Reuter Walton Development will seek tax credits from the city of St. Paul to build 279 units of affordable housing along the Green Line in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood.
The site comprises 3 acres at the northwest corner of University and Fairview avenues, several abandoned buildings and a parking lot for Goodwill Industries employees directly across from the Fairview light-rail station. The developer is buying the property from Goodwill Industries.
The developer presented plans to the Hamline Midway Coalition’s Development Committee last week, said Kate Mudge, executive director of the coalition.
Unlike most of properties under development in the western part of St. Paul, all of the apartments in the two seven-story buildings will meet affordable housing criteria, Mudge said.
“It’s 100 percent affordable,” she said. “Everybody in our meeting was pretty happy.”
Paul Keenan, vice president of development for Reuter Walton Development, said that 28 of the apartments will be available for families earning 30% of area median income (AMI), according to Mudge. Another 77 units will be affordable for those making 50% of AMI and 100 units will be affordable for those making 60% of AMI. The remaining 74 units will be for residents whose income is 80% of AMI.
In a statement, developers said they will apply for affordable housing tax credits with the city in January, and plan to start construction in fall 2020. All other necessary financing has been secured.
“Our legacy has been to anticipate market demand and be ready to develop when opportunity and the right site is available. The Goodwill headquarters redevelopment will provide much needed affordable and transit-oriented housing for the city of St. Paul,” developer Nick Walton said.
Reuter Walton Development is working with DJR Architecture and is in discussions with Watson-Forsberg and several other construction contractors. According to the statement from developers, the project will be built with union labor.
“This project will include thousands of work hours for the carpenters and other construction trades workers, paid at a living wage,” Adam Duininck, director of government affairs for the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, said in a statement.
The developers said they plan to enter into a long-term lease to continue to provide parking for Goodwill workers.
Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota President and CEO Michael Wirth-Davis said in a statement: “We just celebrated 100 years of serving the community in December and look forward to eliminating barriers to work and independence in the next century from our main campus in St. Paul.
“We look forward to welcoming our new neighbor Reuter Walton, who is providing critical housing options in the community we serve.”
Since 2007, Reuter Walton has developed 30 properties throughout the area, including multifamily housing, student housing, hotels and commercial properties.