When Tim Baylor stares across the street from the McDonald’s he owns in north Minneapolis, he says he sees a row of potential.
Across the busy stretch of W. Broadway sits an empty lot and small, brownstone retail buildings he wants to replace with more than 200 apartments, the majority of them market-rate. It’s a revamped project that Baylor has pushed for the last five years but hasn’t gotten off the ground.
There has been little market-rate apartment development in north Minneapolis while there has been a surge in rental construction elsewhere in the city.
“I looked at this and I wondered why not?” Baylor said. “Why aren’t things happening here that are happening in other parts of the city?”
Baylor and his wife, Doris, who own several restaurants and have development experience in the Twin Cities, are advocating for the project “to bring higher-quality housing stock to an area where it is needed,” they said.
“I think it’s a beautiful neighborhood,” said Doris Baylor. “I think it can be so much more.”
The first phase of the “Satori” project, as it has been called, would encompass the 800 block of W. Broadway between Cub Foods and Bryant Avenue. With the retail buildings and some residential property behind them razed, a new six-story building would be constructed.
The building would have 112 apartments, 20% of the units dubbed affordable for renters who make 50% of the area median income. Rental rates for an apartment with an alcove for a bedroom would range from $850 to $1,000.
There would be about 13,300 square feet of retail space on the first floor and about 40 surface parking spaces, in addition to 45 parking spaces available in a level of underground parking.
Future phases of the development would be built in the 900 block of W. Broadway.
Baylor wants to build a 36-unit, affordable complex with “micro apartments” in an empty lot between businesses — the block had been damaged by an April 2015 fire. Another building is proposed to be constructed behind the micro apartments that would have 60 senior apartments with 20% being affordable.
About two-thirds of the units in the three-building development would be market rate. Baylor said he felt confident about getting higher rents for the majority of the units because of the project’s proximity to downtown, the nearby Cub grocery store and the neighborhood diversity.
In order for the project to move forward, the city would have to rezone the property along Bryant Avenue from residential to commercial as well as allow for increased building heights and other variances.
The city also owns two vacant lots along Bryant Avenue that would need to be used. Baylor said he has exclusive development rights for the city-owned lots.
According to Hennepin County property records, Baylor’s Pinnacle Management LLC is listed as the owner of the existing retail properties needed for the development.
The project was discussed at the Planning Commission’s committee of the whole earlier this month.
Baylor has plans to meet with the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council and West Broadway Business and Area Coalition.