The nonprofit developer Aeon will begin building a 70 unit affordable apartment complex this week in Edina, at the former location of the famed Flyte Tyme Studios, once run by Grammy Award Winners Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
The $23 million project is expected to open in 2022. It will be called The Sound on 76th to honor the place where Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, and Sounds of Blackness recorded music during the 15 years the studio operated in Edina.
The low profile cream-colored brick building that was used by Flyte Tyme from 1988 to 2003, has been sold several times since Jam and Lewis left the Twin Cities for California. It since served as a school and rentable rehearsal space before shutting in late 2018 to make way for the housing complex.
Artwork by local artist Ta'coumba Aiken that for years hung inside the studio will be reinstalled in the newly constructed apartments.
Aeon officials said that they worked on a development plan for years and that the new building should offer critically needed affordable homes just a block off France Avenue near the Southdale Center shopping mall.
The new complex will feature mostly two- and three-bedroom apartments, a playground, green space, fitness center, community room and homework room with computers. Eight apartments will be reserved for the previously homeless, Aeon officials announced last week.
Those eligible to move in must meet strict income guidelines. Some tenants will make less than 30% of the area median income (AMI). About half of the units will go to those making 50% or less of the area median income. The rest of the units will be rented by those making 60% of the area income.
"In these difficult times, it is more apparent than ever how critical home is to the stability of our community" said Sarah Harris, Aeon executive vice president of strategy, partnerships, and production. "We desperately need more affordable homes in the Twin Cities, especially for larger families. We are so grateful to everyone who is working with us to make these homes a reality."
The development was made possible by contributions by residents in Edina, the city of Edina, UrbanWorks, Kimley-Horn, Flannery Construction, the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, Haven Housing, Hennepin County, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, the Metropolitan Council and Minnesota Housing.
The affordable housing project is the latest by Aeon, which refinanced, helped purchase or rehab existing apartments across the Twin Cities. Latest efforts involve the 422-unit Seasons Park complex in Richfield and the 74-unit Cobble Courts Apartment in Maplewood.
Dee DePass • 612-673-7725