Carlson Center in Minnetonka

MINNEAPOLIS—High Street Residential, a subsidiary of Trammell Crow Company, and its joint venture partner Principal Real Estate Investors have just acquired a 13-acre island at the heart of the Carlson Center, one of the top office complexes in this region, and plan to construct a 174-unit, five-story, class A residential building on the suburban Minnetonka site. Called the Island Residences at Carlson Center, residents will have the opportunity to live within a secluded oasis of green space bounded by water on all sides. The partners expect to begin construction in the third quarter and welcome new tenants by the fourth quarter of 2015.

“We’ve been very active in the multifamily sector and identified this west suburban metro area as an area of opportunity,” Grady Hamilton, principal with Trammell’s Midwest business unit, tells GlobeSt.com. Although the Twin Cities area in general has become one of the most active real estate markets in the US, out in Minnetonka “there hasn’t been a lot of development over the past 20 years. There is not a lot of competition.”

As reported in Globe St.com, last year the company broke ground on Arcata, a six-story, 260,000-square-foot building with 165 class A luxury residential units on two acres in Golden Valley, a western suburb. Trammell plans to complete the project by November, Hamilton says. And it just finished Junction Flats, a six-story, 240,000-square-foot building in downtown Minneapolis with 182 class A luxury apartments.

All of these communities are located within office markets, giving employees the option to live a short stroll from their workplaces. But unlike Arcata and Junction Flats, residents of the Island Residences will also “live in a natural setting completely surrounded by water, with great views and a natural ambiance you won’t find in any other residential community in the western suburbs,” says John Carlson, a senior vice president with Trammell’s Midwest unit. “The Island Residences at Carlson Center provides the best of both worlds; seclusion and privacy but yet in close proximity to major transportation arteries and lifestyle amenities such as Lake Minnetonka.”

Furthermore, the new project will occupy a relatively small portion of the island, much of which is covered by conservation agreements. “There will be no further development on the island,” Hamilton says.

“We think it will appeal to young professionals,” he adds. “All of the companies in the Carlson Center indicated a high level of interest from their employees. They were involved all along in the planning,” and gave many suggestions on how to position the project and what sort of finishing touches and details were needed.

The Island Residences will include studio, one bedroom, one bedroom plus den, two bedroom, two bedroom plus den and three bedroom units. Residents will enjoy the trails and trees, heated underground parking, a lap length pool, the surrounding lake and quick access to Ridgedale Center, a regional shopping mall anchored by Macy’s and a future Nordstrom.

ESG Architects will serve as the project architect and Stevens Construction will serve as the general contractor. Jerry Ebert will oversee the construction of the project on behalf of Trammell Crow.

The region’s burgeoning economy has given company officials a great deal of confidence that the ambitious project will succeed. The Twin Cities, for example, have the lowest unemployment rate of any large US metro area. “That has enabled the vacancy rate to remain quite steady even with so much new product being brought to market,” says Hamilton. “And we believe very strongly in the economy’s prospects for future growth, and not just in multifamily, but for office and industrial as well.”