FOCUS ON Affordable HOUSING
We've written about thousands of new luxury apartments on these pages, but as that market reaches the saturation point, a growing number of developers are targeting seniors and low-income renters.
The need couldn't be greater in the Twin Cities and beyond.
This week, the Minnesota Housing Partnership issued a report that said the greatest shortage of affordable units is in outstate Minnesota and that the problem is getting worse. Two recent projects illustrate that trend.
This month, Ron Clark Construction in collaboration with Steven Scott Management put the finishing touches on Compass Pointe in New Hope, a 68-unit "workforce housing development" that caters to low-income working families. The project includes a community room, fitness center and outdoor playground with basketball court.
The building has one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, underground garages and in-unit washer and dryers. Rents start at $710; all units have been rented.
Ron Clark owns the building, which was funded through low-income housing tax credits from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency; Wells Fargo and the city of New Hope also provided financing.
Earlier this summer, Lake Street Station in Minneapolis opened. The 64-unit building is for low-income people who are 55 and older and is at the intersection of Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue near the Lake Street Midtown Station and a YWCA.
The project got its start in 2010 when the Met Council awarded the city of Minneapolis more than $1 million in Livable Communities grants for various elements of the development. Wellington Management built the $12 million complex, which has its own covered path to the station platform and stormwater system that doubles as a water feature. Other amenities include a rooftop patio, street-level plaza that includes raised-bed gardens, community room and fitness room. Rents for a one-bedroom unit start at $825.