by Dan Rafter
There’s plenty to like about Arcata, the 260,000-square-foot multi-family development that Trammell Crow Company and Investors Real Estate Trust broke ground on in late September in Golden Valley, Minn.
The 165-unit luxury apartment complex will include the amenities that today’s renters want: a pool, clubhouse, fitness center and two-story heated parking garage. But what sets Arcata apart is its location.
“I happen to live within a mile of this site. And I can tell you that 100 percent this location is ideal,” said Mark Reiling executive vice president of Asset Management at Investors Real Estate Trust. “From this location you are in the center of the Twin Cities. You are equidistant to everything in town. This is the spot. You are located near commercial and some really nice well-established residential neighborhoods in a city that is very well-managed and maintained.”
Grady Hamilton, principal and head of Trammell Crow Company’s Midwest business unit, agreed that the development’s location will help it attract those tenants who are most interested in living and working in a walkable neighborhood that is close to public transportation, restaurants and entertainment.
“We believe that the Twin Cities market over the last several quarters has shown a strong fundamental growth in the multi-family market,” Hamilton said. “The developments that perform well are those that are situated in areas well served by amenities. A close proximity to metro areas helps, and this project has that. This is a unique location. Residents living here will be close to everything.”
Hamilton isn’t overselling this. Arcata will rise on two acres adjacent to the Colonnade Office Tower and just south of Golden Hills Office Center near The Shops at West End.
The Shops at West End, of course, has already generated its own excitement. The mixed-use development in the St. Louis Park suburb is itself located just minutes from downtown Minneapolis. It features a host of shops, restaurants and a movie theater.
John Carlson, senior associate with Trammell Crow and the leader of the company’s multi-family division in the Midwest, said that Trammell Crow provided a high level of amenities for Arcata as a way to specifically entice renters by choice who want to live in a busy urban setting.
He points to the project’s pool deck as an example. The deck doesn’t just feature lawn chairs and recliners. It also boasts cabanas and lounge areas. The deck’s landscaping brings privacy. There’s even an outdoor movie screen.
“We wanted this project to have more of a hotel feel when you walk into the front door,” Carlson said. “We wanted that level of finish and amenity packages.”
There’s an onsite coffee bar on site, too. That, along with the outdoor movie screen, pool deck, club house and large lobby, encourages residents to not just live in Arcata, but to get to know each other, too.
The goal here was to create a community, Hamilton said.
“We encourage people to come into the lobby and get a free cup of coffee. That sounds like a small thing. But that encourages community and congregating,” Hamilton said. “We have fire pits in the pool area and in some cases outdoor television screens and a movie screen. That encourages residents to come together to watch a football game or baseball game on TV. They can sit around the pool and socialize. That is becoming one of the most important components of these projects, building a community through the common areas. It’s no longer just about the four walls of the apartment unit.”
Construction on Arcata is scheduled to wrap in October of 2014.