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How strong is downtown St. Paul real estate?

Gregory A. Lang

Real estate law attorneys often have a good sense for the current state of local real estate markets -- simply because they work with numerous clients to help them negotiate their real estate deals. They also tend to be highly aware of any efforts made by their local regional governments to stimulate real estate growth. Let's take the city of St. Paul's efforts to push the creation of new downtown apartment buildings, for example. Is it working to stimulate growth?

According to a local real estate research and consulting firm, a lot of people were skeptical about the city's efforts in this regard. However, these days, downtown St. Paul is growing in all real estate market sectors. Retail space and offices are getting rented, there are more hotel rooms than ever and downtown residential real estate is booming.

There are more people than ever living downtown, and the centerpiece of that residential real estate success is the 254-unit luxury complex Penfield, which used to owned by the city. The apartment complex opened for business in 2013 and demonstrated how excited people are to live in the center of downtown St. Paul.

From 2010 through 2016, the number of residential units in the downtown area of st. Paul has grown from 4,873 up to 6,024. The urban population has risen from 4,860 to 8,400 during the same timeframe.

Clearly, things are looking up for real estate in downtown St. Paul. As such, other real estate developers may decide to build new apartment complexes and develop other projects in the area. However, before such a major project is begun in haste, developers are well-advised to consult with a real estate attorney about the potential legal, zoning, contractual and other concerns associated with their project.

Source: Politics in Minnesota Capitol Report, "Downtown St. Paul real estate shows strength," Janice Bitters, Oct. 19, 2016

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