A ceremonial groundbreaking will be held at site of the future 39-story Carlyle condo tower Sept. 29 -- months earlier than expected because of strong sales.
About 70 percent of the luxury tower's 255 units have sold, said Susan Evans, a principle with Evans Larson, a public relations firm that represents the tower's developers, St. Louis Park-based Apex Asset Management and Minnetonka-based Opus Northwest LLC.
The condo tower will rise at South 1st Street & 3rd Avenue South -- about a block from the riverfront near the 3rd Avenue Bridge.
Larson said sales associates had been optimistic that units in The Carlyle would sell fast, but "this went beyond expectations."
Most developers wait until at least 50 percent of the units are sold before moving ahead with construction. The condo tower is expected to be complete sometime in 2006 -- a more precise date hasn't been set.
Hundreds waited in line when marketing and sales staff started taking reservations for The Carlyle on June 25.
Depending on the tower's completion date, it will be the tallest residential tower Downtown. A 45-story condo tower has also been proposed for Nicollet Mall & South 10th Street near the Target Corp. headquarters, but it awaits city approvals.
Condos in The Carlyle will be among the city's most expensive, ranging from $254,000 for a one-bedroom to $880,000 for a three-bedroom unit.
Thomas Melchior, a multifamily-real-estate analyst for Larson, Allen Weishair & Co., said The Carlyle brought something new to the Downtown housing market -- high-rise, apartment-style condos near the central riverfront.
"Nearly all of the new condo projects developed Downtown in the past couple of years have been warehouse conversions to lofts or new construction to lofts or new-construction 'loft-style' units," he said. "Carlyle has an excellent location, which also has contributed to its success."