Lupe Development Partners VP notes construction has seen changes in the last five years

A real estate developer believes new construction over the last five years is part of the biggest changes he's seen in in the same time frame in his field.

Steve Minn, the vice president and chief financial manager of Lupe Development Partners, said there has been a lot of new construction activity in that time.

"Money rates have been good and housing production lagged during the 2009 to 2013 economic downturn," Minn told Minnesota Business Daily. "We have a lot of housing need to catch up on."

Minn said the Twin Cities region continues to grow and housing at a variety of price points is needed.

"At the same time, we are seeing a generational change in the labor force, and we are experiencing a growing shortage of skilled workers," Minn said. "We lost many skilled tradespeople to the oil patch during the downturn, and the replacements just have not caught up."

Minn said as career, journeymen and masters are retiring and there is an acute absence of apprentice tradespeople to step into the void.

"Even with new automation and technology making construction more efficient, we still need skilled labor to pull it all together," Minn said. "Construction, unlike the auto or manufacturing industries, cannot be fully automated. High school graduates should take note."

Minn and his wife, Lucy Brown Minn, own and operate Lupe Developmental Partners where they plan, design and manage residential and mixed-use real estate in the Twin Cities region.

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. The company has developed housing complexes for homeless veterans and a large part of its business is building affordable housing.

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.

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