Dominium will start construction this week on its first project in Roseville — a 228-unit income-restricted apartment building that is part of a multiphase redevelopment.

The $74 million project will include 228 rentals in two low-rise buildings that will both have access to a clubhouse with an outdoor swimming pool. Plans call for a "bike cafe," walking paths and a play area and pergola overlooking one of two ponds. The project is along County Road C in Roseville on one of several former industrial sites that have long been targeted by the city for redevelopment.

This "legacy" site was the home of a former trucking terminal called Twin Lakes and the former Boater's Outlet store, which is now along Rice Street in St. Paul.

It will include additional phases with senior housing that will be developed by Dominium and commercial buildings that will be developed by Minneapolis-based Launch Properties.

The Roseville City Council has been focused on redeveloping former industrial areas into affordable rental housing for families and seniors who are looking to downsize from their single-family homes and don't want to leave the city.

The city has a dearth of options for renters. At the end of March the average vacancy rate in Roseville was 2.2%, according to Marquette Advisors. A rate of 5% is considered a balanced market. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the city was $1,235, nearly 5% higher than the previous year.

Dominium vice president and project partner Ryan Lunderby said the project is the company's first in Roseville.

It recently developed the Millberry and Legends at Berry apartments in St. Paul.

He said rents have not yet been set, but all of the units will be set at affordable rent levels pursuant to HUD income guidelines.

"It will provide much-needed high-quality affordable housing in the Twin Cities metro," said Lunderby.

He said the rentals for families are expected to be completed in early 2022 and he hopes to start construction on the adjacent senior-housing project, which is slated to include 277 income-restricted apartments for seniors, in 2021.

Dominium will receive financial assistance for building demolition and site remediation from a variety of sources including the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the Metropolitan Council and the Ramsey County Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

Other financing will include a Freddie Mac loan, a tax-exempt construction loan and taxable equity bridge loan originated and serviced by America First Multifamily Investors, federal low income housing tax credits and tax-increment financing from the city of Roseville's Economic Development Authority. The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) is also providing low-income housing tax credits and tax-exempt bonds issued by the city of Roseville.

Development partners include the city of Roseville, Eagle Builders, Dominium Construction & Architectural Services and BKV Group.

Dominium is one of the largest developers and managers of income-restricted rental housing in the nation. It manages nearly 35,000 rentals nationwide including several new markets. The company recently said that it would expand its workforce by about 10% as part of its ALL IN For Hiring Talent initiative by hiring more than 120 employees in the 22 states where the company has operations. Those positions include caretakers, maintenance technicians and community managers.

"We've seen firsthand through our residents how challenging the pandemic has been," said Dominium managing partner, Paul Sween, in a statement.

"Being fully staffed during these unprecedented times is critical to keeping properties functioning seamlessly, supporting residents, and ensuring the health of everyone in our communities."