By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
St. Louis Park, Minn.—Newport on Seven, a 167-unit apartment property in suburban Minneapolis, has traded hands for about $22.7 million, or over $136,000 per unit. The buyer was Charleston, S.C.-based Greystar, while the seller was Minneapolis-based Dominium.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul apartment market has been particularly strong lately, with job growth lowering vacancy rates in all submarkets (the local unemployment rate is 5.5 percent, compared with 8.2 percent nationally). According to the Census Bureau, about 20,600 jobs were added to the market in 2011, and estimates put this year’s employment addition at 28,000 jobs.
Newport on Seven was originally developed in 1987 by David Brierton and Jack Safar, the founders of Dominium. According to Dominium, the company has decided to sell some assets, but on the whole is expanding its portfolio in the Twin Cities and other parts of the country. Since the beginning of 2012, Dominium has added 28 assets in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas to its portfolio.
Locally, the company is renovating three historic structures—the Buzza building and Pillsbury A Mill in Minneapolis, and the Schmidt Brewery in St. Paul. In addition, Dominium is renovating the Metropolitan Artist Lofts, a 72-unit complex with numerous studio spaces located in St. Louis.
Greystar, which is a major owner of apartment properties, has also been quite active in the multifamily space this year. Among other initiatives, the company has formed a JV to develop a 288-unit apartment property in Woodbridge, Va.; and a different JV to develop Elan Town Center, in Redmond, Wash., which will contain 134 apartment units.