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709 S 2nd St
Minneapolis, MN 55401



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Before and After: Washburn Lofts

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Often, when a buyer moves into a new condo, they like to make updates to personalize the space. We have seen some exciting transformations in our day! 

Today, we are happy to feature a residence we sold recently at the historic Washburn Lofts. This homeowner enlisted the help of a professional architect, Thomas Whitcomb, and the excellent contractors, Branson Builders, to make their home design dreams a reality. Laurie from Fix Design Haus added the finishing touches to make this home sing! Perhaps you can use some of these ideas when planning your own renovations?

If you have a great before and after project for your home or condo, let us know - we would love to feature your stories!

Project Architect: Thomas Whitcomb

Builder: Branson Builders

Staging: Laurie Fleming, Fix Design Haus

Design goals:

  • Open up the layout
  • Simplify paint and lighting to create a cohesive feel 
  • Reveal the historic bones of the unit creating a more serene space



Washburn 10 Entry Before





  • Painted ceiling darker to enhance the visual height of the entry
  • Removed plaster to reveal original concrete columns
  • Painted walls, doors and trim in white to feature artwork


washburn 10 kitchen before



washburn lofts after




  • Moved to the center to encourage socializing
  • Added up-lighting to feature the tall concrete ceiling
  • Color matched the cabinets to the countertop
  • Hidden storage added
  • Work center wired for media
  • Backsplash added to match concrete column texture
  • Updated appliances to match industrial feel


washburn lofts 10 before



washburn lofts living after



  • Updated wooden sliding door to translucent glass sliding panel doors
  • Raised suspended track lighting up to ceiling and updated to LED
  • Repositioned and updated dining room chandelier to center over table


washburn lofts bed before



washburn lofts bedroom after




  • Rebuilt wall to open up space
  • Added glass to sliding doors to increase light
  • Enclosed guest bedroom


washburn lofts bath before



washburn 10 bath after



  • Added heated floors
  • Eliminated wall to open up space
  • Added tall glass and mirrors to brighten
  • Added white cabinets and counters to lighten
  • LED fixtures added 

For more photos of this unit before the renovation, visit our sold page!




Gratitude & Giving

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Thanks to all of our friends, professional partners, and Very Important Clients, for joining us at our Gratitude & Giving party, at the Hewing Hotel! We are thrilled to announce that our guests raised over $30,000 that night alone, for People Serving People! Thanks to Rick Fitzgerald, and his generous colleagues at Alerus Mortgage, for a very unexpected donation of $23,000! We are also so proud to have received $7,525, plus LOADS and loads of gifts and diapers, at our office, for the children at PSP.

Happy Holidays to our friends at PSP and all our favorite friends and clients whom we have been so fortunate to serve this year.

Interest Rates: Post Election 2016

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Video Highlights with Rick Fitzgerald, Alerus Mortgage and Cynthia Froid, Keller Williams Integrity Lakes:

Rates went up 1/2% this week and are anticipated to continue going up.

1. Anticipated rate hike was already built in to the market conditions.
2. With the outcome of the election, increases are expected because:
      a. upcoming tax cuts b. fiscal spending causing inflationary pressure. 

How does this affect the interest rates?
Rates are still low - where we were a year ago. 

Let's go by an assumption that rates will increase by 1%.
We have a $400,000 loan.
Your payment savings would be: $235/mo; $2,900/yr; $29,000 over 10 years! 

With the change factors listed above, we see rates going up in the future. If you are considering selling, today's savvy buyers are out there ready to take advantage of continued low rates before they increase.

Gorgeous Kitchens

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This year Midwest Home magazine and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) hosted complimentary panel discussions on Tuesday, April 5, and Thursday, April 14 to kick off the ASID Designer Kitchen Tour on April 16 and 17.

We wanted to share some good tips we learned from these two panels.

On Tuesday, April 5, talented local designers shared ideas on “Designing a Timeless Kitchen." The panelists—creative local design professionals—included Catherine Harrington of Catherine Harrington Designs, Dan Juedes of Filament Lighting, and Donna Tasto of Rubble Tile, with Midwest Home editor Chris Lee moderating. 

On Thursday, April 14, panelists discussed “Trends for your kitchen that match your lifestyle." Talented area designers shared how different lifestyles affect how our kitchen should come together. On the panel were Rena Feldman of In Unison Design, discussing the gourmet cook; Jayme Meyer of Martha O’Hara Interiors discussing the homeowner who likes to entertain; Sheree Vincent of Fusion Designed talking about sustainable living; Kimberly Herrick of Herrick Design Group discussing the active family lifestyle; and Angela Warner of Warners’ Stellian sharing information about appliances that fit each of these lifestyles. 

Our takeaways? We have many to share:

  • Placement of lighting matters. You want bright light over the cooking area, but you may want to be able to control your lighting above the eating area. 
  • Kitchen materials determine what type of lighting you need. What you need for lighting depends on how the light bounces of the color of your walls, your cabinetry and your counter tops. There is no one size fits all.
  • Your preferences are always in style. It doesn't matter if its the trendiest thing to have three sets of lights above your counter tops if you prefer five. You live there and a good designer will help you incorporate your tastes into the design of your kitchen.
  • When the budget is tight, focus on cabinetry. The one thing that withstands time are the actual cabinets. It's easy to change out the counter tops or to get a fresh coat of paint. The one item that is a permanent fixture are your cabinets. Make sure you focus on this when trying to decide on one element to splurge on in your kitchen.
  • Think sustainable. It didn't occur to us until we heard it in the panel, but your kitchen is the one room in your home with the most chemicals. Think of all the sealants, varnishes etc. that have to be applied in every nook and nanny to ensure that everything is sealed for safety. A lot of these protection efforts also comes with their fair share of chemicals. Nowadays, our homes are also better sealed than in the past which means we trap all these chemicals inside our home. Working with a designer that understands these elements could help you live in a healthier environment!
  • Designers can ultimately save you money. Let's face it, we all love to think we know what we're doing. However, someone who has spent their profession studying kitchens probably knows it better than you. It could save you a lot of time and money in mistakes by sharing your goals with an expert. They can help devise a plan that suits your style and budget.

If you're thinking of remodeling your kitchen, you're in luck! The Cynthia Froid Group will be hosting an event in the coming months on this very topic. Like us on Facebook or contact us to get on the invite list!

borough scotch tasting dinner

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IMG_0677 (1).jpg


Those of you who know us at CFG, know that we love food. Especially at our local gems in the North Loop. Now, did you know that other than lunch and dinner options at Borough, you can also sign up to get notified for their special event dinners?

We signed up for Borough’s Scotch Dinner and had a fabulous time learning about eating seasonally and locally. Borough sources their ingredients from local farmers where they can. As the crew explained the dishes, they also presented us with Scotch cocktails to pair with each course.

We have to note the perfectly flaky and buttery pastry that really tasted as beautiful as it looked. 

The bar manager curated the following: 

  • Oban Distillers Edition
  • Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition
  • Talisker Storm

Here’s a look at our menu from that evening:

Salmon, beet, horseradish, tarragon, trout roe
Islay, lime, honey, tarragon

Smoked, potato, garlic, parsley
Tasting: Oban Distillers Edition

Squab (pictured)
Five ways, pastry, root vegetables
Islay, lemon, punt e mes, Scottish tea

Caramelized pear, peat

heart, liver, shoulder, soured vegetables, turnip
Tasting: Lagavulin Distillers Edition

dried fruit, walnut, carrot, scotch caramel, coconut ice cream
Tasting: Talisker Storm

The creative crew:
Executive Chef Drew Yancy
Chef de Cuisine Kelly Merry
Pastry Chef Karyn Tomlinson
Bar Manager Bobby Moss

Get on their e-mail sign-up now to learn about future tasting dinners or to encourage them to do more of these events!

Essential Home Staging Tips

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Details make a difference! We especially have been personal fans of #1: Declutter. Look to Marie "Konmari" Kondo for some inspiration to get your home ready for the spring market!


Article below from the New York Times, By TIM McKEOUGH


According to the experts, spare, modern decor helps sell homes.

The practice of staging homes for sale has evolved over the past decade. Some ideas have changed, while others remain the same. The following is a list of current staging tips from the pros:

REDUCE CLUTTER Long considered one of the most vital aspects of preparing a home for sale, it may be more important than ever to tidy up and sell, store, donate or dispose of unnecessary goods.

CLEAN OUT CLOSETS The advice to declutter extends to your closets. Having space to spare makes them look larger.

A NEW COAT OF PAINT It makes a place look clean and fresh. Meridith Baer, a stager, said it’s the best money you can spend on staging.

EMBRACE THE ACCENT WALL While most walls should be painted neutral hues, some stagers now use a bold color or wallpaper on a single wall.

EDIT PERSONAL PHOTOS Stagers used to recommend removing all personal photos. Now, many say it’s acceptable to leave some photos if they are pleasant or evocative images in handsome frames.

NIX THE STAGE SET Setting the dining table with plates, cutlery and glasses, or placing a breakfast tray at the foot of the bed appears too contrived to savvy buyers.

REPLACE TRADITIONAL FURNITURE Rent or buy inexpensive contemporary furniture to stand in for pieces that appear dark, heavy, old or ornate.

NEW TOWELS AND LINENS Fresh, fluffy towels and crisp white bed linens are an inexpensive way to suggest luxury.

AVOID SCENTS Smells that are pleasing to you may be off-putting to potential buyers. Avoid scented candles, fragrant flowers and baking or cooking right before showings.

A version of this article appears in print on January 24, 2016, on page RE11 of the New York edition with the headline: A List of Tips . Order ReprintsToday's Paper|Subscribe

Lynn Burn joins CFG!

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We are pleased to welcome Lynn Burn to the Cynthia Froid Group (CFG). Lynn’s home and real estate focus is in downtown Minneapolis. She has years of expertise on Grant Park Condos, and is extending her services to focus on Riverwest Condos and Skyscape Condos. Lynn is joining us shortly after the addition of Jay Ettinger in the last quarter of 2015. While Jay continues to serve the North Loop market, CFG’s strategic addition of Lynn will enable us to continue to provide the best service to our clients downtown as we continue to grow and evolve.

She has key qualities that make her an excellent real estate professional: persistence, knowledge, and passion. Lynn’s ability to advocate for her clients in a real estate transaction enables her to continually exceed the expectations of her clients. Like CFG, Lynn is committed to truly representing her client’s best interests and finding a fit that works for them in the complex downtown housing market.

Being actively involved on the social committee at her condo homeowners’ association complements her personally and professionally. She’s also engaged in the community, volunteering at the Basilica of St. Mary’s, and gives back by donating a portion of her income to the Modo Yoga Karma Charity whenever she closes on a listing!

In her free time, Lynn enjoys practicing hot yoga and exploring the Elliot Park neighborhood with her family and their dog Georgie.

CFG is proud to be the neighborhood experts in downtown Minneapolis, including the Mill District, Elliot Park and the North Loop neighborhoods. We are thrilled that Lynn is now part of our team and we look forward to helping our clients with their real estate needs throughout 2016!

Lynn's Contact Information is m: 612.803.0912    |    e:

take advantage of the market now!

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by Rick Fitgerald, Alerus Mortgage

It was inevitable.

We knew that the Federal Reserve could not keep rates the Federal Funds at ZERO percent. And the ¼% rate increase last week was a clear sign that the Fed believes we are a strong and growing economy.

So, what does rising interest rates mean for you as a buyer? You will have a higher monthly payment or diminished purchasing power.

First, take a look at the numbers if you have an increased payment:

Assume you finance $300,000 in today’s current market for an owner occupied 30 year fixed rate at 3.875%. Your monthly principal and interest payment is $1410.71 per month.

Assume the same amount financed at 4.875% – just a 1% increase in rates. Your monthly principal and interest payment is $1587.62.

This is an increase of $177 per month, an extra $2,124 per year, or an additional $63,720 over the life of the loan.

What does a 1% increase mean to your purchasing power?

Assume you want to keep your monthly principal and interest payment at $1410 per month – which is what you can obtain in the current market. Again, assume a 1% increase in interest rates to 4.875%. Your loan amount is reduced to $266,569 – a decrease in purchasing power of $33,430!

I cannot predict the future but I do believe rates are moving up. Seeing rates in the high 4 percent range (4.75% -5%) in the next 12-18 months is not out of the question. We have been having solid job growth of $200,000+ per month. More people working means more people have money to spend. Spending causes inflation – and it is the Federal Reserve’s mandate to control inflation.

As you can see – rising rates increase the monthly payment or reduce potential homeowner’s purchasing power. This could eliminate some buyers from purchasing and keep them renting. An already tight condominium market for renters could get tighter.

Are you considering an investment in rental property? Rates are still historically low. As indicated in the numbers above the cash flow benefits from an investment property or purchasing power you can obtain in the current market will change with rising rates. Take advantage of the market now. If you would like to discuss details for a property purchase we are here to help.

Rick FitzGerald, Mortgage Banker, Alerus Mortgage

(612) 386-5901

north star lofts led sign

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photo and article via Mill City Times

Another historic riverfront sign re-lit, and it’s spectacular! And photos can’t do it justice, you need to see it in person. (this is the river facing sign)

North Star Woolen Mill, built in 1864, produced scarves, flannels, blankets, and yarns. The company gradually gained a national reputation for making high quality blankets. Despite being a significant source of employment for the city, it declared bankruptcy in 1876. The Minneapolis Mill Company, the predominant company of the west side, bought the facility and operated it until the 1940s.

The sign was taken down for restoration this summer. More on the project:…/iconic-north-star-blankets-signs…