The Minnesota Housing Partnership, a nonprofit focused on affordable housing, recently released a report showing that there was a 165 percent increase in sales of apartment buildings in the metro area between 2010 and 2015.
Many of those buildings were eventually renovated, causing rents to rise. At the same time, the bulk of the apartments that are being built are only affordable to those earning more than $100,000, according to the report. These parallel trends are raising concerns about a deepening shortage of affordable housing in the Twin Cities metro area. In the partnership’s report, “Sold Out,” the group’s executive director, Chip Halbach, noted that the situation is dire but it’s easing a bit as communities and developers partner on income-restricted rental projects like a pair of projects that are in the news this week.
On Monday, Minneapolis-based Dominium said it will build a 191-unit, income-restricted senior housing complex at 3700 Huset Pkwy. in Columbia Heights. Apartments in the Legends of Columbia Heights will have vinyl flooring, stainless steel appliances, balconies, patios and in-unit washers and dryers.
Shared amenities will include a club room, outdoor patio seating and picnic area, cards and crafts rooms, theater, salon and a fitness room. There will be a combination of underground parking and surface parking.
Dominium’s development associate, Eric Omdahl, said the for-profit developer has been looking for opportunities to develop senior housing in several Twin Cities suburbs. “We believe this will be a strong market for years to come and are excited to be making this investment in the Columbia Heights community,” he said in a statement.
Also this week, Minneapolis-based nonprofit developer CommonBond Communities said its Sunwood Village building is fully occupied and the waiting list is maxed out. Sunwood Village is a 47-unit, income-restricted apartment building at 7750 Sunwood Dr. NW. in Ramsey. The project is about 300 feet from the Northstar Commuter Rail station and is within walking distance to a grocery store, library, city park and a farmers market. The developer said the project will serve as a demonstration project for others like it. The building has four apartments for people who have dealt with long-term homelessness. All residents will have access to a variety of on-site support services provided by the developer. To qualify, there are minimum and maximum income limits.