An affordable housing complex in Hopkins, located near the site of a future station for the proposed Southwest light-rail line, celebrated its grand opening this month.

The $15 million Oxford Village complex offers 51 units for people who make up to 60 percent of the area median income, or about $42,000 a year for a family of four.

It includes studios to three-bedroom units, with rents between $600 and $995 a month, underground parking, community room, laundry facilities and outdoor decks. Six units are reserved for people who were once homeless.

Construction on the complex began last December. Hopkins officials expect it to be fully occupied next month.

The complex is at 439 N. Blake Road, about a third of a mile from the proposed Blake Road Station for the Southwest line.

The developers, Project for Pride in Living and the Hopkins agency Resource West, will provide in-house services for residents, including job assistance and mental and physical health support.

The project was financed by the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, Hennepin County and the Metropolitan Council along with Wells Fargo.

Miguel Otárola

West metro

Cities certify municipal election results

Cities across the west metro that held elections on Nov. 7 certified results during special City Council meetings last week. Canvassing the votes makes the results official and opens the door for newly elected leaders to take their positions next year.

The results show fairly similar voter turnout across Bloomington, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Minnetonka and St. Louis Park, with anywhere between 21 to 26 percent of registered voters casting ballots. Election results in those cities were called shortly after polls closed.

St. Louis Park had the highest voter turnout, with 25.5 percent of registered voters — 8,031 people — casting ballots in four council races. It was the highest turnout for a municipal election in St. Louis Park since 2001.

Minnetonka registered 21 percent voter turnout for its mayoral and two council races, the city’s highest turnout since 2005. In the race for the Fourth District seat on the Bloomington City Council, challenger Patrick Martin defeated incumbent Jon Oleson by 6 points.

Miguel Otárola


Council approves Shake Shack at Southdale

The Edina City Council has approved plans for a Shake Shack at Southdale Center, which would be the burger chain’s first stand-alone restaurant in Minnesota.

The council this month approved the 5,000-square-foot project, which was proposed by Simon Properties, owner of Southdale. It would be located on the southeast corner of France Avenue S. and W. 66th Street.

The council voted despite some members’ concerns about the project.

Council Member Bob Stewart called Simon a poor partner with the city, especially as it works on guidelines for future development in the Southdale commercial area.

“Shake Shack, I think, is a terrible use,” Stewart said, while acknowledging that he didn’t “have a legitimate reason to deny [Simon] use of the property.”

Mayor James Hovland disagreed, calling Simon “a terrific partner” and commending its investments at the mall, including upcoming additions of a Life Time gym and Homewood Suites by Hilton hotel. “Without [Simon], our town wouldn’t be nearly what it is,” he said.

Council Member Mike Fischer said that while the council didn’t seem especially interested in Shake Shack, many in the Twin Cities were. “It is a business that has a clientele out there that are excited about it,” he said.

The state’s first Shake Shack opened over a year ago in the Mall of America food court in Bloomington.

Miguel Otárola


Exhibit marks 150 years for city waterworks

Minneapolis Water Works is celebrating its 150th anniversary this month with an exhibit at the Hennepin County Government Center.

The Minneapolis City Council authorized the establishment of the city’s waterworks in 1867 to supply the city’s fire department. The city’s first drinking water pump station was authorized by 1872 on the Mississippi River above St. Anthony Falls and expanded its distribution, making Minneapolis the first city in Minnesota with a public drinking water system.

The city’s Water Treatment and Distribution Services now operates a complex system that daily pumps approximately 21 billion gallons of drinking water — a rate that could fill Lake of the Isles in about four days.

The exhibit shows how water is taken from the Mississippi and then treated and delivered to homes and businesses. There are photos of the treatment and distribution processes and infrastructure, as well as equipment and pipe actually used in the water treatment and distribution center.

The Hennepin Gallery is open to the public from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week on the Government Center’s A-level, 300 S. 6th St., Minneapolis.



Board declares National Adoption Day

The Hennepin County Board declared Saturday to be National Adoption Day in the county.

Officials expect that at least 89 families in Hennepin County will adopt 124 teens, children and infants by the end of the year.

“Our commitment to children’s well-being, including meeting their physical, social, emotional and relational health needs, and ensuring the growth and development of every child, are vital components of our responsibilities in Hennepin County,” according to the board resolution.

November is National Adoption Month. More than 110,000 children nationwide are in foster care waiting for permanent homes.