The Solhem Story

The original “Solhem” in Särö, Sweden.  Solhem  means “sun home” in Swedish.

The original “Solhem” in Särö, Sweden. Solhem means “sun home” in Swedish.


Back in 1998…

…on a stroll around the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes, Curt and Catherine Gunsbury hatched a plan.

The idea:  invest in Minneapolis apartment buildings, with the future aim of developing hotels near National Parks. 

At the time, Curt was a special education teacher. But he had bigger dreams. The idea of building hotels near national parks combined two of Curt’s passions: the natural environment and architecture.

A lifelong lover of nature (and prolific planter of trees), Curt studied architecture in graduate school.  There, he honed his technical skills and design instincts.  He believed then, as he does now, that the thoughtful integration of a building, its site, the surrounding natural environment and community is the pathway to sustainable, livable development.   To this day, his belief in the symbiotic relationship between our natural and built environments informs everything he creates. 

Before hotels, there had to be apartments.  So, soon after the aforementioned lake walk, the Gunsburys purchased two four-plexes in Uptown and made one of the units their first home.  During the next few years, they’d go on to purchase, manage and/or convert to condos more than 8 four-plexes in the Uptown area.  

Fast forward to 2008.  With few exceptions, this was not a good year for most things, including hotels.  But apartments were a different story.  So when his plans for a boutique hotel fell apart, Curt pivoted to what he knew:  apartment buildings.  And with the backing of 5 college friends, in addition to other investors, Curt developed Solhem, a sustainably designed, 60-unit apartment building in hip, walkable Uptown.  

Since then, Curt and the team have developed a total of 15 buildings in dynamic Minneapolis neighborhoods like Uptown, Downtown, the North Loop, Lynlake, Northeast and the University of Minnesota neighborhoods.  For each project, they bring passion and vision to create buildings that meet the needs of residents and contribute to the life of the surrounding urban landscape.