The developer of the Carleton Artists Lofts, which helped transform a former industrial area along University Avenue between Minneapolis and St. Paul, hopes to build a four-story apartment building on an adjacent site.
Through an entity called Cookie Drawer Co., St. Paul developer Brad Johnson recently filed a request for a conditional-use permit with the St. Paul Planning and Economic Development Department to build the Raymond at Carleton Place, a 79-unit apartment building at 2326 Territorial Rd. in St. Paul’s St. Anthony Park neighborhood.
As with most of the rental buildings in the area, rents will be market rate with no income restrictions, but 70 to 80 percent of the units will be “micro units” with about 350 to 450 square feet and preliminary rents from about $800 to $1,000, according to a recent presentation to the St. Anthony Park Community Council.
Suyapa Miranda, the council’s executive director, said the group supports the project based on the initial proposal. “Our committee was very excited about it,” she said.
The Green Line and other major construction projects have been a catalyst for new building in the area, but the group wants to make sure that developers include affordable rentals.
“We’ve seen our own board members have to leave the neighborhood because they can’t afford to stay here,” Miranda said. “Eight hundred dollars per month is a lot better than what you see elsewhere along University Avenue right now.”
The Raymond at Carleton Place would replace a small industrial office/warehouse on a site that’s between Charles Avenue and Territorial Road. It was designed by Minneapolis-based UrbanWorks Architecture. Architect Neil Reardon said the design will be modern, with fiber cement cladding in three colors and an abundance of windows on the main floor, which will house the common and amenity spaces.
The conditional-use permit seeks permission to build a 3,000-square-foot rooftop patio with a pergola that exceeds the maximum height currently allowed in the area.
The Carleton Lofts, opened in 2007, was a redevelopment project that turned the former Johnson Bros. Liquor Co. headquarters and other buildings into 400 rentals. It was a complex project that included several partners, including members of the Johnson family.
Since that project, hundreds of new apartments have been built along University Avenue, and there are proposals for more. One of the biggest is a plan from a Chicago developer to build a 15-story mixed-use development anchored by a Fresh Thyme grocery store. It would replace an office building that’s across from the Green Line’s Prospect Park Station but just within Minneapolis city limits. An entity called Rise at Prospect Park paid $10.7 million for the property at the end of April, according to public documents.
“I would definitely say we’re having a big boom here,” Miranda said.