Housing developers are lining up for the chance to build a long-delayed Richfield project. Six proposals have been submitted for the Cedar Point redevelopment, an ambitious project that got underway more than a decade ago, then was stalled by the Great Recession.
A Home Depot and a SuperTarget, along with several restaurants and other shops, have opened in recent years on the site at E. 66th Street and Cedar Avenue S. But housing, which was always part of the Cedar Point development plan, is only now coming back into the picture.
"We see it as a very important piece of the overall redevelopment of the Cedar corridor, so we're very excited that there is interest from multiple developers," said Karen Barton, Richfield's assistant community development director.
The six developers submitted final proposals this week to the City Council, which is expected to select one at its next meeting on June 9, Barton said. Among those are plans that range from all market-rate housing to those that would include some senior or assisted-living units and some affordable housing.
Mayor Debbie Goettel said she senses the council will favor housing aimed at a younger age group, along with some town houses that would be for sale rather than for rent.
"You have all this retail and fast casual dining, and the possibility of other restaurants in the future," Goettel said. "We talked about it being more for young professionals than for seniors. And we liked the proposal that included ownership — it fits better with the existing residential."
Barton said town houses would help fill a hole in the Richfield housing market.
"We do have a lot of single-family homes. We are lacking in townhomes," she said. "That's an area we need to add and that there's real demand for."
Barton added that "We have a lot of older rental properties that lack amenities, so we need to look at bringing in some newer rental properties that would bring in some young professionals."
It's important for the community to have rental housing that's attractive to young people, Barton said, because it often leads to homeownership.
"Our rental studies show that a majority of folks who come to Richfield as renters tend to buy homes and stay in the community," she said.