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Top Residential Transactions – 4750 Baycliffe Road, Minnetrista

By: Anne Bretts, Finance & Commerce

Posted: November 23, 2011 at 9:57am

A 2010 fire damaged this home at 4750 Baycliffe Road in Minnetrista, but a new owner is hoping to salvage it. (Submitted photo: Virginia Lord, Coldwell Banker Burnet)

4750 Baycliffe Road, Minnetrista

It’s not unusual for old mansions on Lake Minnetonka to be torn down to make way for new homes. That’s why it’s noteworthy that a historic mansion nearly destroyed by fire last year has found a buyer who wants to restore it.

Randall Schneewind paid $1.25 million for a house at 4750 Baycliffe Road in Minnetrista, closing on Nov. 3. Jean Hedlund bought the 8,160-square-foot home in 1978 for $135,000. She escaped unhurt from a devastating fire on June 2, 2010, but decided to move and sell the house as is, said Virginia Lord, a Coldwell Banker Burnet agent in Wayzata who represented both the buyer and seller.

“It just wreaked havoc on the place,” Lord said of the fire.

But the buyer is entranced.

“It’s a really amazing place,” said Schneewind, who is meeting with architects and believes it can be saved.

He should know. He is the president of Berg Drywall, a drywall, plastering and painting business in Chaska, and has done many restoration projects. “It’s one of our favorite things to do,” he said.

The home is known as the summer place of George Van Dusen, a 19th century entrepreneur who made his fortune building grain elevators. His main home in Minneapolis is on the National Register of Historic Places.

3209 Galleria #1001, the Residences at the Westin Galleria, Edina

The Residences at the Westin Galleria in Edina continued to chip away at its inventory of unsold condominiums with the sale of a 1,775-square-foot, 10th floor unit to Eileen Sczepanski for $1 million. The sale closed Nov. 2.

There still are 30 available units in the Residences, which opened in 2008 with 82 condos on the floors above the 225-room Westin Edina Galleria hotel. The 17-story hotel and condo building is connected underground to the Galleria, an upscale shopping center.

John Wanninger of Berg & Wanninger, a Coldwell Banker Burnet agency, said the buyer is very private, but he could share that she fits the demographic targeted when the project was designed. The building was marketed as a place where empty nesters and seniors could give up their homes and enjoy the freedom of condo living, with access to hotel services, shopping and restaurants.

More closings are expected around the end of the year, Wanninger said.

5400 Shenandoah Lane N., Plymouth

Model homes are designed to spark sales, and a new one in Taylor Creek in Plymouth worked even better than the builder expected.

“It was a model that we started and sold in the very early state of construction,” said Tony Gonyea of Plymouth-based Gonyea Homes. Phillip and Diane Olsen paid $1.3 million for the home at 5400 Shenandoah Lane N., closing on Oct. 28.

Gonyea Development has sold about 25 percent of 36 lots in the development, which opened earlier this year. Home prices are expected to range from $700,000 to $1.4 million.

The two-story home features five bedrooms, five baths, a sport court and lower-level walkout.

Gonyea said the development is drawing interest from homeowners who are turning the soft housing market to their advantage.

“Most of our buyers are moving up,” Gonyea said. “It’s much easier to swallow a $50,000 loss when you’re saving $150,000 on a new home.”

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