The Waters Senior Living on 50th 3500 W. 50th St., Minneapolis
Type: Senior rental housing Units: 90 Cost: $15.5 million
Height: Four stories Developer: The Waters Senior Living
The Minneapolis Planning Commission this week approved a site plan and conditional use permits in the Fulton neighborhood for a fast-growing senior housing developer.
On Monday, the panel gave its unanimous approval to the Waters Senior Living on 50th, a 90-unit, four-story building that will take shape on a long-vacant lot at 50th Street and Beard Avenue S. that was once slated for an upscale condominium building.
The approvals will trigger mortgage financing as well as institutional equity contributions for the $15.5 million project, said Jay Jensen, a Waters principal and senior vice president of development.
"Financing for experienced senior housing owner-operators with proven track records in the communities they're building in is really opening up," he said. "That certainly wasn't the case 18 months ago. Investors are also looking for great sites, which this is."
The 70,000-square-foot parcel three blocks from the bustling 50th & France retail hub was once slated to be The Bancroft, a $50 million upscale condo project. But the condo market evaporated with the 2008-09 financial crisis, and Jensen approached the lot's owner to negotiate a purchase.
Now that approvals are in hand, he said work on the distinctive building, which features a central tower and cupola, will begin in late spring.
It will join two other ongoing senior housing projects from the Waters -- one in Plymouth, which will begin construction in late February and another in Edina, which has been approved after a contentious process and is awaiting FHA financing.
The company also completed a 77-unit assisted-living project in Minneapolis last year called the Waters at Minnehaha, which was supported by city tax increment financing, or TIF, and is currently 50 percent leased following a July 2011 opening.
TIF financing was originally sought for the 50th Street project as well, but was ultimately abandoned, Jensen said.