When Development 65 approached the St. Anthony City Council about building a senior living facility on a portion of the Urban Grove manufactured home park, the Council made an unusual request: Get public input first. On Feb. 18, Robert Wall of Development 65 and Link Wilson, Kaas Wilson Architects, did just that at a presentation held at the St. Anthony Community Center.
Their plan to peel off a four-acre piece of land on the west side of the mobile home park and build a 125-unit building facing Stinson Pkwy. was met with curiosity – and plenty of suggestions – by about 40 neighbors who attended the meeting.
The developers propose a four-story, 46-ft.-high building with three distinct living areas: 83 independent living apartments, 26 assisted living units, and 16 memory care units. They call it an aging-in-place building that would allow residents to move through a continuum as their physical and mental needs change. Although most of the units are market rate, 5% will be affordable. “When their assets dwindle down, people won’t get kicked out,” said Hall.
Plans include a commercial kitchen and dining space, a shop to buy sundries and shared common spaces for social interaction. They plan 94 underground parking units for residents and 16 staff, noting that most residents will not be driving. The building would be managed by Great Lakes Management Communities.
The complex would face Stinson Blvd., with an entrance at the existing curb cut at 26th Avenue NE. Asked why, Hall replied, “We’re trying to preserve Stinson Boulevard so you’re not looking at the butts of mobile homes all the way down.” The ends of the mildly U-shaped building are set back 105 feet from the boulevard, which is owned by Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board. The main entrance is 160 feet back.
Surface parking would face the building. The preliminary plan calls for 70 surface spots; neighbors encouraged Hall and Wilson to reduce that number and preserve as many old-growth trees on the parcel as possible. “We’ve studied Horace Cleveland’s principles, which were used to design the Grand Rounds,” said Wilson. “He said buildings should look like they’re in a park.” Grade changes in the property will be landscaped with natural materials such as boulders.
The property runs along Stinson from the alley between 26th and 27th Avenues to the Bremer Bank property. Deliveries and move-ins would take place along an easement along the east side the property would share with Urban Grove.
Presently, the site draws potable water from Minneapolis and drains into Minneapolis sewers. The developers plan to ask for tax increment financing from St. Anthony Village to connect to the city’s water system and reroute drainage through pipes that will have to run eastward through the Urban Grove mobile home park. Once the building is up and running, they anticipate paying $400,000 in taxes. Development 65 has an option to buy the site from Urban Grove owner Bradley Hoyt, and will exercise that option when it closes on financing. Construction would begin in August and last 16 months. The proposed density amounts to 31 units per acre. The Northeaster will keep readers posted through the city process.
Below: Rendering of the new proposed building. Aerial view of the senior housing project proposed for part of the Urban Grove site. The new building is the sideways mustache on the left, facing Stinson Parkway. Kenzington and the Legacy of St. Anthony are on the right, on either side of Kenzie Terrace.