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Luxury apartment tower planned near Guthrie, Downtown East

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Minneapolis' Downtown East area could add another luxury item to its renovation plans.

According to The Journal, property developer Sherman Associates is planning an 11-story luxury apartment tower across from Gold Medal Park – a block from the Guthrie Theater, and just north of the new Vikings stadium.

The tower, the Journal says, would be on the same block as other Sherman properties, the Zenith Condominiums and Aloft Hotel.

The new apartment tower, called Encore, is actually phase two of the development project that spawned both the Zenith and Aloft properties, the Business Journal reports. The new Encore spaces were originally planned as more condominiums, but the project was delayed due to the housing crisis in 2008, and recently revived as apartments, the Business Journal says.

The revamped plan is in line with recent downtown Minneapolis property trends.

Last summer, only one condo project was under construction – despite thousands of apartments being built, or added by converting old buildings. Meanwhile, overall construction that year was up, and trending even higher. The city's Director of the Community Planning and Economic Development Department said there’s an influx of millenials in their 20s and 30s driving the boom, and that may be the reason for a growing rental market.

Since that summer, rent in downtown Minneapolis has jumped sky-high.

Overall, the average monthly rent in the Twin Cities rose to $1,000 in the first quarter of 2014. That’s a 3.5 percent increase and represents the first time the average rent has hit four figures. Rents in downtown Minneapolis however experienced an even more dramatic jump, with an increase of 9.1 percent.

According to The Journal, the new Encore tower would have monthly rents anywhere from about $1,600-$7,000.

The project developer, George Sherman, told the Star Tribune the location is the best available site in the city.

The Business Journal notes nothing is set in stone – Sherman Associates has met with some neighborhood groups, but has not submitted a plan to the city. The company plans to do so soon however, with a groundbreaking set for November.

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