Eight proposed Twin Cities-area apartment developments, as well as a housing-related city infrastructure project in St. Paul, are in line for Metropolitan Council funding totaling $7.7 million in a vote set for next week.
Met Council board members will decide Dec. 14 whether to approve Livable Communities Demonstration Account (LCDA) grant recommendations for the projects, which would help fund a series of new, privately developed apartment buildings providing a promised total of 1,627 affordable-living units and 92 permanent jobs. Five are in Minneapolis or St. Paul, with others in Hastings, Bloomington, Richfield and North St. Paul.
In rating the applications, a Met Council committee chaired by Apple Valley Mayor Mary Hamann-Roland and including builders, architects, municipal planners and other housing experts used a points system. It encourages proposals that produce big changes in average rental rates within the projects’ neighborhoods, among other criteria.
The recommendations include:
• West Side Flats Phase III, St. Paul, $800,000. Sherman Associates is seeking to build a 264-unit third phase of its West Side Flats mixed-use community just across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Paul. It would include a pair of buildings: one comprised of 182 market-rate apartments with a 5,000-square-foot restaurant, and a second featuring 82 units, 64 of which would be affordable to lower-income renters.
• West Side Flats Greenway, St. Paul, $800,000. The lone infrastructure recommendation is for the West Side Flats Greenway, a mostly vacant, 13-acre parcel that borders the West Side Flats Phase III. The project would create a unique “daylighted” stormwater district system doubling as a city amenity by creating green spaces and water features.
• Knox-American, Bloomington, $1.4 million. Knox-American is the working name for the third phase of a collaboration between the city of Bloomington, apartment owner StuartCo and commercial developer United Properties in the Penn American District. The first two phases saw the building of the Genesee Apartments and a Home 2 Suites by Hilton hotel. Initial plans for the third phase are for 248 additional apartment units, 50 of which would be affordable.
• Dorothy Day St. Paul Opportunity Center & Housing, St. Paul, $662,000. The second phase of Catholic Charities’ effort to rebuild and expand the Dorothy Day Center in downtown St. Paul will provide 171 affordable housing units for the formerly homeless above two stories featuring social services such as veteran outreach, and physical, mental and chemical health services.
• Hook & Ladder Apartments, Minneapolis, $1.3 million. Affordable housing developer Newport Midwest LLC was recommended for a sizable LCDA grant with its plans for the Hook & Ladder Apartments in northeast Minneapolis, which calls for the construction of two buildings containing a total of 118 units of affordable workforce housing.
• Artspace Hastings River Lofts, Hastings, $237,000. Ground was broken Aug. 30 for the Artspace Hastings River Lofts, which will see the redevelopment of a former industrial site in downtown into 37 affordable live/work units for artists and their families, 2,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space, a 1,700-square-foot gallery, and 2,960 square feet of community green space.
• Sabathani Senior Housing, Minneapolis, $516,000. The Sabathani project at 310 E. 38th St. includes 50 units of senior housing and senior programming space on land adjacent to the Sabathani Community Center. The project also would provide a community garden and playground that integrates the new senior housing with the existing community center.
• Cedar Point South, Richfield, $1.36 million. A collaboration between the city of Richfield and Boisclair Corp. to build the 204-unit Cedar Point South Apartments was recommended for $1.36 million in LCDA funding. It includes the development of predominantly vacant land into three mixed-income multifamily buildings as well as the construction of two blocks of Richfield Parkway.
• Commerce Park Apartments, North St. Paul, $800,000. A proposal from St. Louis Park-based Anderson Cos. to build multifamily residential on a North St. Paul redevelopment site includes the 286-unit Commerce Park Apartments as well as some retail elements near the Hwy. 36-Century Avenue intersection.
Don Jacobson is a freelance writer based in St. Paul. He is the former editor of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Real Estate Journal.