A proposal to complete long-stalled Humboldt Greenway housing that a neighborhood association said is too expensive won preliminary approval at Minneapolis City Hall on Tuesday.

A City Council committee approved the sale of 95 lots to Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation (GMHC), a nonprofit that is partnering on the project with MyHomeSource as its contractor. MyHomeSource is a seven-year-old development company that’s a subsidiary of real estate developer Alatus LLC.

The company wants to build 52 single-family homes and 11 townhouses at prices ranging from $280,000 to $300,000, before upgrades.

The committee’s approval came after the Lind-Bohanon Neighborhood Association urged the city in August to select a more modest proposal by MSP Enterprises LLC.

“While GMHC had a good proposal, we believe that their price points are simply too high for the Lind-Bohanon neighborhood, and the number of homes they propose to construct in a short amount of time would lead to too many vacant homes in our neighborhood,” the association told the city.

GMHC has a long track record of rehabbing existing housing with the city, and last year hit the $350,000 mark with a newly built home almost four miles away elsewhere in the North Side.

The company’s plan offers less housing density than was planned for the area in 2000, which city staffer Cherie Shoquist attributed to a design calling for bigger homes.

Neighborhood leaders expressed concern that the higher-priced homes would sit empty on the market, and that they would eventually nudge the neighborhood in a more upscale direction. The neighborhood’s median house value is $102,500.

The housing restart involves a project to revitalize Humboldt Avenue N. near the city’s northern edge that was initiated by Hennepin County and dates to the late 1990s. The recession halted construction for seven years after 58 single-family and 36 townhouses had been built. The lots to be sold for construction went into foreclosure or tax forfeiture, and are now owned by the city. They would be sold for $363,240, if the full council concurs.

The proposed development agreement requires 14 units to be completed by next Aug. 1, but gives the developer an option of buying lots in groups of three. The entire development is required to be completed within four years. It requires the developer to pay a $100 monthly holding fee of for each lot not bought by the developer.

Shoquist, a city development project coordinator, said her department recommended the GMHC/MyHomeSource proposal because it best meets the development objective of high-value, high-quality housing. She said the development group wants to have homes ready for the 2016 Parade of Homes.


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