Rentals with rooftop farm may be coming to Twin Cities
Apartment developers in the Twin Cities are constantly looking for more attractive amenities to woo renters and set themselves apart from the increasingly competitive market. Developers have included dog spas, catering kitchens, and refrigerated drop boxes for package delivery.
But Twin Cities-based Newport Midwest is hoping to offer something unique to the Minneapolis market. The developer has plans for an income-restricted, 171-unit rental building in Minneapolis that would include a 5,000-square-foot hydroponic greenhouse, which would be run by a third-party operator. Forty percent of the greenhouse’s harvest would be returned to the residents and the neighborhood.
In 2019, the company opened Hook & Ladder in northeast Minneapolis, which is being called the first apartment building in the state that is built to Passive House Institute U.S. standards for energy efficiency.
The idea for the greenhouse in the upcoming apartment came from the goal to meet residents’ needs as they juggle their over-scheduled and tight budget lives. The farm is not intended to put pressure on the residents to create the garden and maintain it, but to have a third-party operator run the farm and simply give residents and neighbors access to the produce.
This rooftop farm concept is the first of its kind in the Twin Cities, but projects of this nature have been emerging all over the Midwest in recent years.