Although it started leasing out some units in May, The Residence at The COR luxury apartment building in Ramsey is completely finished, according to the property management company that hosted a Sept. 5 open house and ribbon cutting to commemorate the occasion.
Brent Solei was one of the first to move into the 230-unit apartment complex in June so he could be closer to work. As he and a friend Jake Sorteberg of Anoka sat by the salt water pool in the wide open courtyard, Solei said the newness of the building, the stainless steel appliances, the wood laminate floors and the bike room being selling points for him.
“I absolutely love it,” he said. “From the pool to the apartment to the bike room. We now have the clubroom open and had friends over for a get-together. I’d recommend it to anybody.”
Matt Look, former Ramsey City Councilmember and current Anoka County Commissioner representing Ramsey, toured one of Flaherty and Collins apartment buildings in Indianapolis, Ind., where the company’s headquarters are and came away impressed.
He is even more amazed at the new facility in Ramsey, which he has heard Flaherty and Collins say is the best of any project it has done, Look said.
Michael Collins, a regional property manager with Flaherty and Collins, said it is developing in Chicago, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and has a couple of tentative deals in the Twin Cities that cannot be publicly announced yet. The company website lists several pages of apartment communities already open, mostly in Indiana.
Whether a one- or two-bedroom or studio apartment, each unit has an open floor plan with granite countertops and 42-inch cabinets. The bathroom floors and showers are tiled and have a Roman soaking tub. A full-size washer and dryer are included. Residents have dedicated spots in Ramsey’s parking garage.
Everyone has a balcony or patio overlooking the central courtyard or land set aside for future development in The COR.
Collins said the common areas that recently opened include a 24-hour fitness center that also has an area set up for yoga and pilates, a bike room with space to lock up about a dozen bikes and to pump up tires or make a repair, and a clubroom with billiards, a gaming area and a bar set-up, which people can sign up to use when hosting large gatherings.
When asked about the reasoning for the fitness center with Anytime Fitness being nearby, Collins said the goal has been convenience for its residents.
At the center of The Residence at The COR is the outdoor courtyard with the salt water pool, grills and an outdoor living area with fire pits and fireplaces. Although a few months will be lost each year to Minnesota winters, Collins said, “We created an outdoor environment second to none.”
The rent varies from $900 a month for a 561 square-foot studio unit to $1,100 for up to 785 square feet in a one-bedroom unit to $1,510 for a 1,190 square-foot two-bedroom apartment to $2,230 for the “ambassador” floor plan in a two-bedroom plus a den unit, according to a pricing sheet shared by Flaherty and Collins.
One size does not fit all. There are 30 different floor plans from which to choose.
“We’re excited to be open,” said Carrie Blastic, regional property manager for Flaherty and Collins. “We know we have a great product and we’re looking forward to sharing it.”
As of the open house Sept. 5, Blastic said 26 residents had moved in and six more have reserved units and would soon move in.
On hearing these numbers, former Councilmember Colin McGlone, who was at the open house, said this number is “fabulous.” He was chairperson of the Ramsey Housing and Redevelopment Authority in April 2012 when the city sold $7.32 million in general obligation bonds to provide Flaherty and Collins with a loan to move this project forward.
“It gives me more confidence that it was the right thing to do,” he said.
McGlone said when he ran for office the No. 1 issue was to get development moving in the Ramsey Town Center, which was later rebranded as The COR which stands for Center of Ramsey. The Residence at The COR is just one piece of the overall development the city is heading up and he said it helped Ramsey get the Northstar Commuter Rail stop.
According to McGlone, studies by the city, Flaherty and Collins, the Anoka County Community Action Program and PNC Bank showed that “what’s lacking in the market is something for the mobile generation.”
The decision at the time was not unanimous. Sarah Strommen, who was then a councilmember and is now the mayor, and Councilmember Jason Tossey opposed the city becoming financially involved.
“That vote wasn’t reflective of any dislike of the project. I’m glad to see it come to fruition,” said Strommen, who thinks the courtyard and the apartments are very nice and it offers something Ramsey does not have.
“My issue was with the public investment into it. We’re still in the midst of that so I don’t feel differently about that piece,” she said.
Look said to get a “Cadillac project” like this in order to bring foot traffic in to support the existing business and bring more development does require some investment by the city.
“We all want to see it succeed,” Strommen said.
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