The new foreclosure hot spots are in some creamy ‘burbs not just far-flung exurban or grittily urban. That’s according to a Minneapolis Fed analysis, which gets down to the ZIP code level and fingers Woodbury, Plymouth, Apple Valley and Minnetonka, the Business Journal’s Jennifer Niemela reports. Adjustable-rate resets are the problem. The Fed has identified 30 Minnesota ZIP codes where 35 to 50 percent of the mortgages will reset, including in the above communities. There’s a ZIP code list in the piece.
The Strib’s Jackie Crosby says Target’s larger-than-expected July same-store sales decline means Big Red is falling further behind downmarket successes like Wal-Mart. Big Red’s 1.2 percent decline was bigger than expected, a drop at least as big is predicted for August, but Target will still grow by 100 stores this year. Finance and Commerce’s Kendall Anderson notes Target’s home and entertainment categories were especially weak.
More retail: Interesting stat from Crosby’s piece — “For the first time since 1980, more space became available to rent at strip malls than was rented out.”
It’s hot button time! GOP House Leader Marty Seifert highlights Minnesota welfare recipients’ $10 million in out-of-state purchases. The PiPress’s Rachel Stassen-Berger reports that half the $10 million is spent in border states, but Seifert is exorcised about $2,890 spent in Hawaii. A state official tells MPR’s Tom Weber that family emergencies can require travel. The spending (2 percent of $500 million total) is legal, and politically complicated: a GOP administration runs the program, but Seifert blames the legislative DFL majority.
Wanna know where all the Republican National Convention parties are? Courtesy of the Sunlight Foundation, via MPR’s Bob Collins, there’s a PDF list here. Collins notes AT&T is saluting a union (the Screen Actors Guild) at the Fine Line, and a Creative Coalition Gala features not-so-Republicans Spike Lee and Susan Sarandon. (Apparently Sunlight got a list with certain Denver names on it.)
The Olga Franco aftermath: jurors were split when they got the case, the Strib’s Pam Louwagie writes. The key factor, one juror says, was that Franco’s foot was trapped near the gas pedal. Another juror tells KSTP’s Colleen Mahoney she felt Franco was lying, but many could not look the defendant in the eye. Louwagie finds a lot of sadness, but few people willing to make it about illegal immigrants.
Via MPR’s Tom Scheck, the New York Times profiles Tim Pawlenty. Monica Davey leads with the “no-sex” joke. Ex-DFL congressman and IP gubernatorial opponent Tim Penny calls the guv “unremarkable,” but supporters highlight anti-tax and pro-environment stands. The story mentions Pawlenty appointing Dave Durenberger to a health-reform commission, but not that the governor ignored its recommendations. The story suggests Pawlenty is too nice to be a VP attack dog, something DFLers might quarrel with.
A 4-month-old Minneapolis girl took a stray bullet from a Powderhorn neighborhood drive-by shooting, Fox9’s Beth McDonough reports. People in two vehicles were shooting at each other, and the infant, sitting on her grandmother’s lap in a park, was grazed in the thigh. The injury is not life-threatening, but is life-depressing. McDonough says the Surenos 13 gang was involved.
Coincidentally, MPR’s Brandt Williams burns shoe leather asking Minneapolis residents if they’ve felt the overall crime drop. Short answer: some do, some don’t. But it’s good work talking to real folks and getting their actual experiences.
The apartment market keeps getting tighter, the PiPress’s Jennifer Bjorhus says. Vacancies, already below the 5 percent equilibrium rate, fell to 3.7 percent in 2008’s second quarter; the figure was 3.9 percent a year ago. Average rents rose 3 percent. Downtown Minneapolis one-bedrooms averaged a little over $1,000 a month, compared to $610 in Brooklyn Center.
Western Minnesota counties have among the nation’s oldest populations, AP reports. About two dozen counties nationwide have more than a quarter of their people over 65, and Minnesota has three of ’em: Traverse (Wheaton is the county seat), Big Stone (Ortonville) and Lincoln (Ivanhoe). Southwest metro exurban counties have the state’s youngest average populations.
If this isn’t common, it should be: Washington County has formed an Absentee Ballot Board, the PiPress’s Shannon Prather notes. The idea is to check and return absentee ballots with missing signatures so voters can correct them before election day. That minimizes the number of disenfranchisees, a county official notes. The board “saved” 100 votes in ’06, but this is its first presidential year. An increasing number of folks vote absentee; in 2004, one in 10 Washington County balloters did.
A Minneapolis Native American charter school will probably be shut down; a staffer may have embezzled $160,000. On Tuesday, the Minneapolis School Board could end its sponsorship of Oh Day Aki/Heart of the Earth, shuttering it for the school year, the Strib’s Terry Collins and Lora Pabst write. The suspect tells WCCO’s Darcy Pohland he didn’t do it, but can’t cough up the documents he says proves it. The school has had consistent problems managing money and taking corrective action.
The Minneapolis City Council won’t approve zoning variances and other development matters for five weeks around month’s end, the Strib’s Steve Brandt reports. The yawning and frustrating gap opened because so many councilmembers are going to the Democratic National Convention. The killed a biweekly Community Development meeting, and Labor Day break added the fifth week. Oh well, folks are used to waiting for City Hall.
Hey Mac addicts! Sounds like a new Apple store will be coming to St. Paul’s Grand Avenue. The PiPress’s Leslie Brooks Suzukomo says everyone’s being cagey, but Apple’s website is taking applications for a St. Paul store it calls “Grand Place.”
Twin Cities per-capita personal income grew 5 percent last year, the PiPress’s Jennifer Bjorhus writes. Did it feel that way to you? That’s up from 2006, and roughly matches the national average. The Twin Cities ranks 20th among 363 U.S. metro areas, averaging $46,458 per person in ’07.
Meanwhile, Minnesotans ranked 12th among the 50 states in state and local tax burden for fiscal ’08, a nonpartisan national group reports. The PiPress’s Bill Salisbury says Minnesota slipped from 11th in 2007. Overall, Minnesotans paid 10.2 percent of their income in state/local taxes, down from 10.4 percent in ’07. The state ranked second in 1998 but fell to 17th in 2005. (Does the state property-tax cram-down explain the ’05-’08 rise?) Overall, the nation kicks in 9.7 percent of its cash in state/local taxes.
The PiPress’s Gita Sitaramiah writes that Best Buy’s new Mall of America store is partly about exposing the brand to foreigners. Two million non-Americans crowd MOA each years. The company’s expansion plans have accelerated in China, Canada, Mexico (and also, I think, the U.K.).
Dunkin Donuts will come back to the Twin Cities after an agonizing three-year absence. The PiPress’s Julie Forster says more than 100 stores will open right by the Krispy Kremes and Starbucks. Kidding about that last part. You have to pony up $700,000-$1.3 million for a strip mall store, but I hear there’s plenty of space available.
Nort spews: A Twins off-day, a Favre-free day, and the day before the Olympics. Hope you spent time with your family or something. Twins open in Kansas City, and the Vikings begin their exhibition ripoffs, I mean exhibition season, at home against Seattle.