by Jim Boyle
Interest in Granite Shores of Elk River remains high, and now its owners can boast of the building being a luxury apartment community.
Up until recently, it had been a broken condo with luxury apartment units for rent.
“We closed on the last condo deal,” a jubilant Jim Soderberg told the Star News on July 30. “We’re now a luxury apartment community.”
Soderberg no longer has to keep alive a homeowners association that was tied to three condo units that had been purchased before his company, Apartment Specialists of Brooklyn Park, bought the building from Minnwest Bank for $5.125 million.
The Bluffs purchase included 64 unsold condo units and less than 10,000 square feet of unoccupied commercial space. Of the 64 condos, 22 were finished and rented earlier and are occupied. The remaining 42 were never finished but will be completed and rented. They have been upgraded to include granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances, and the same is true for the ones that had been rented.
The vacant condos are one and two bedroom. Monthly rental rates range from about $900 to approximately $1,600. One of the top-priced units is the top-floor turret condo, which is unoccupied, Soderberg said.
Soderberg said he believes the 90 days it took to buy out the three units and turn them into rental units represents the fast est turnaround in the Twin Cities market and beyond.
“I thought we had about a 15 percent chance of doing this when we got into it,” said Soderberg, who continues to impress city of Elk River staff.
“I am very pleased with how Jim (Soderberg) and his team have quickly transformed the nearly vacant building into the talk of the town,” said Annie Deckert, the director of economic development. “It’s a great asset to our downtown.”
Deckert told the Star News the transition from owner-occupied condominiums to high-end rental has been positive and is a testament to the change in the economy. More residents downtown have meant increased activity for the businesses, the new farmers market and downtown concerts on Thursday nights.
Deckert said she likes the energy Soderberg and Granite Shores have brought to downtown. Her phone has been busy with calls about the city’s/EDA’s downtown revitalization Micro Loan Program from potential retail and commercial tenants.
Soderberg said he is close to making other announcements, but can’t yet.
“We’ve got seven proposals we’re looking at, and two groups fighting over the (commercial) turret space,” Soderberg said.