A little more than 14 hours after a water main broke underneath Portland Avenue S. in downtown Minneapolis, crews fixed it and restored water service to the three buidings affected, including the Sexton Lofts, a city spokesman said.
The 12-inch main beneath Portland, between 7th and 8th Streets, broke about 4 a.m. Sunday, flooding the lower level of the Sexton building. There was not a construction project near the break, spokesman Matt Laible said.
The cause of the break was not clear Sunday but Laible said breaks can sometimes be related to shifting soil or weather.
The pipe, which was laid before 1900, had no history of breakage. Sunday’s incident was the first, he said.
Shortly after the water came rushing out, workers were able to isolate the break and shut off the water valves in as small an area as possible.
It was not known Sunday how much water spilled due to the break or a damage estimate, Laible said.
Don’t let leaky pipes turn your dream loft into a high-cost insurance nightmare
Owning and living in a loft can be one great experience, but only if you take the time to make sure that your space’s inner workings – especially the plumbing – are up to snuff.
“Companies are scared to death of water claims because they can lead to mold, and mold is very expensive to remediate,” said Bill Wilson, vice president of education and research for the trade group Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America.
Homeowners in the UK face a similar picture. Leaking water from pesky plumbing is the cause for the most frequent insurance claims according to data from UK insurance provider AVIVA. The problem is further exacerbated during colder months.
“You may well be able to claim for the cost of any repair or redecoration work on your buildings insurance policy,” said Confused.com’s Chris Torney, “but the best bet is to prevent a problem before it happens.”
Prevention is indeed better than a cure, so here are some handy DIY tips from the Dublin-based company The Attic Man:
If living in a loft has long been a dream of yours, don’t let a few leaky pipes turn it into a washed out nightmare. By following the tips above, you can ensure that your days of living the loft lifestyle aren’t marred by high insurance and repair costs.
The owner of the Holsum Lofts, an early downtown redevelopment project, said he has lined up the financing to pull the project out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
According to owner Jeff LaPour, the private finance firm Quarry Capital put up $6 million at 7 percent interest. In addition, the company will contribute $200,000 cash, enough to pay off all the debt and costs of the bankruptcy case.
But the Quarry loan will come due after two years of interest-only payments, possibly setting the stage for a rerun of the problem that led to the bankruptcy.
When LaPour finished renovations and began leasing the office, design studio and restaurant spaces in 2005, two years after purchasing the former Holsum commercial bakery, he obtained a $6.8 million loan from Goldman Sachs Commercial Mortgage Capital. However, he was unable to repay when the loan came due in January 2011.
As recently as July, LaPour had a proposed $7 million sale of the project in case the previous, more expensive loan deal fell through. LGC231, the ownership entity in which LaPour is the managing member, still must submit, and gain a judge’s approval, to a Chapter 11 reorganization plan before the project is completely on its own again.
“We’re not worried about the loan,” LaPour said. “The financial markets are much better than they were in 2011 or even 2012. We have refinanced three other properties just this year.
Attorneys for Holsum Note 231241, an entity created by unidentified local investors that bought the first loan early last year, did not return calls seeking comment.
“Holsum Lofts was conceived and introduced to downtown in 2005,” LaPour said in a statement. “Things were very different at that time,” with the general real estate market booming but many of the projects that now define downtown still not in place. Further, the idea of recycling older buildings for new uses, common in many cities, was still new to Las Vegas.
Work on the Stove Factory Lofts in Leavenworth, KS project seems to be slightly ahead of schedule, according to Steve Foutch, managing director of the developer, Foutch Brothers.
Stove Factory Lofts is being developed on the site of the former Tire Town, or Great Western Stove, complex in the area of Choctaw and Esplanade streets.
A majority of the complex will be developed for residential apartments. There also will be 10,000 square feet for office space. There also will be space for a restaurant.
According to Foutch, work on the project began about four years ago but there were delays related to financing. With financing secured, work resumed in December.
He said 36 apartments should be opened in an eastern area of the complex by the end of the year. He said the trick will be completing the site work and commons areas to the point that the apartments can be open next to ongoing construction for buildings along Second Street.
The remaining portions of the project should be completed by the end of 2014.
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – At first glance, Fourth and Alameda streets seems like an unwelcoming portion of Downtown. Noisy big-rig trucks often travel down Alameda and there is little pedestrian traffic in the immediate area.
But in late 2005, Peklar Pilavjian, a co-owner of the St. Vincent Jewelry Center on Hill Street, saw the corner as his chance to jump on the Downtown residential bandwagon. He and some partners paid $9 million for a former storage facility on the northeast corner of the intersection. They planned to create 53 for-sale lofts in the 1923 structure on the edge of the Arts District near Little Tokyo.
Then, the recession hit and the market crashed. Banks stopped lending and projects stalled. In the following years the development plans flipped from condos to rentals and back to for-sale status.
Now, things have stabilized, and the story has a happy if long-delayed ending. Pilavjian and his partners finally completed the project, now called Beacon Lofts, in October. Six months later, they have nearly sold out the $20 million project.