Affordable apartments proposed for Lyn-Lake area of Minneapolis

A proposed high-density project would include 222 units in the heart of the bustling neighborhood.

Lake Street Apartments on Lake Street and Harriet Avenue are proposed to have two phases which would have a total of 222 apartment units. Image courtesy Lupe Development Partners and ESG Architects.

A developer wants to build a pair of 111-unit, affordable apartment complexes in the trendy Lyn-Lake area of south Minneapolis.

The first six-story apartment building, which is being called Lake Street Apartments, would replace several old commercial buildings and a small parking lot located on the northeast corner of West Lake Street and Harriet Avenue.

A second phase would include the construction of a twin building across Harriet Avenue that would replace an auto repair shop and parking lots.

“There just isn’t a lot of affordable housing in the neighborhood,” said Steve Minn, vice president and chief financial manager of Minneapolis-based Lupe Development Partners, which is proposing the project. “A lot of people who lived in the neighborhood have been forced out.”

The busy Lyn-Lake area is characterized by bustling nightlife and numerous eateries and attractions that have made the south Minneapolis neighborhood a popular destination.

Several new complexes have been built in the area in recent years such as the Blue Apartments, Lime Apartments and the Murals of LynLake, but they have all been upscale with higher market-rate rents.

Th Minneapolis Planning Commission is set to discuss the development Thursday at its Committee of the Whole meeting. Lupe bought the auto shop site in 2016 for $1.8 million, and had previously proposed a project for that space last August.
The original proposal called for one 128-unit building that would take up the auto and tire shop and lots to the west of Harriet Avenue and span an alleyway that split the block. After neighborhood feedback, Lupe decided to divide the project into two complexes instead, Minn said.

Pending city approvals, the first phase of the project is set to break ground in 2019 with full occupation expected by mid-2020. Lupe has site control of the property where the first phase will be built, but hasn’t closed on the purchase. The second phase wouldn’t be ready to be occupied until 2021.

The units in each building would be a mix of studios, one- and two-bedroom units and townhouses. Six units would be reserved for people with disabilities and managed by Simpson Housing Service and three units would be designated for priority housing placement and case management by the county’s Human Services and Public Health Department.
Residents would have to meet income restrictions, with most earning no more than 60 percent of the metropolitan median family income.

The project is close to the Midtown Greenway bike trail, and Minn anticipates that many of the residents will use bikes.
Storage for hundreds of bikes and a bike repair room are included in the proposal.
Other amenities include a fitness facility, business center, community rooms and outdoor decks. Also planned for the apartment buildings are green roofs and solar panels.

Lupe has completed several affordable housing projects including the Mill City Quarter in downtown Minneapolis and the East Side Apartments in St. Paul.

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