Type: Rental apartments, twin homes
Units: 78 apartments, 4 twin homes
Area: 2.2 acres
Developer: Lakewest Development Co.
Architect: Collage Architects
Details: A local company seeking to redevelop the former Kraemer’s Hardware site in Minnetonka’s Glen Lake neighborhood has presented a new concept after its initial ideas were rebuffed last year.
Curt Fretham of Minnetonka-based Lakewest Development Co. sought to build a four-story apartment complex with ground-level retail on the 2.2-acre parcel at the northeast corner of Excelsior Blvd. and Williston Road. The site for many decades was the home of Kraemer’s, one of the city’s oldest businesses.
Neighbors and city officials resisted, saying it was too large and out of place with the single-family homes further north along tree-lined Williston. The city later conducted a study of the northwestern Glen Lake area to guide future development, motivated in part by years of controversy over a larger redevelopment attempt in another part of Glen Lake.
With the guidelines in hand, Fretham returned this month with his latest concept. It eliminates the retail elements, adds green space and new architectural elements to break up the “massing” of the 78-unit building. It includes a pair of for-sale twinhome buildings on the project’s north side, aiming to ease the transition from the nearby single-family homes.
Fretham purchased the parcels for the twinhomes, and has an agreement to buy the Kraemer’s building, which would be razed. The City Council is set to discuss the concept March 23.
Don Jacobson is a freelance writer in St. Paul. He can be contacted at email@example.com.