Sexton Condos: Back from Oblivion and Buzz-Worthy Again?

by Alex Stenback on June 23, 2011

Here’s a Short Video on Sexton Lofts #223

Did you know the Sexton ”Urban Lofts” are back on the Market? 

It’s true, and Urban Realtor/Dad/Friend of Behind The Mortgage Ben Ganje has the scoop, and the listings (along with his cohorts at the Downtown Resource Group.)

For those unfamiliar with this project, it has a storied history.

First as a buzz-worthy adaptive re-use condo project in Downtown’s Elliot Park.

Then as THE poster child for the frothiest and fraudiest excesses (think lawsuits, fraud, missapropriation of funds) of the housing boom.

All of which left the Sexton in a zombie-like state: Dysfunctional, unfinished, many unsold units, foreclosures, few willing buyers, and even fewer willing lenders, with many owners marooned, unable to sell or refinance unless they were willing to take huge losses by selling the units for cash only prices.

And now,  little more than a year after local developer Andy Chase purchased the project, the remaining 78 unsold were snapped up by New York-based private equity firm Point Capital for re-sale to the general public.

So, is the Sexton officially buzz-worthy again?  Probably.

Here’s why: 

According to Ganje, to prepare the project for re-launch, point capital has:

- Updated the common areas (lobby, rooftop, hallways, etc.) and all unsold units. The penthouses are finally built-out.
- Replaced the electrical heating system with a high-efficiency plant, dropping heating costs by 75% (est!).
- Added valet parking for residents/owners (in progress.) One sore point for this project was the promised-but-never-delivered parking ramp, hence the valet.

Clearly they’ve done more than simply re-heat real estate leftovers here, but the best part might be the price tag: At an average of $165 per square foot, this undercuts the downtown average price of $220 per square foot by 25%.

The question, of course, is will they sell?  We’ll defer to Ben Ganje (again, full disclosure: He’s listing these units) on that question, who added this encouraging take via email: 

“Based on the traffic and interest after the first week or two on the market, we expect to be completely sold out in 18 months.”

Downtown Resource Group has an awfully good track record moving units in Minneapolis, so they’ll likely make this goal.  When they do, the Sexton will surely go down as one of the more remarkable turnarounds in the Twin Cities market, and if you are a downtown buyer, this should probably be on your list.

Also doing the happy dance? Current owners, who can look forward to better days, better prices, and a solid project.

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