consultants are sandburs

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Twin Cities Apartment boom - does it spell doom for the Flaherty Ramsey-by-the-rails adventure, or for Jim Deal's new thing?

Strib reports in a locally authored item, not a wire feed, this opening:

Twin Cities apartment construction accelerates to highest level since 1980s --In the boom, only 1 in 10 new units will be for low-income renters.
By Jim Buchta Star Tribune - February 18, 2017 — 6:16pm

After tapping the brakes in 2016, apartment developers in the Twin Cities are shifting into overdrive.

Apartment building is expected to rise by more than 30 percent this year and reach the highest number of new units — 5,600 — in at least 30 years, a new market study says.

Nearly all of it will be in upscale buildings in the suburbs, where there’s been little new apartment construction since the 1980s. Only 1 in 10 will be for low-income renters.

“I would like to see stronger production in the middle-market and affordable price categories, but it’s harder to make these projects financially feasible,” said Thomas O’Neil, who wrote the market study and is a vice president at Dougherty Mortgage in Minneapolis.

“We can really never build too much affordable housing and a variety of forces are pinching production this year,” he said.

The construction boom comes at a time of growing concern that the rental market is saturated.

For the entire story follow the Strib link. It is a detailed report, talking neighborhoods, and more.

As far as Ramsey; it's had its latest Town Center apartment building frenzy, with the watchword "up scale."

There has been, next to the Flarherty eye-sore, a more modestly sized and more attractive building, for affordable housing.

Jim Deal's work seems completed on the one apartment unit. He declined to build a parking ramp, opting for ground level parking rows as approved by city government. Whether taxpayers will be saddled with another ramp, the one Flaherty's building is hung onto having been built with taxpayer money, much of it funneled back into town from other governmental coffers. Still, taxes are taxes at any level, and if there is another ramp to benefit private for-profit speculators, it should be paid for entirely by private for profit speculators; but don't hold your breath for that to happen. It's Ramsey, after all. TIF-haven.

One must remember, those newer Town Center apartment buildings will have a life of decades, and it is older buildings that can be transitional headaches after early as-built success. What will not change, landlords will be landlords, so optimal for-profit cash flows will be pursued, whether it be high per-unit middling occupancy, or price concession to boost occupancy, there are few other adjustments that can apply. Fifteen years down the line, ask about the success of the Flaherty project, and don't even bother asking if Flaherty would then care. It seems he's already arranged a cashout sale to other landlord interests; moving on, may he prosper.

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