Looking west from the 22nd floor downtown Minneapolis condo on July 4th, Matt Kiser and Chris Nichol have watched fireworks bloom like pulsing jellyfish, stacking at different depths of sky. Pyrotechnics also flare to the north whenever Twins batters clock home runs. And in the mornings, the sunrise looks for long minutes like a Monet painting, getting ever brighter until the colors melt into thin air.
"It's magical to live here," said Kiser, who, with partner Nichol, bought their home in 2009. They added a second unit in 2015, combining for 3,732 square feet of sky-luxe living with three bedrooms and three bathrooms plus high-end appliances and features throughout.
"It was supposed to be our forever home," Kiser said. "We spared no expense."
Alas, they have to leave it. Nichol's job as finance director for a large distribution company requires a relocation to Chicago, which Kiser, a health care consultant, is game for.
The couple, together for 21 years, gutted the two spaces to combine them into one, working with architect Ben Awes and CityDeskStudio. The fused space is artful, fancy and built to entertain in a 1201 Yale Place building that's very social.
"We kick off the holiday season in November," Kiser said.
Kiser and Nichol were featured in the Star Tribune in 2018 for their Christmas tree collection. It's now up to 22 trees.
The added space has been great, Kiser said, because "it gives us additional rooms. Like, we have a tree room, a wrapping room, a multipurpose room. And when we're done with the Christmas trees, we can store them without breaking them down."
They are wine collectors, with storage available for 1,600 to 1,700 bottles, said Nichol. And there are two offices, which made remote work a cinch during the pandemic.
The owner's bedroom has a private balcony looking east. There's also a bay window that looks north to Target Field.
And there are two guest rooms, one painted Vikings purple.
"I'm a big football fan, and for Vikings games, typically one or two friends come in from out of town," Nichol said.
Another guest room has a cherry wood theme.
"That's the most traditional, with family heirloom furniture," Kiser said. "We specifically designed this room thinking about our parents when they come to stay. It gives them space and privacy, with a sitting area and private balcony. And it looks due west with beautiful views of [the Basilica of St. Mary] and the sunsets."
There are things that the owners will miss, such as the showerhead in the owner's suite.
"It has 11 settings," Nichol said. "I don't think I'll ever run into anything like that."
As much as they love to be inside, they also like being outside, and the convenience of being near so much culture has spoiled them.
"We were lucky enough to get 'Hamilton' tickets," Kiser said. "We've taken in comedy shows at the State and Orpheum, and we have a view of Orchestra Hall."
And "Fiddler on the Roof" "with the original Fiddler who played it umpteen times — that was amazing," Nichol said.
They also enjoy art.
"When we were doing the renovations, we walked to the Loring Park Art Fair and fell in love with the work of Alison Johanson," who paints moody abstracts of Minnesota landscapes. The couple commissioned her for two pieces that, like much in the apartment, might be up for negotiation with a buyer, if tastes are simpatico.
"We liked the symmetry, the three-dimensional aspects of her work, and the fact that the scale matches the foyer," Nichol said.
"It's such a unique space, having that much square footage with such incredible views in so many different directions," Kiser said. "Sometimes, the other side of downtown, the North Loop, gets the oohs and aahs. But we have panache over here, too, plus the proximity to theaters and restaurants and Lunds. And three different freeways that will take you anywhere you want to go.
"Gosh, I'm already starting to miss this place."
Barb Brin, 612-925-8466 or email@example.com, has the $1.8 million listing.