Wednesday, May 11, 2011

FenaMacher Properties Does Restoration Right

Post by the Hawthorne Hawkman, photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman except where noted otherwise.

The Hawthorne Voices blog showcased the EcoVillage LEED home, but I also stopped by a few other NoMi homes on the Minneapolis/St. Paul Home Tour.  One place that just blew my mind was 1500 Dupont Ave N, owned and rehabbed by FenaMacher Properties.  (top photo is from their website)

After being amazed by the gorgeous woodwork throughout, the next thing I noticed was, of course...

...the windows.

Not all of the windows are the original ones, but the owners took care to preserve as much of the original features as possible.  Time and time again slumlords have spliced up rooms and added walls to create more bedrooms and maximize rental capacity.  Prior to this rehab, that's exactly what had happened.

Thank goodness the original woodwork was still intact, but all too often new owners simply don't fix this.  After all, why spend time and money on making your property bring in LESS rental income?

This is why.

In the long run, such dedication to restoring a home to its original intentions can pay financial dividends.  Quality workmanship will attract quality tenants.  But the work wasn't all historic restoration; the owners added new gadgetry too.

For what it's worth, this is what I would call a perfect blend of the old and the new.  The aesthetic features of the house show a care for preservation and the functional aspects of the house, such as the kitchen and bathroom, have a more modern feel.

Even the Craigslist posting for this place is done right.  (Yes folks, there are still units available for July 1 at the time of this posting!)  All too often we'll hear landlords in NoMi complain about how difficult it is to find good tenants.  And then we find out that they "marketed" their properties by sticking a sign in the front yard with their phone number written in with a black Sharpie.  Or worse yet, they use sign spam.

FenaMacher Properties markets this rental as beautifully as they've restored it.  They use words and phrases like "unmatched location," "small town in a big city," and "diverse, aware, connected neighbors who truly care."  We live in a great community in NoMi, these owners know it, and they want tenants who know it too.

Now it occurs to me that I haven't quite done this place justice.  One photo above showed the view from the back porch on a drab April day.  But if you move in by July 1st, this is what you'll see from that same spot only a few days later:

Photo from apartment's Craigslist post.


  1. Thank you for your support w/ this wonderful post... and thank you for taking the time to stop over during the tour!!

    I recently updated our ad, so I'll copy the new link here:

  2. Out of curiousity, how many other rentals do these folks have? It would be nice to see their track record>

  3. Bravo!

    Excellent job! I love all the appropriate use of tile throughout the building and how you have embraced the natural woodwork. A classy job aimed at responsible tenants. These units include 1300sf with gourmet kitchens and granite counters, washer and dryers, neighborhood WiFi connected, separate water heater, off-street parking space, additional storage, grounds maintenance, a security system, and utilities included in rent: HEAT, water, sewer, trash & recycling all for $1225 a month.

    Now, compare these 2 bedroom units with the usual poverty pimp re-muddling efforts we see around us.

    The Minneapolis Public Housing Authority's standard rental allowance is $1016 for a 2 bedroom rental. However, they also have a generous utility allowance program.

    For a 2 bedroom multifamily unit-

    $12 Cooking Gas
    $59 Heating Gas
    $26 Other Electric
    $19 Trash Disposal
    $37 Water and Sewer
    $35 Other Heating...
    $188 Total utility allowance

    $1204 Total Section 8 Rental Subsidy

    FenaMacher's up-scale units are renting for $1225.

    Take into consideration that HUD allows up to 6 residents in each 2 bedroom unit and these fine apartments are still within reach of section 8 affordability guidelines.

    So, WTH are we subsidizing poverty pimps so heavily to create mini ghettos when landlords can profitably do this with the same amount of income revenue?

  4. This is where you guys and gals shine and make me feel real good about the relative newcomers and their efforts to come out of themselves and help everybody. I will keep it simple and say that the area APPRECIATES it and thank you very much. Sincerely, Boat.

  5. Comments have mysteriously disappeared from here as well. If they are not restored by Blogger by tomorrow, I will go back through my records and recreate them.


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