3998 Wooddale Av. S., St. Louis Park
Site: 2.42 acres
Developer: Gatehouse Properties
Architect: Collage Architects
Details: A proposal by a Wayzata developer to raze the former Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church and replace it with 34 new condominiums arrayed in six buildings advanced this week when the St. Louis Park City Council approved a change to the city’s comprehensive plan.
The unanimous vote to switch the site designation from “civic” to “medium-density residential” was the first step for developer David Carlson’s Gatehouse Properties to acquire and demolish the onetime church and its former parochial school and construct the Wooddale Flats “condo-townhouse hybrids” on the site near the Miracle Mile shopping center.
The church, built in 1944, was closed by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis two years ago when it was merged with Our Lady of Grace in Edina and since has been used by a charter school. Carlson has a purchase agreement with the archdiocese for the site, city planners say.
Plans for the condominiums, which would sell in the $300,000 range, show five three-story buildings holding six units each, while the sixth would be two stories with four units.
City planning officials recommended approval of the project because it would bring a new type of housing to the Browndale neighborhood, which is dominated by modest single-family homes built in the 1950s and ’60s, and would provide a transition from the commercial area north of Excelsior Boulevard.
Despite concerns about increased traffic, an analysis indicated that the condos wouldn’t generate any more vehicle trips than the current charter school.
Don Jacobson is a freelance writer in St. Paul. He can be reached at email@example.com.