One of the biggest apartment owners in the country is continuing its buying spree in the Twin Cities.
Weidner Apartment Homes of Kirkland, Wash., plans to buy a $47 million mixed-use apartment project in St. Louis Park from a Twin Cities developer, even though the project has yet to receive final municipal approvals.
Oppidan Investment Co. has asked the St. Louis Park City Council to transfer preliminary approval of its plans for the redevelopment of the shuttered Bally Total Fitness building at 4900 Excelsior Blvd. to Weidner. The transfer would include a $2.8 million tax increment financing incentive package.
Oppidan, which is based in Excelsior, declined to comment.
The property is just down the street from Excelsior & Grand, a New Urbanist-style redevelopment project that includes condominiums, rental apartments and ground floor shops and restaurants.
The project opened a little more than a decade ago and a portion is now for sale. CBRE is trying to find a buyer for the first phase, which includes 337 apartments and 64,000 square feet of retail space for an undisclosed price.
Formal action is expected to happen in the coming weeks before a planned closing on the Bally property in mid-December. City staff has called for a special meeting to discuss the proposed new ownership arrangement.
The five-story project was expected to have nearly 180 apartments and about 28,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, including a Fresh Thyme Farmers Market. Oppidan had planned to allocate 10 percent of the units as affordable housing.
Privately owned Weidner, which didn’t return a call for comment, is one of the biggest apartment owners in the country, with more than 43,000 residential units. It has been on an acquisition binge in the Twin Cities, snapping up more than $350 million in properties since entering the market in 2013.
Weidner partnered with Hunt Associates on the recently completed Siena Apartments and now owns 10 other properties in the Twin Cities, including 222 Hennepin in downtown Minneapolis.