Ten years ago, downtown Minneapolis was in a condo-building frenzy. Hardly a week passed without someone announcing a new project or conversion. Developers could barely keep up with the feverish demand for condo units, while investors were pocketing profits from flipping units as the national housing boom continued to push prices higher. The median sales price for downtown Minneapolis homes (nearly all were condos) reached $270,000 in 2006, up 85 percent in just five years. Owners were convinced these were not just homes, they were good investments.
But the Great Recession changed this as much as it affected the rest of the nation’s residential real estate market. Condo projects were scrapped, empty units piled up, development ground to a standstill, no one could land a loan and some properties tumbled into foreclosure. By 2013, only 47 new condos were sold downtown — a drop of 96 percent since 2004, according to