Hi-Lake Triangle Apartments 2230 E. Lake St., Minneapolis

Type: Apartments for seniors and disabled/retail mixed-use Units: 64 Retail space: 5,125 square feet Cost: $10.5 million Developer: Wellington Management

Details: St. Paul-based Wellington Management is securing the final city approvals and subsidies it needs to proceed with construction of a 64-unit, affordable senior apartment complex abutting the Lake Street/Midtown stop on the Hiawatha light-rail line.

The Minneapolis Planning Commission said Monday that Wellington's request for $1.7 million in tax increment financing (TIF) is consistent with goals laid out in the city plan. 

It next goes before the City Council, where the TIF request will be considered at three hearings in September.

The tight, 0.85-acre parcel is currently owned by the Minnesota Department of Transportation and is a remnant tract left over from the building of the Hiawatha Line. The plans envision the building's east-facing units looking directly onto the raised light-rail platform, which developer Steve Wellington says will be an amenity in the eyes of some renters. 

"We've have comments from people saying, 'gee, isn't that kind of close to the transit stop?' But I think being part of a lively, urban scene is something people want," he said. "When we built the Metro Lofts on University Avenue in St. Paul, the condos that faced the street went first and the ones that faced the interior went second."

The project will include 53 one-bedroom units and 11 two-bedroom units, all of which will be affordable to elderly and disabled individuals and families earning 60 percent or less of the area median income. Two to three retail tenants will occupy ground-floor commercial spaces.

Wellington -- who also renovated the adjacent, 149,000-square-foot Hi-Lake Shopping Center -- said he is in the final stages of lining up financing for the apartments, with a closing expected sometime in October and a groundbreaking before the winter freeze.

Don Jacobson is a St. Paul-based freelance writer. He can be contacted at hotproperty.startribune@gmail.com.