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Construction is booming around the Northstar Station at the west end of the 40-mile-line in Big Lake.
The $3.9 million Crossings of Big Lake, a 33-unit apartment complex, was built across the street from the Northstar platform last year and is fully occupied, said Big Lake Administrator Todd Bodem. A 20-unit, affordable housing building for seniors is going up just west of the Crossings.
The 37-unit Northern Star apartments are being built in the transit tax increment district, and the city will use about $400,000 in new taxes to pay for an underground parking area for the $3 million building, Bodem said. If the three-story building fills up, the developer plans another 37-unit building.
A strip mall for nine stores is almost complete about a quarter-mile from the station, and Klein Bank just finished a new building within view of the station, Bodem said.
Elsewhere, Elk River has added two apartment buildings, both full, since word of the coming Northstar got out in 2003, said Development Director Jeremy Barnhart. One is a 60-unit senior cooperative. The other is 53-unit Elk River Station Apartments, which was full when it opened about two years ago with affordable and market rate housing.
The Station Apartments developer plans to erect another 53-unit building next year by the station, Barnhart said. He noted the city has expanded its nearby industrial park, where Preferred Powder Coating of Rogers plans to break ground this fall on a $6 million plant, with city financial assistance. The business will bring 24 jobs from its old plant and add eight new jobs, he said.
Jim Adams • 612-673-7658