complex in Minneapolis. Greystar and equity owner Multi-Employer Property Trust (MEPT) formed a joint venture to develop the former Bennett Lumber site in the Uptown area of south Minneapolis.

Phase I of Elan Uptown will deliver 203 apartment units in the fall of 2013, with a planned total build out of 591 units slated for summer 2014. Phase I will include a mix of studios, one- and two-bedroom units, ranging in size from 560 square feet to 1,317 square feet.

Uptown is a destination neighborhood for the Twin Cities and as a result, demand for apartments in the area has been strong with little new supply, notes Greystar. That’s no odd thing for the metro market, however, considering that the first quarter vacancy rate for Twin Cities-area apartments was 2.5 percent, according to Reis Inc. Only New York City and Portland, Ore., have lower rates in the entire country.

The property will include a number of environmental features, enough to achieve LEED silver, according to the developers. Among other things, it will extend the Greenway Promenade and be one of a few area apartments with stairway access to hiking and biking trails on the Midtown Greenway. Also, the total investment by MEPT and Greystar over the life of the project will generate 1.5 million “green” job hours for members of the building and construction trades in Minneapolis.

The emphasis on green development is fitting, since MEPT is a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, and is recognized as a leader in Responsible Property Investing, being ranked first in the Americas and fifth globally for environmental performance by the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark. MEPT is a $5.6 billion, open-end commingled real estate equity fund with assets in 30 major metropolitan markets across the U.S., and is owned by more than 360 public employee and corporate pension plans.