That old Arby’s in Uptown — where people gathered in the February cold to mourn the teardown of the big brown hat sign — would have had to sell 2,500 roast beef sandwiches a day to match the economic potential of the apartment building that will take its place.
Reuter Walton Development, which has built several other apartment complexes in Uptown, unveiled plans for a six-story, 170-unit apartment building with retail on the ground floor for the small, triangular block on West Lake Street where Arby’s stood for 47 years.
With the apartment rents alone likely to generate more than $250,000 a month, the new building in just four months will match the approximately $1 million revenue that a typical Arby’s location generates in a year.
The developer recently signed a contract to buy the property from owner Supervalu Inc., which operates a Cub Foods on another property across the street. Pending city approvals, construction would begin in January 2019 with completion expected in the summer of 2020.
“We feel that this is the gateway site to Uptown from the east,” said Kyle Brasser, a developer with Reuter Walton. “This has been a parcel that we have had our eyes on for awhile. … It’s smack dab in the middle of Lagoon and Lake. It’s close to many different services and restaurants and retail.”
The restaurant closed suddenly in late January. Shortly afterward, a few dozen people staged a vigil to remember the tall brown hat sign that stood on the site over the decades and through various designs of the Arby’s restaurant itself.
For the developers, Brasser said there was concern whether the six-story building would fit on the site, which is compact at a bit more than three-fourths of an acre. Architectural firm ESG designed curved walls into the building to fit the site.
The apartment portion of the building will have a game room, fitness facility, second-floor community room with outdoor terrace and pool, rooftop deck and more. Retailers will be split among about 4,000 feet of space along the street. Two levels of underground parking will have enough space for 160 stalls.
About 75 percent of units will have rents between $1,250 and $1,850 per month with the remaining larger units priced from $1,900 to $2,500. There should be a handful of apartments with walk-ups on Lake Street.
Reuter Walton plans to spend $45 million for the acquisition and development of the site, Brasser said. The firm, whose offices are in Uptown, has worked on several other multifamily projects in the area including the nearby Revel Apartments, the Modi on Franklin and Lyndale avenues and 1800 Lake apartments overlooking Bde Maka Ska.
“We think that high-quality housing options are in demand,” Brasser said.
The firm is scheduled to discuss the project with the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association on June 13, with a presentation to the city’s Planning Commission Committee of the Whole scheduled the next day.