Interested in what comes next after Lowry Grove? Add to it the Bremer Bank site at 2401 Lowry as the “affordable housing site,” and you’ve got … a new series of meetings.
The developer, The Village, LLC submitted its long-awaited formal plans to the city of St. Anthony, where staff will review them and develop their thoughts, guide meeting attendees through the highlights and any concerns they may have, hear the community and see what happens from there.
The public hearing will be August 28 starting at 7 p.m. at the Planning Commission meeting at St. Anthony City Hall.
There will also be a City Council work session on affordable housing August 10 at 7 p.m. at St. Anthony City Hall open to those interested to observe.
In the plan, revised from earlier versions offered at get-togethers before the official submission, buildings are 55 or 66 feet high (five or six stories) and far enough away from the Kenzington condos as to not obstruct the views (or not as much). Gone is the 12-story tower, the number of units totals 823 and they swear there will not be shadows cast beyond the site except possibly in December.
A 1.25-acre park on the property would be “generally open” to the public. “We reserve the right to manage the property for inappropriate behavior and will ban any individual” who is disruptive in or around the park. Market rate buildings are said to “mirror features and amenities available in other luxury rental apartments.”
The biggest change is the addition of the bank site as a separate parcel, to the development scenario. Marcia Jensen, Marketing and Public Relations Director for Bremer Bank, confirmed that “Bremer Bank has signed a purchase agreement with Continental Property Group. The terms of the agreement allow us to stay in our current location until 2019. We are committed to the community and will be exploring opportunities to develop a new location in the area that better aligns with current client preferences and our space needs.”
The letter to the city from Mike Mergens of Entrepartner, the law firm representing The Village, indicates that they will be working with a nationally recognized affordable housing specialist to develop the bank site. “Because the purchase agreement for that site contains confidential and proprietary business terms, the Affordable Site Purchase Agreement will be available for the City Attorney’s inspection and review.”
The letter does not specify the affordable housing specialist. For the senior components, The Village LLC plans to work with Ebenezer.
The documents state that The Village LLC is open to suggestions and really wants to make the site work for everyone. Mergens includes a lot of verbiage discussing what expert research shows is of value to millenials, making a case for highest density and less attention to cars (though providing 1.3 parking spots on site underground, per unit in, for example, Building D). It was not stated whether these spots would be at extra cost, as has become typical in other such buildings, or included in the rents.
The first two steps set out in letters from Mergens to the St. Anthony City Council ask for support for their Planned Unit Development application (which allows more flexibility than single-lot developments), and an amendment to the city’s comprehensive plan to allow “at least 48 units per acre,” up from the 25 to 40 units per acre now in the comprehensive plan.
The developer wants to get building dimensions approved now, while taking a staged approach to building them, resulting in completion over four to six years. “Upon receipt of that approval, The Village will immediately commence grading, site improvement and preparation, and environmental remediation and infrastructure work (including roads, ponds, and utilities, among other things),” Mergens wrote.
The Village would then do a PUD application specific to each building as it is ready to go, “the timing of which would be dictated by the market.” The proposed order of building (shown in the graphic below) is first, a 220-unit market rate rental of six stories along Kenzie Terrace which would be done along with the infrastructure.
Second: A 130-unit senior-oriented building at the northwest corner, saving room for the 32 townhomes rimming the site where it steps down to existing single family. Third, the townhomes – market rate. Fourth, the second senior building next to Kenzington, 170 units, and fifth, a 171-unit market-rate building north of the current bank site. The affordable site (bank site) timing is “to be determined.”
Documents are all available online at savmn.com.
Breanne Rothstein, city planner, is the person to contact with any questions or concerns at email@example.com.
Below: Circled numbers show the order of building phases. The number and type of units and the building heights are also indicated. (Underlying graphic from the developer’s materials.)