The Landing Southeast corner, Chestnut (Hwy. 41) and First Streets, Chaska

Type: Senior rentals Units: 54

Cost: $8.7 million Developer: Aeon

Details: A groundbreaking is near for a new affordable senior rental building in Chaska's riverfront district after the City Council this week unanimously approved site and buildings plans for The Landing, a 54-unit project from Minneapolis-based nonprofit developer Aeon.

The housing will go up on a long-vacant parcel at the southeast corner of Chestnut and First Streets -- identified in the city's downtown master plan as a key gateway into Chaska's historic business district from the Minnesota River on the south.

After negotiations between Aeon, city planning staff, the Chaska Downtown Business Alliance and others, a modified plan for the three-story structure was accepted by the council that tinkered with the side facing Chestnut Street, or Hwy. 41.

The site presented challenges because of a significant grade change between the building and Hwy. 41, leaving a fairly large "no-man's land" in between. Rather than using "softening" landscaping there, city planners wanted the building's facade to delineate the edge between the private space and the public sidewalk in the urban style.

Thus Aeon submitted a revised building plan with a more quickly rising grade that draws the eye up to architectural elements, while a new storefront window has been added to enhance its interface with the street.

The new plans got an enthusiastic thumbs-up from the council at its Monday meeting, and an Oct. 4 groundbreaking ceremony was announced.

The Landing will be the second affordable-housing project in Chaska for Aeon, which in 2008 opened the Clover Field Marketplace. Rents are set to be affordable for seniors whose annual incomes are $28,950 or less.

The developer last year secured an $8.5 million mortage from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development after landing grants from the city, Metropolitan Council and Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Don Jacobson is a St. Paul-based freelance writer. He can be contacted at