Rafter Cenhen Southwest aerial

Ritzy Rafter Apartments in CenHen Opening August 1st

Rafter Cenhen From E Hennepin

Rafter building in CenHen, with view from E Hennepin. Photo: Author.

The new Rafter development will likely be one of the last large apartment buildings finished in Minneapolis before inclusionary zoning requires new construction to include affordable apartments. Pricing is out for units ranging from a 442 square-foot studio for $1,270 ($2.87 per square-foot) to a 2733square-foot 3-bed for $9,970 ($3.65 per square-foot). In other words, if they don’t share a bedroom with somebody, single people would have to make at least $50,800 – $132,933 to afford to sleep in this building, assuming they spend 30% of their income on housing.

Setting aside the gentrification of Central-Hennepin (CenHen for some), there was truly a missed opportunity in the naming of the development. The address of the completed development is 333 E Hennepin Ave, which is a banger address if you ask me. Being a resident of the Third Ward, I appreciate addresses that use three digits of three. Unfortunately for developers Cuningham Group (no relation to Council Member Phillipe Cunningham) and Excelsior Group, the domain 333hennepin.com is currently parked with a ransom of $3,333. What a shame.

Rafter Cenhen Corner E Hennepin & 4th St

Rafter entrance at corner of E Hennepin and 4th St NE. Photo: Author

Talking numbers, the project towers at 26 stories and includes a total of 6,548 square feet of commercial space fronting E Hennepin and 4th Street NE. There are a total of 282 resident apartments. For all of the renters, there are exactly 282 parking stalls encased in an above-ground parking structure that is wrapped in a metal facade, similar to the Opus development at 365 Nicollet in Downtown.

Rafter Cenhen Southwest aerial

Aerial render from the southwest of the completed Rafter development.

The project is set to complete in August 2019, and the Rafter website is now leasing for move-ins starting August 1, just in time for the fall semester. Check out the full CPED documents here.

What would your ideal CenHen project include? Affordable housing? What do you think of the podium pool, greening of the parking ramp, or Kintsugi aesthetic to the tower itself? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Conrad Zbikowski

About Conrad Zbikowski

Downtown Minneapolis resident covering local issues including parks, transportation, zoning, and development.