Sensational title, I know. However, HUD is forcing condominium associations to make some tough decisions. Part of their recent updates to FHA includes a rider that says an association can’t require a background check for renters.
Of all of the odd requirements that FHA demands, this one has gone too far. The Pointe of Saint Paul will no longer be FHA approved, because of this. I happen to live at the Pointe, and I stand behind the Board of Directors 100% on their decision to drop their certification.
FHA certification is supposed to make sure the building is healthy, and I can’t see one positive reason why having renters in your association without background checks is a good idea.
Now, in all fairness, FHA is not saying renters can not have background checks, it’s just saying associations can’t require an owner provide proof that one was done. I would guess that a majority of landlords absolutely would screen their tenants, but then again these landlords probably didn’t finance with FHA either. From what I can tell, FHA wants to make sure that if their buyer needs to rent out the property, there should be zero obstacles in their way. Again, if FHA is designed to get first-time buyers or credit-challenged buyers into homes, why they care about the rental requirements is beyond me.
I’m guessing within a year or two, HUD will get a clue and will relax their requirement on this issue. In the mean time, expect to see less and less FHA approved condo buildings.
After years of waiting and watching, the green line is finally here!
Saturday was the grand opening, with events all along the line. I didn’t make it to any of the events, but attempted to take a “joy ride” around 1:00pm. The trains were standing room only at the time we went (right about the time they cancelled the events because of the rain), so we decided not to go.
So, Sunday my family and I took the rails as far as we could go. We ended our trip at Target Field, which I must say is beautiful. This was my first time to the new stadium. I guess I need to watch a game there, now that I can’t complain about having to park in downtown.
After reaching Target Field, our adventure wasn’t over. We then headed down to the Northstar Commuter Rail platform and hopped on the big train. As part of the Green Line festivities, they were doing free train rides from Target Field to Big Lake, and all stops in-between. Just between us, Big Lake isn’t really a destination city… When we returned to Target Field we decided to have dinner in downtown Minneapolis. I think that was my first time in 10 years having dinner in the “other” downtown.
The return trip back on the Green Line was less crowded so we could see all the destinations along the route and we’re already planning our next trips.
Are you looking for something to do alone the line? Check out www.onthegreenline.com , a really good resource that lists all the businesses, restaurants, theaters, etc. along the line. What’s my favorite business? Saint Paul Home Realty, of course! We’re located at the first stop, right across from Union Depot.
What have you done along the line so far? Post your stories or links below!
The City of Saint Paul has partnered with See Click Fix, a mobile app for reporting non-emergency items to the city officials. If you live in St Paul, go to your app store of choice and download it. For the Saint Paul branded app, it’s called Saint Paul Connect.
I’ve personally been on a pothole reporting rampage, as they seem extra bad this year. I’m not sure if I’m imagining things or not, but it seems potholes reported through the app are getting priority.
It’s not just potholes either. You can report graffiti, damaged city property, abandoned furniture, etc. It’s a great way to help keep the city in tip-top shape. City workers can’t be everywhere and see everything, so this is an invaluable app in my opinion.
Have you used this app before? What do you think?
As a Downtown resident, I can’t fully express how excited I am to finally see a start date for the new light rail. June 14th, I may just need to celebrate. Truth be told, I probably won’t use the LRT much, as I really don’t go to Minneapolis all that often. However, I’m excited to see this project finally coming to an end. Living a block away from the Cedar & 10th stop, we’ve dealt with some pretty intense construction issues (noise, power loss, road closures, etc). Having the trains operational, I hope brings back some sense of normal to our little neighborhood.
I’m sure the train will be very popular for the Downtown residents that work in Minneapolis. With Downtown St Paul being an easy commute (I said easy, not fast), this should help making working in MPLS and living in STP just a little bit easier.
What’s your take on the trains?
Wow, where did 2013 go? Seriously, where did it go, it really seems like last year just flew by. 2014 looks to be a great year for Downtown Saint Paul – not just real estate wise, but neighborhood wise. Here’s my list of things to be excited for in 2014
- Saint Paul Winter Carnival, The nearly 130 year old celebration returns! Sure hope the Vulcan’s win the battle this year, as it’s awful cold already…
- Red Bull Crashed Ice returns! February 20th-22nd. This is such an amazing event to watch live. ProTip: Arrive very early to get a good spot along the boards. If you can also see the jumbo screen from that location, that’s an added bonus.
- Tin Whiskers Brewing Company – Coming in the second quarter to the Rossmor Building (taking over the old Lowertown Printing space). I’ve very excited to see a local brewery open in within walking distance to my condo at the Pointe!
- Lund’s grocery store. Should be opening this spring/summer in the newly built Penfield Apartments building. I’ve lived in downtown for over 10 years now, and I can’t stress enough how anticipated the opening of this store is. Not just for me either, I’ve talked to many downtown residents that are counting down the days until it opens.
- The launching of an all-new YourStPaulHome.com! It’s been many years with the same look. It’s time to mix it up a bit.
- Working with a whole new set of buyers looking for that perfect pad in downtown. If you want to sell your downtown condo or loft, give me a call too
The City of Saint Paul has secured a deal with a big name player in the aquarium world to build a new tourist-attracting aquarium in downtown St Paul. With the addition of the LRT, having a world class tank just makes sense. City leaders wanted a location that was close to the LRT tracks and already had some infrastructure ready to go.
The City found what they were looking for in the parking ramp at the Pointe of St Paul! According to City leaders, they believe with the addition of LRT, the residents at the Pointe won’t need to own cars anymore, so their parking ramp becomes an opportunity to bring in more people into the downtown area, helping businesses and residents alike.
Although, there was a slight kickback from the owners of the Pointe condominiums, the city took the ramp via eminent domain, citing the abundance in parking throughout downtown and the fact that residents can now sell their cars and exclusively take the bus, LRT, or NiceRide.
The mayor of Saint Paul had this to add “I want my terms as Mayor of this fine city to mean something, and I intend to make that happen. I’ve added two city-owned luxury apartment buildings, a grocery store, and now a soon to be world renowned aquarium.”
If you’ve managed to read through this whole blog post and not figured out this is a sarcastic reference to the Market House building losing their parking lot to build a ballpark, well… This is a sarcastic reference to the Market House building losing their owned parking lot, so the city can build a ballpark for the Saints.
I often get asked “What is the most amazing or most unique property in Downtown?” The expected response is some multi-level penthouse high in the clouds, but there’s a very interesting property just a stones throw from Lowertown, in the Wacouta Commons neighborhood that I feel is by far the most amazing property in all of downtown.
A few years ago, I received a private tour of this place by the owner and my jaw dropped. It’s really the gem of downtown, and it really does not have an equal. The only property that I can think that would be remotely similar is the Chicago Great Western Row Building on Kellogg, but with this property, you don’t have to deal with a pesky association. You see, this is a stand-along property!
I remember when construction started on this, I was shocked that someone was finally fixing this old dilapidated building. In fact, six and a half years ago, I blogged about it…
Well, on to the goods – The owner of this home posted his Flickr set on facebook, so I asked him if I could share them with the rest of the free world. Bob & Lynn, thanks for sharing
Great news for beer lovers! The neighborhood with a name no one knows (yet), has landed a tap room. That’s right, Fitzgerald Park will soon add Tin Whiskers Brewing to its list of awesome new tenants. Specifically, they are moving into the old Lowertown Printing Company location at the Rossmor, which has been on/off the market for several years now.
As a recent convert to the fancy beer world, I couldn’t be happier to welcome a small, local company to the neighborhood. Can’t wait to walk down there for a beer or two and hopefully bring home a growler
Cheers to Tin Whiskers!
Great two bedroom, two full bathroom condo at the Pointe is coming available October 1st. Wonderful view of the Cathedral with a private balcony. Located in the amenity packed Pointe of Saint Paul on the 15th floor.
For more details or for a showing, call/text me.
Residents of the Pointe this week found themselves soaked in history. With construction of the Penfield coming along nicely, it was time to hook them up to City of St Paul water supply. When the city was looking at the connection, they decided it was time make some upgrades to the old water main.
And by old, I mean OLD! Rutheford B. Hayes was the president of the United States, it was 26 years after Saint Paul incorporated as a City, 3 years after Saint Paul disbanded the volunteer fire department in favor of a paid force, and the same year the recently relocated Hamline University started construction of their St Paul school. In other news outside of St Paul, construction of the Panama Canal began, and Thomas Edison patented the incandescent lamp.
Give up? 1880, or roughly 133 years old. I can’t imagine the original engineers for that water main thinking that up until now, the pipe they were laying would serve high rise condos… Saint Paul’s history is always so fascinating to me!