Riverplace apartments for sale; condos next?

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October 11, 2004 // UPDATED 4:19 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

The Pinnacle and The Falls, two luxury apartment high-rises at Riverplace on the East Bank, are on the market for $40.7 million.

Moran & Company, a Chicago-based apartment brokerage firm, has listed the Riverplace apartments on its Web site, touting the properties as an "excellent investment opportunity" with units offering "exceptional views of the city skyline."

New York-based Sentinel Real Estate Corp. owns the two rental properties. The Pinnacle at 20 NE 2nd St. has 170 units, and The Falls at 110 1st Ave. NE has 87 apartments.

The apartment buildings are likely targets for condo conversions. Moran & Company and Sentinel Real Estate Corp. officials did not return phone calls for comment.

An 18-story residential property across the river, River West Apartments, is also likely going condo, according to a recent report in "The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal."

Chip Johnson, a developer with the Minneapolis-based Turnstone Group, has reportedly signed a purchase agreement to buy River West, 401 S. 1st St., from the property's current owner Paul Klodt.

Real estate sources told "The Business Journal" that Johnson intends to convert 400 units to condominiums. Johnson would not comment when asked by Skyway News.

The Downtown residential market is expected to be swamped with condo options in coming months as several projects in the pipeline start sales efforts. According to Skyway News research, there are nearly 50 condo developments proposed for Downtown (see chart, Downtown Living section) and surrounding neighborhoods with an estimated 4,690 units.

The vast majority of the projects are new construction or warehouse conversions. Besides River West, the North Loop's River Walk Apartments recently decided to convert one of its buildings at 400 N. 1st St. to condos.

Thomas Melchior, a multifamily-real-estate analyst for Downtown's Larson, Allen Weishair & Co., said apartments converted to condos can be a good deal for buyers.

"Conversions typically have lower per-square-foot pricing compared to new development. Sometimes the units are sold 'as is' with original appliances and cabinetry, and other times upgrade packages are offered where new appliances and carpeting are available," he said.

Some units at The Falls and The Pinnacle feature unique floor plans and large terraces that make them suited for a condo conversion, he added.

The Falls was originally developed as condos but was converted to rental units because of lagging sales in the 1980s.

Rents range $735 to $2,415 for the Riverplace apartments.