Lupe Development Partners began as a side business that grew into the booming business it is today.
Steve Minn and his wife, Lucy Brown Minn, moved to Minneapolis in 1987, where they worked in television advertising.
"It was supposed to be a two-year stint for both of us," Minn told Minnesota Business Daily. "I had already dabbled in rental property ownership after college, and I continued it as a side business for us, starting with rooming houses at the University of Minnesota."
Minn said the rental business took off just as the TV advertising industry started to become more programmatic and less local.
"We decided to turn the hobby into our primary business," Minn said. "Interest rates were high and banks didn’t like student properties, but we persevered."
Minn said he and his brother did the renovation work themselves.
"I was the electrician and he was the plumber," Minn said. "Lucy did the leasing. Through the years, we progressed from duplexes to fourplexes and then finally onto larger developments."
Minn, as part of Lupe Development, has developed housing complexes for homeless veterans. Lupe builds affordable housing as a large part of its business. Last year, the company announced a plan to build more than 100 affordable housing units in Minneapolis with a $1.2 million grant and a $2.37 million loan from the city.
Brown Minn is the president and CEO at Lupe. The couple plans, designs and manages both residential and mixed-use real estate, according to the company website.
Minn has been in the real estate business for more than 35 years. Minn has managed the development and construction of more than 1,000 units of housing and more than 2 million square feet of mixed-use, commercial, and industrial property since 2002, according to the company website.
Minn has been an advocate for the government to pay landlords competitive rents under the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program, according to Twin Cities Pioneer Press.