The North’s Side’s Humboldt Greenway redevelopment is back in business after a seven-year hiatus with the city’s release this week of a request for developer proposals to build additional housing.
The development was stalled by the massive housing recession after 94 units (58 single-family and 36 townhouses) were built in the first phase of the project, located just south of the Brooklyn Center border. Another 10 of a planned second phase of 108 units were completed before the recession hit. A senior rental apartment complex was also completed.
“We’ve had a significant amount of interest from the developer community already,” said Cherie Shoquist, a city development project coordinator.
The greenway project was a Hennepin County-led effort that converted several blocks of Humboldt Avenue N. to a meandering boulevard, improved nearby Shingle Creek, created bike and foot paths to North Mississippi Park, and cleared areas of post-World War II housing to create lots for higher-value homes.
The city has managed the sale of lots to developers for the housing. Before the recession, single-family homes sold for as high as $300,000 and townhouses for up to $255,000. The city’s solicitation emphasized creating high-value homes.
“It’s good to see another shot at it,” said county Commissioner Mike Opat, who championed the redevelopment strategy. “Unfortunately, the market went south. I think it’s an attractive piece of property.”
Proposals by developers are due June 26. The city is offering the bare lots at $1 per square foot through the end of 2016. The lots are concentrated on Humboldt, Girard, 49th, 50th and 51st avenues. Shoquist said she expects the city will select between two and four developers for the work.
Shoquist said that market demand for the city's Green Homes North program led city officials to conclude that the market has recovered sufficiently to support private development. The city opted to revive house construction in the greenway area ahead of seeking developer proposals for uncompleted portions of the Heritage Park development along Olson Hwy.