Downtown condo buyers in their 40s thinking ahead

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July 11, 2005 // UPDATED 1:56 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Scott Russell
Scott Russell

Two-story condo units are out, one-story flats are in, according to Brighton Development's recent sales experience.

Brighton is redesigning its Park Avenue Lofts East, responding to market trends from buyers in its neighboring Park Avenue Lofts West condos, said Deidre Schmidt, vice president for development.

Buyers are worried they would have to move out of the two-story units if they became physically incapacitated as they get older, she said. They would not be able to climb stairs to the bedroom.

Surprisingly, the message is coming from buyers in their 40s, she said: "People are thinking way in advance about physical limitations."

Brighton is developing several projects east of the Milwaukee Road Depot and south of the Mill City Museum. They include the recently completed Park Avenue West, on the west side of Park Avenue between South 2nd Street and Washington Avenue South, and yet-to-be-built Park Avenue East across the street.

Company officials said Park Avenue West has 15 two-story units priced from the high $400,000s to the low $600,000s, and they only began to sell in the past couple of months - compared to 22 one-story units, from the mid-$300,000s to $1.3 million, that presold as early as August 2004.

Park Avenue East was going to mirror Park Avenue West, but the new design has 40 one-story flats.

Park Avenue East presale begins this fall, a Brighton spokesman said, with preliminary prices from the $300,000s to $800,000s. Construction begins next spring. Units open in summer 2007.

Brighton also is building The Nine, a nine-unit condo where units are expected to run from the $600,000s to $1.6 million, and The Portland, a 22-unit condo with first-floor retail, on the Park Avenue West block, Schmidt said. The Portland's prices are expected to range from the low $300,000s to approximately $1 million. They have a similar construction timeline as Park Avenue East. Some of the units will have a mezzanine level, but all essential living space will be on one floor.