Media Call: Southwest Journal Looking for Buyers with Reserved Units in Mozaic, the Portico, Lumen, 2626, Eat Street Flats, etc.

by Alex Stenback on May 8, 2007

Media Call: We get a fair amount of calls/email from the national and local press on various housing and mortgage related topics, and periodically we like to help them out with a story, if we can…
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From the Southwest Journal’s Jake Weyer, who’s looking for Southwest Minneapolis Condo Buyers:

I’m working on a story about how Southwest Minneapolis developers are marketing their condo projects. As I’m sure you’re aware, sales continue to be slow in the area. I’d like to speak with someone who has purchased or reserved a unit in Southwest, or even someone who is thinking of doing so. Whether it’s at Mozaic, the Portico, Lumen, 2626, Eat Street Flats or somewhere else. I’d like to talk to them about why they chose to buy now, why they chose the development they did and what their thoughts are on the market and their development’s progress (or lack of progress).

If the above describes you, and you are so inclined, feel free to jump in by clicking on the comments below.  Because this is a blog, (No Editors!) We also welcome rumor, innuendo, third party information, and any other unsubstantiated info anyone might want to share on the South/Southwest Minneapolis Condo Market.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Nate May 9, 2007 at 3:46 pm

I can offer some experience with some of these developments. I had reserved a unit in Eat Street, but cancelled it within a week.

I rent a block away from the Franklin and Nicollet intersection where Eat Street is being built, so I’m comfortable with the area and its problems. For instance, the drunken people outside my window right now. I cancelled after doing simple math comparing the costs of renting to owning here. Eat Street is focusing on a lot of one-bedroom units that are pretty expensive in comparison to the loads of rentals in the neighborhood. Stevens Square has historically been a very affordable area, for blue collar and students. The rents here are low, which I have seen cause problems for some owners trying to rent out their much more expensive condos.

Right next door are the Franklin Lofts and Green Leaf Lofts. Both have had a fair number of units on the market from current owners since last year. In particular the smaller one bedroom units, which compare to what Eat Street offers in size and price, haven’t been selling in Franklin Lofts.

Having been through the sales offices of most of these developments, one consistent factor has been the misleading high-pressure realtors. Why do these realtors still try to claim, that units are moving fast, and if you don’t act now there won’t be anything left? I just leave and tell them I’ll come back in a month and see how much has actually changed. When I return I normally see the same units remaining. Their apparent dishonesty doesn’t make me want to work with them.

There is inventory everywhere, and it’s growing weekly as more owners list their units. Most of the existing inventory has been on the market for a considerable amount of time. Contrary to what the sales offices try to tell me, I don’t feel that by waiting I’m throwing money away or that if I don’t buy now I never will. As I watch people struggle to sell, I feel sympathy, and am glad I’m not in their shoes.

Chris July 30, 2007 at 11:43 am

We were one of the first buyers at Mozaic and while strong supporters initially, our confidence and enthusiasm have waned in the 11 months since we forked over a huge deposit while absolutely nothing has happened. The process has been awful- no official updates from the developers since last fall, and repeated weak excuses when we contact them. Ground breaking has been delayed so many times we lose count- Nov., Dec, then Jan, then April, then late July, then pending Uptown Art Fair, then pending buss lines being rerouted.

Since Clark Gassen’s other two projects, Lumen on Lake and Edgewater have stalled (I read on a blog posting that Lumen actually has had negative sales and is still below 50% presold), I would guess this project will die. The last ones I expect to hear it from are the developers, they are doing all they can to keep it alive, when it has clearly redlined some time ago.

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