Olive — Sustainable Living for Today's Multifamily Market

Newly-built properties are emerging at a rapid pace, providing renters with a plethora of apartment options in the Twin Cities. But Aberdeen Companies is taking a renewed approach to multifamily development, providing boutique, sustainable apartment solutions for today's housing market.

With sustainability and a community focus at the forefront, Laurel & Olive is a two-property development that offers renters eco-conscious living at a competitive market rate.

Situated in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis, Laurel & Olive are adjacent properties hosting 62 total units. The three-level properties feature a variety of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom floor plans. Laurel opened its doors in the fall of 2021, and the construction of Olive is currently underway.

We sat down with Alex Brogle, President of Aberdeen Companies, to learn more about Olive, his approach to sustainable development, and providing a unique product for today's renter.

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We often hear 'sustainable living' as a marketing buzzword to incite interest in a property, but efficiency rarely goes beyond meeting minimum building standards. However, Aberdeen Companies is putting its budget behind its sustainable efforts. At Olive, the development company is pioneering a new iteration of eco-friendly living.

Sustainable features at Olive will include:

  • Rainwater harvesting to collect runoff to supply property irrigation needs.

  • A 90 kW rooftop solar array to power electric vehicle charging, as well as heating, cooling, and lighting for all common areas.

  • Sustainable insulation techniques to create a building envelope far beyond the typical standard in multifamily properties.

  • Upgraded Marvin windows to combat heat loss and increase efficiency.

  • 95% efficient heating systems in each unit, significantly decreasing heating costs for renters during the winter.

But how do these features affect the monthly price for residents?

"You can even out a lot of these costs," Alex offers. "We're trying to provide a different option for people at about the same price per month while providing a unique product that's really not being produced right now."

By reducing the investment in common areas and community amenities, Aberdeen Companies is redirecting its dollars into each individual unit.

"In many buildings, developers apportion a lot of budget towards creating that awesome lobby area, common room, and pool, which plenty of people love, but does 100% of the market love putting that extra $200 a month towards that? I don't think so," said Alex. "We think the market is looking for another option. We're taking some of those dollars in development that typically go towards common amenities and putting them in each person's apartment instead."

Although there won't be a pool or large lobby area at Olive, Aberdeen Companies still aims to create a sense of community among residents.

A glass-enclosed fitness center will connect Olive's two structures and provide tenants with modern exercise equipment and space to gather with friends for a yoga session. This space will be available to Laurel's residents as well.

Olive will also feature a covered pavilion with ample space for charging electric cars, mopeds, and bikes. In addition, residents will have access to indoor bike storage space.

Design & Amenities

Inside Olive, modern design finishes will embrace an industrial yet warm feel. Modern black windows, custom closets, and thoughtful architectural details are abundant throughout the property.

The exterior of Olive will complement the nearby Laurel while distinguishing itself in a more modern style that incorporates straighter lines, sleek siding, and an asymmetric roofline.

With Laurel just two lots away, Aberdeen Companies saw the opportunity to market Laurel & Olive under one unified brand and shared identity. In partnership with Authentic Form & Function, the Laurel & Olive website launched June 2022, providing a head start for property awareness, SEO efforts, and a destination for interested consumers to submit their interest.

"The properties are so close together we saw it as a way to create a community vibe among the tenants. We wanted to create a landing spot for cohesiveness for leasing as well. It felt like it made sense to go that route," provides Alex.

The Neighborhood

Nestled in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis, Olive's location provides a compelling draw for future residents.

"We see it as a really neat main street-type feel with untapped potential," offers Alex. "It's an up-and-coming neighborhood. There are starting to be more restaurants popping up in the area and investment dollars coming in for additional housing. We're seeing the potential in what's coming."

Residents can easily access the light rail that travels from the airport to downtown Minneapolis. The area is also anchored by the Minnehaha Mile, a biking street that contains more antique, vintage, retro, and secondhand shops than any other commercial corridor in Minnesota.

Leasing & Management

Corridor has partnered with Aberdeen Companies to provide leasing and property management services for Laurel & Olive with an additional investment stake in the property.

When asked why his company wanted to bring in a leasing partner, Alex responded, "My strength is in building and vision casting in the development end of things. So, that's where I want to stay. That's why I partnered with Corridor because there was a good fit for us each to capitalize upon our strengths and do what we do well and support each other that way. It seemed like a natural fit."

Olive's pre-leasing efforts are underway, with the doors opening in July 2023.

Learn more about Laurel & Olive at laurel-olive.com.

  • Aug 30, 2022