A luxury riverfront condo tower in Minneapolis is facing another delay.
Alatus LLC has been working on plans to build a 42-story condo tower overlooking St. Anthony Falls across the Mississippi River from downtown Minneapolis and had planned to demolish a former funeral home to make way for the project.
On Nov. 21, the Neighbors for East Bank Livability (NEBL) filed for an injunction against Alatus and Minneapolis to halt the project. It said the 483-foot tower exceeded height limits for the St. Anthony Falls Historic District and the city didn’t have the authority to grant a conditional use permit and variances requested by the developer.
NEBL also opposes razing a nearly 90-year-old Tudor-style structure, once the St. Anthony Falls Commercial Club and most recently housing a Washburn-McReavy funeral home, to make way for the 214-unit condo project.
At a recent court hearing, Judge Daniel Moreno did not rule on the motion. He instead ordered the parties to trial on March 13. Attorneys for the city, Alatus and NEBL agreed on a schedule for discovery and mediation, according to Erich Wunderlich, a NEBL spokesman.
“In short, Judge Moreno took seriously NEBL’s claims that the demolition of the former St. Anthony Falls Commercial Club and construction of the Alatus Tower pose a significant and irreparable threat to the historic district,” Wunderlich said. “The parties agreed that no demolition will occur on the site in the meantime.”
To build the tower, Alatus sought permission to demolish a newer adjacent structure that houses a racquetball club. The Tudor-style building is considered a contributing structure in the St. Anthony Falls Historic District. The Heritage Preservation Commission and the City Council granted the developer a certificate of appropriateness to demolish the building. NEBL wants the court to rule that the St. Anthony Commercial Club building is a historic resource as defined by state law.
Alatus had planned to start razing the building, which is at 200 Central Av. SE., before the end of the year, but said it would delay that work until the March hearing.
The project has received the support of the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association. Alatus tried for several months to find someone who was willing to assume the financial and logistical responsibility for moving the Tudor-style building.