Apr 23, 2023 - Real Estate

Twin Cities apartments add luxurious, pet-friendly amenities

Apartment building indoor saltwater lap pool

Indoor saltwater lap pool at 240 Park Avenue. Photo: Corey Gaffer Photography, courtesy of MV Ventures

Luxury apartment developers in the Twin Cities are racing to offer amenities aimed at courting more residents.

Why it matters: The push comes as many would-be homebuyers opt to rent longer, incentivizing properties to compete for a growing cohort of high-income renters.

State of play: These days a downtown home is more about lifestyle than work proximity, says leasing director Tim Carson with DRG, a Minneapolis-area real estate brokerage, and residents are looking for particular apartment building perks.

  • Must-haves now often include pet-friendly spas or play areas, electric-car charging stations and community centers that can be used for personal events, he tells Axios.
  • Meanwhile, local developers have moved away from outdoor pools, which don't get as much use.

What they're saying: "It's an extremely creative period," Carson says. Apartments are "all trying to find ways to differentiate from each other."

By the numbers: High-rolling renters earning $150,000 and up nearly doubled in number in the metro area between 2016 and 2021, per U.S. Census data.

  • That 96.5% increase outpaced the national average of 86%.
Data: RentCafe; Chart: Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

The big picture: Apartment construction is booming nationwide. Historically, new rental housing tends to hit at higher price points, Chris Salviati, senior economist at Apartment List, tells Axios.

  • That trend has become more pronounced in recent years, as rising project costs squeeze developers, he says.

Between the lines: High listing prices and mortgage rates are discouraging some from buying homes, Salviati says.

  • "A lot of folks in that high-income band, who in the past would have owned homes, are now continuing to rent β€” whether that's for lifestyle reasons or because they are feeling like it's not a good time to buy," he says.

We scoured the area for amenities that scream "indulgence."

πŸŠβ€β™‚οΈ Indoor saltwater lap pool at 240 Park Avenue: Residents can get in a swim workout β€” minus the chlorine β€” in the Downtown East building's regulation-size pool.

🧡 Hobby room at NordHaus: Sewing machines and craft supplies are available so residents can pick up a new skill while renting at the Northeast building.

🐾 Indoor pet play area at 270 Hennepin: Furry friends can hang out year-round at the North Loop building's pet lounge, as well as the outdoor pet exercise deck. There's also an indoor pet spa.

  • Massive jacuzzi: A 19th-floor amenity space boasts an indoor spa pool with plenty of loungers and a sauna, among other perks.

πŸ–Ό Rotating art gallery at Forte on the Park: The Mill District building's mailroom is decked out with locally sourced artwork that's changed every quarter.

πŸ§˜β€β™€οΈ Pilates and barre studios at The Luxe Apartments at Ridgedale: A high-end reformer, ballet barre and spin bikes take at-home fitness to the next level.

πŸ’Ό Souped-up coworking space at The Bower: The Edina building has a boardroom with a fireplace and technology suite, plus private office areas.

Be smart: Showy amenities are nice, but don't underestimate the value of more practical perks, like printer access or a high-tech system for handling packages, Carson says.

  • "Every three months, it saves your life," he says about the printer.
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