March 19, 2018
Untapped or underserved apartment niches in Minneapolis neighborhoods have developers proposing three projects they hope to build during the next two years.
The largest of the projects is a two-phase apartment complex proposed in the Whittier neighborhood targeting renters earning 50 to 60 percent of the area median income, which is $90,400. Minneapolis-based Lupe Development Partners is proposing to start construction in summer 2019 of the first phase building at 2941 and 2943 Harriet Ave., and 414 and 410 W. Lake St.
The project would bring workforce housing to a part of the city that needs more of it, said Steve Minn, Lupe’s vice president.
“There is an incredible unmet need,” he said in an interview. “The demand is there.”
Lupe’s project was one of three that made their public debuts before the Minneapolis Planning Commission Committee of the Whole earlier this month. Also introducing new apartment proposals were Reuter Walton Development and Thor Cos.
Lupe’s Lake Street Apartments are on the longest timeline. The second phase of the apartments will start about a year after the first building opens in 2020, said Lupe’s Minn. The six-story complex will eventually total 222 units, according to documents filed with the city, and include walk-up units along Harriet Avenue South. The unit count is higher than the 168 Lupe proposed last summer because the developer purchased a second property across Harriet Avenue.
No commercial space is proposed for either phase of the project. Parking for the building will be on one underground level and one level at grade.
The development cost of the Lake Street Apartments is about $22 million for each phase, Minn said.
A little closer to downtown, Minneapolis-based Reuter Walton plans to build its 80-unit Riverside Apartments at 2510 Riverside Ave. The six-story building will consist largely of smaller, market-rate units that will be more affordable because of their size, said Kyle Brasser, a developer with the company. The development site — directly south of the University of Minnesota and the Masonic Children’s Hospital — is currently occupied by three single-family homes and a commercial building.
Expected renters will be hospital and university staff as well as some students.
“We feel like it’s an untapped area,” Brasser said in an interview. “There has not really been any new housing developed in the area.”
The Riverside Apartments will receive a preliminary development review before the Planning Commission this week. Development costs for the project are expected to be $16 million, Brasser said. Reuter Walton already owns portions of the project site.
The third project, proposed by Thor Cos. subsidiary Thor Living, may establish two firsts. The 44-unit building planned for a vacant site at 1925, 1931 and 1935 Park Ave. would be the first multifamily project for Minneapolis-based Thor. The four-story building — called the Apartments at Franklin & Park — would be built using modular construction. If completed, it would likely be the first of its kind in Minneapolis, according to Thor’s website. “In the city of Minneapolis, we don’t know of one,” said Thor Living President Pat Cruikshank in an interview.
The construction method could shorten the usual 12-month timetable for building apartments to five to six months. Thirty-five building sections built in a factory would be assembled on the project site, city documents show. Cruikshank declined to state an exact development cost, but said it will be similar to that of a traditionally built apartment building of that size.
Rents are expected to be somewhere between market rate and levels that are considered to be affordable. The unit mix would include one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments.
“We’re calling it attainable housing,” Cruikshank said.
The project will likely get a preliminary development review within the next month, he said.