New Dinkytown apartment complex in development

by Molly Moker

Location, location, location – the three most important factors in real estate – are what developer Brett Naylor said a new Dinkytown apartment complex set to open in fall 2005 will have.

“This complex will be great for student tenants,” Naylor said.

The Urbanland Developments complex is scheduled to begin construction on the old Pizza Hut site at the intersection of 13th Avenue Southeast and University Avenue next summer.

“It’s the ultimate location,” Naylor said. “You walk out your front door and you’re on campus. You walk out your back door and you’re in Dinkytown.”

Naylor said he hopes the apartments will be ready for leasing by fall 2005.

At 7,000 square feet, the building will be smaller compared to other area complexes – one-seventh the size of The Melrose, located on Delaware Street Southeast

The complex will have six stories, 71 units, 100 underground parking stalls and a street level which Naylor said will be filled with either two retail shops or one restaurant.

Naylor said he hopes to bring in a restaurant, but negotiations are still in the works, adding that a chain restaurant is not out of the question.

Naylor said he is unsure how much units will cost, but said they will be accessible to students.

“We want to bring in something that will appeal to the criteria of our renters, who will be mostly students,” Naylor said. “It has to have a low price point, yet something that will integrate well with the neighborhood.”

Naylor said the apartments will be leased as full units, not as rooms. Rent will be a given as a base rate divided by the number of roommates, similar to the rental setup of Dinnaken House on Washington Avenue Southeast

Naylor said he thinks rent in the area will be competitive, which will keep prices low.

“There’s so much product that has been built in the last years. The extra supply will affect the demand,” he said.

Originally, the building was proposed to be eight stories, with 272 beds and 150 underground parking spaces, but Naylor said inspections and the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association decided that was inappropriate for Dinkytown.

Plans for the complex have not been finalized, but Naylor said the exterior will look traditional with a brick, stone and nature-inspired landscape. Final design decisions will be made by Christmas, Naylor said.

“I just want to give students a nice building,” Naylor said. “All of the bells and whistles will come out.”

Naylor said he is excited to continue developing the plans.

“We want to give the students a quality housing option for their future.”

The apartment complex is Naylor’s second development in Minneapolis. The other is 301 Kenwood Parkway, a high-end eight-story condominium near the Walker Art Center.

Naylor has also worked with apartment complexes on the University of Wisconsin-Madison, campus, his alma mater.

Naylor said he takes pride in his developments, and will work hard to sustain them.

“When someone comes by and does graffiti on our property, I’ll be the one out there repainting the fence,” he joked.

He also said security will be a priority.

“The area is safe by nature,” he said. “It is well-lit and in a heavy traffic area. We’ll extend that and offer state-of-the-art security throughout our building.”