An Art Deco building with a stone carving of a young girl and boy—Mistress Polly Plump and Master Henry Husky - that once housed the Minnesota Milk Co. and Old Home Foods is being converted into 60 income-restricted apartments that will be known as Western U Plaza.
The $16.9 million project is being co-developed by Sand Companies and the Aurora St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation (ASANDC) with help from the U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), the community development subsidiary of U.S. Bank, which invested equity raised from federal historic and low-income housing tax credits. The deal includes $10.5 million in tax credit financing.
The 101-year-old building, which is at 370 W. University Ave. next to the Western Avenue Light Rail Station is in the Summit University neighborhood, will become 18 apartments. A new three-story building next door will have 42 units, including studio, 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments. Seven of the apartments will be rented to formerly homeless individuals, who will receive support services such as employment assistance and health care, and the rest will be leased to people who earn less than 60 percent of the area median income. Monthly rents will range from $619 to $1,018.
“Western U Plaza will help fill a need for high-quality, affordable housing that also gives residents easy access to the new Western Avenue Station to reach jobs and services by light rail,” Vihar Sheth, senior vice president of USBCDC, said in a statement. “We hope Western U Plaza will give a little additional push to the redevelopment that is already underway in the Summit University neighborhood.”
Construction will be complete in September 2015. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1903 and updated in 1932.