TV star furious over $1,545 apartment rent at complex that replaced old homes

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DIY television star Nicole Curtis has renewed hostilities with Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and city council member Lisa Bender over an apartment development in south Minneapolis.

The host of HGTV's "Rehab Addict" posted on Facebook Tuesday a message critical that a new apartment complex in the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood is listing a one-bedroom, 610-square-foot apartment for rent at $1,545 per month.

Curtis, a champion of restoring old buildings, campaigned against tearing down two homes at 2316 and 2320 Colfax Ave. S. to make way for the complex, but the city ruled in favor of the developer.

"Last year, at this time, Minneapolis Mayor, Betsy Hodges and Council member Lisa Bender promised their constituents 'affordable housing' and that is why they were fighting people like me who were against [demolishing] historic properties," she wrote.

"... they took down two large homes and over 100 dumpsters into the landfill for this 'green,' ' affordable' housing," she adds. "Disgusted. A $1,500 mortgage gets someone a really nice home of almost $200k – go figure. One-bedroom apartment for the price of a three-bedroom house.

"MAYOR HODGES you have over 500 vacant lots in your north sector why not build where there aren't houses?"

You can read the full post here:

The battle to save 122-year-old home

Curtis had fought to save the 122-year-old house known as "The Orth" at 2320 Colfax from demolition.

The City decided against giving it historical designation and voted in favor of the apartment development. Last March, Curtis took to social media with a post critical of ward council member Bender for backing the demolition, with the TV star saying she wanted the city to investigate the house's history further before approving it.

Mayor Hodges responded to Curtis' social media posts after they generated multiple offensive messages directed at council member Bender, with Hodges accusing Curtis of having "fomented and abetted this behavior."

CityPages reports Orth House at 2320 Colfax was built by renowned architect T.P. Healy, and at the end of its life had been converted into a boarding house offering cheap rent.

The city decided against giving it historic designation, CityPages notes, saying it had "severely diminished integrity" following a damaging fire in 1991.

The plots were developed into Motiv Apartments, which according to its website is a mixture of "loft-style" one- and two-bedroom apartments.

While it is located near pricey areas of Minneapolis, including Uptown, LynLake, Lowry Hill and East Isles, the Lowry Hill East neighborhood has lower-than-average rental prices according to Zumper, which found the median price of a one-bedroom apartment was $950 a month this past fall.

The Office of Mayor Betsy Hodges said it would not be commenting on Curtis's latest post.

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