Back on January 2, 2016, John Reinan in the Star Tribune wrote about how the teardown craze in SW Minneapolis and the city of Edina hasn’t yet crossed over into Saint Louis Park.
The reasons why teardowns in Saint Louis Park haven’t taken off like the neighborhoods right across the city boundary are debatable. In the city council agenda for March 14th, the following map was included on page 7 showing all major additions, demolition and rebuild (teardown), and new construction in the city.
For reference to Saint Louis Park’s neighborhood names, refer to this .pdf link.
By comparison to Edina, it is clear the teardown activity (blue dots) really doesn’t compare. But you may be able to make a case that it really is starting to spill over after all. Minikahda Vista isn’t getting the activity that Morningside in Edina is to the south. But I’d argue that southernmost neighborhoods on the map, Brookside and Browndale, neighborhoods that are closest to the Country Club neighborhood of Edina, are starting to see some spill over. Fern Hill and Lake Forest are getting a small bump in teardowns spilling over from proximity to Cedar Lake in Minneapolis.
I’d say the map otherwise does show how little teardowns are happening in Saint Louis Park as a whole.
Personal note: I grew up in Saint Louis Park smack in the center of the clump of blue dots in Brookside.
Teardowns happen where the cost to purchase the land (and existing structure) + the cost of demolition + the cost of new construction is less than the value of the new home constructed.
In SW Minneapolis and Edina neighborhoods where the value of a larger home is driven by the limited supply of larger homes and you have homes with deferred maintenance or functional obsolescence, you get teardown.
The most desirable candidates will be the smallest or worst maintained homes in an area.
In Minneapolis (not sure about Edina) you can sell a home “as is.” Not so in St. Louis Park where deficiencies have to be fixed by the seller before closing (or money from the sale escrowed for the repairs). I suspect that is one reason teardowns are less economically attractive in St. Louis Park.
Each of those teardowns in Brookside were very small and/or in very bad shape (almost crumbling). Each got replaced by a nearly lot-filling multi-story home. Selling for over $600K.
I guess the instances of major additions is a good analog for teardowns in SLP’s case because of the requirement to fix everything to code (and SLP has infamously picky inspectors). Many of the tiny postwar single story and story-and-a-half are being remodeled as huge two story.
I wonder why tear downs are so strongly associated with SW, as I see them all over South Minneapolis. Saw some in St. Paul the other ride while cycle through too.
Adam – small homes (in Lindon Hills some built as seasonal cabins) on full-sized lots + lax inspections + limited rental interest in the small homes. Couple that with a mixture of housing ages and sizes to allow comps for the teardown replacements and lots of disposable income…….
Yes, I know why they are happening. I’m saying they aren’t just happening in Linden Hills, it’s all over.
Quick question for the Saint Louis Park experts: What is the purpose of the parking lot at the SW corner of Minnetonka Blvd. and Louisiana Ave? It seems excessive for the local businesses, and looks more like a Park & Ride lot. However, it isn’t signed as such, and the Metro Transit website doesn’t list it as one.
There was once a building there that for decades was a tavern of different names. In 1981 it was called Park Tavern, that year the city bought it in order to widen Louisiana Avenue south of Minnetonka Blvd. as part of the project to connect Louisiana Avenue to Excelsior Blvd. The new connection would be built according to what traffic engineers at the time said was the best practice, four 13-14 ft. wide lanes. The Park Taven building was going to be in the way of the new superwide lanes. The city acquired the property, demo’d the building. They couldn’t find a developer for the now smaller plot. Over time the city has acquired irregular plots all over the city that no developer was willing to buy at the time. In many cases, like this one, the city just turned the unpopular parcel into municipal parking.
FYI. Park Tavern relocated further south along the then-new Louisiana connection that was built through the capped superfund site. Built a larger building with multiple bowling lanes. It’s an even more popular icon of the city now. The Louisiana connection south of Minnetonka never got enough traffic to be worthy of the four superwide traffic lanes, carrying about only 10,000 cars. While speed limit signs are posted 30 mph, most drivers are compelled to drive 40–45 because the lanes are highway width and there are few trees along the street.