$3.5M lakeside 'dream home' purchased – so it can be destroyed

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A couple spent $3.5 million on a Lake of the Isles home just to tear it down.

The one-story home, which was built in 1958 on 0.9 acres of land – one of the largest parcels on the lake – sold Nov. 6, according to Coldwell Banker Burnet's website. The property was listed by Lakes Sotheby's International and was featured on Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal's "Dream Home" series earlier this year.

Finance & Commerce says the property's new owners want to tear down the home because the way it's situated on the property doesn't take advantage of the lot's size.

So, down she goes.

Expensive teardowns? Not uncommon

It may sound like a lot of money to destroy something. But this isn't the first million-plus dollar home that's been torn down in the metro to make room for something new – and it probably won't be the last.

The Star Tribune reported in 2013 that many homes – some "architectural gems" – are being demolished and replaced throughout the Twin Cities.

The newspaper called a home on Lake Minnetonka's Wayzata Bay the "teardown of all teardowns" in 2013. Cargill heir Donald MacMillan purchased the 8,500-square-foot contemporary home, designed in the 1970s by world-renowned architect Romaldo Giurgola for the head of Dayton Hudson Corp., for nearly $10 million in 2013.

And now there are plans to demolish it.

Tearing down million-plus dollar homes on Lake Minnetonka seems to be more common than other areas of the Twin Cities, but it still happens in the region, especially in Edina and parts of Minneapolis.

Demolishing homes, whether they're worth millions or more reasonably priced, has become quite the controversy throughout the metro as residents fight to preserve the character of their neighborhood, while others look to build the home of their dreams in the city of their choice.

There has been a teardown-to-rebuild boom as of late throughout the country.

From 2005-2009, an estimated 23.3 percent of new construction in the Twin Cities were "infill" homes, or teardowns. That's up from 16.9 percent from 2000-2005, according to the Environmental Protection Agency's study.

At least 35 homes in southwest Minneapolis have been torn down this year, the Star Tribune reported.

In Minneapolis, this trend pushed the city to pass a moratorium on teardowns earlier this year so it could study the effects of teardowns and adjust its construction codes if needed, MPR News reports. The city has since lifted the teardown moratorium and replaced it with a construction management plan, according to the city's website.

Some areas of Edina have similar moratoriums in place to maintain historical integrity of the neighborhood. It is written in the deeds of 91 percent, of 507 of the 555 homes in the Edina Country Club District that they cannot be demolished, according to the city's website.

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