One Southdale Place: A taste of urban living in the suburbs

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by Dan Rafter

You don’t have to live in the center of a big city to get a taste of urban living. The One Southdale Place luxury apartment complex in the Twin Cities suburb of Edina, Minnesota, is a good example.

The property — developed jointly by Simon Property Group and StuartCo — has made a bit of history by becoming the first apartment complex located in the parking lot of a regional mall in the Twin Cities market.

And because the apartment complex has sprouted in the parking lot of the Southdale Center shopping mall, it offers an urban feel in a suburban location. Lisa Moe, president and chief executive officer of StuartCo, said that residents at One Southdale Place can walk to the Southdale Center or the nearby Galleria shopping center in Edina.

“We’ve heard from a lot of people who like the idea of urban living but also like the convenience of living in the suburbs,” Moe said. “This gives them both worlds. It’s half urban and half suburban.”

Moe said that one resident of One Southdale Place told her that he might as well move here because his wife already spends most of her time at the Galleria.

“Another told me that the project has all of the amenities that she wants and gives her the ability to walk to so many stores,” Moe said. “She calls it her resort.”

So far, demand for One Southdale Place has been strong since the apartment development opened late in 2014. Moe said that as of early July, 80 percent of the multifamily development’s units had been leased. She said that she expects the rest of the units to be leased in the next two months.

One Southdale Place features three buildings connected by a lobby and skyways. Amenities include a swimming pool, putting green, 24-hour concierge service, 1,500-square-foot fitness center, 1,600-square-foot clubhouse, private theater and cyber lounge.

One Southdale Place’s three buildings feature a total of 232 units.

It might seem unusual to live in the parking lot of a mall. But One Southdale Place is actually on the beginning end of what looks at least like a mini-trend. According to a story from the Wall Street Journal late last year, developers across the country are converting shopping malls into mixed-use developments that also feature multifamily apartment buildings.

The story pointed to malls in both Alexandria, Virginia, and Rockville, Maryland, that will soon be redeveloped and will soon be home to their own apartment projects rising in their parking lots.

In the Phoenix area, developer Crescent Communities is developing luxury apartments near the Scottsdale Quarter shopping center after having success with similar projects in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Atlanta, according to the Wall Street Journal story.

Simon Properties paved the way for One Southdale Place when it decided to invest a significant amount of money to reinvigorate its Southdale Center mall. The hope was that the investment in the mall would spur additional development in Edina.

Edina Mayor James Hovland, during the official grand-opening of One Southdale Place, said that this has happened, and the new apartment project is just one example of the impact of Simon’s work at Southdale Center.

“This is the kind of project we were hoping for,” Hovland said. “It’s great to see what has happened here to help make Edina a place you want to live.”

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