New Minneapolis Housing Projects Head to Planning Commission – April 2017

There’s a handful of housing projects coming up on the April 13, 2017 Minneapolis Planning Commission Committee of the Whole Agenda. I’m primarily writing this because every time people hear about new housing being built, there are often groans of “Ugh, it’s always more bro/luxury apartments.” It’s not really true, so I wanted to highlight these projects. So here’s a real quick roundup (with links to city reports in the headers):

Malcolm Yards Comprehensive Plan Amendment

This is the only thing I’ll cover that isn’t directly proposed housing, but is a request to change a land use designation from Industrial to Transitional Industrial. This would allow some housing to be built on the proposed Transitional Industrial area shown below:

Malcolm Yards Site

Area of Proposed Zoning Changes at Malcolm Yards Site

As for the proposed development on that site, it could look something like this:

Potential New Development Zoning for Malcolm Yards

Potential New Development Zoning for Malcolm Yards

Given the proximity to campus, a nearby light-rail stop, and the U of MN Transitway, this proposal should be a slam-dunk. Hope to see something developed in this unused space soon. It’ll likely be in-demand student housing that non-students love to complain about (“when I was in school I paid my tuition and room-and-board by working a part-time job!”).

3004-3024 4th St SE and 3033 University Ave SE

Right down the street from the above is a proposal for 295 units of senior living. I promise not all developments are happening near Prospect Park! It’s great to see projects like this, which help to allow senior residents to age in place: it’s literally right next to a grocery store (which is a great way to reduce car dependence among seniors). There will be a mix of 123 independent units, 118 assisted living units, and 54 memory care units.

Oh, and did I mention over 6,000 square feet for child care? Because that’s included, as well as almost 2,000 square feet of retail on the first floor:

Prospect Park Senior Living

Prospect Park Senior Living

Nicollet and 15th

This is actually an update to previously proposed housing at 15th and Nicollet. It’s being brought up again because the developer made changes to the plan at the request of the city and neighborhood. This is another great project, as it creates 184 new apartments, all of which will be occupied by those making less than 60 percent of the area median income. In addition, it will feature over 5,500 square feet of ground level retail.

15th and Nicollet

15th and Nicollet

3501 2nd Ave Apartments

At 35th and 2nd Ave S, there is a proposed 4-story, 49-unit housing project being proposed. This is also almost right next to 35W (and on/off ramps), which sounds like a miserable location but it’s surprisingly transit-accessible. Metro Transit Route 11 is a high-frequency route that runs nearby, and the project is also close to a couple of buses (133 and 135) that run less often but get downtown via 35W.

3501 2nd Ave S

3501 2nd Ave S

1001 3rd St N

This is a parking ramp. It’s basically like an apartment, but for cars (350 of them). Cars are kind of like people in that they remain sedentary for about 23 hours of the day. Gotta put ’em somewhere, right? This parking ramp also promises retail on the ground floor, making it somewhat less bad than other parking ramps. Maybe your car can shop there after you park it and head to that cool North Loop destination.

10th Ave Ramp

10th Ave Ramp

Great River Landing – 813 5th St N

If you put the word “Great” in your project name, you’re legally required to make a great project. And this housing actually is great! It features 40 efficiency units and 8 four-bedroom units. From the city report:

All of the 72 beds will be for people who have been incarcerated or with histories of homelessness. On the ground floor of the building there will be offices for service staff, shared common space, a community room with kitchen, a health and fitness area, and classrooms for employment training and life-skills coaching.

Great River Landing

Great River Landing


This article is cross-posted with permission from MSPyimby.

Anton Schieffer

About Anton Schieffer

Anton lives in Minneapolis and writes about information technology, government transparency, and local housing issues. He mostly wants to build enough housing so that everyone has a place to live.

10 thoughts on “New Minneapolis Housing Projects Head to Planning Commission – April 2017

  1. Sean Hayford OlearySean Hayford Oleary

    One quibble — disappointment — with the 15th and Nicollet project is the significant net reduction in retail space, from about 15,0000-20,000 sq ft to just 5,500. The building is a higher and better use than the low-slung commercial buildings and parking lots there now, but it is disappointing to see affordable commercial space removed this close to downtown.

    1. Peter Bajurny

      It also has a number of live-work units which, based on how I interpret the plans, can easily be used as low cost retail space. I’m sure not 10k square feet to make up the difference (assuming they’re not already counted in the 5500) but it’s something.

    2. Sam NewbergSam Newberg

      The revised plans show more walk out units for street-level apartments (are these live-work?), so more doors is better, but I, too think Nicollet should be pretty solidly retail space all the way down to Lake Street.

      But walk out units are better than nothing.

  2. Sam

    It’s great that the project on Nicollet is affordable housing but it sure is ugly and it would be nice to see a little more commercial space since it’s getting rid of existing shops…

    1. Dan

      Strange…I think the Nicollet one is by far the prettiest of the bunch. No randomly placed colored panels, no windows spaced arbitrarily for the sake of it, a cornice all around, evenly spaced windows, and its even covered mostly in brick! That said, all of the renderings shown here seem pretty good in not being visually jarring buildings, though of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, 1/4 of the original proposed retail space is a significant loss indeed.

  3. Rosa

    The 35th Street location is also super bikeable – I usually stick with 38th street headed that way, but there’s the 40th street pedestrian bridge too.

    All of these are great. Thanks for letting us know!

  4. emoeby

    FWIW, sounds like construction is going to start soon on the Moziac East development in Uptown. I haven’t been able to find any info on that tho

  5. Karen Nelson

    Maybe I’m just old, but these buildings like the Sr. Housing on University on Prospect Park jist seem souls and without character, like what they did to Dinky town. And I like modern, have my whole condo decorated like CB2 store but I just don’t see these bulging being beloved next year let alone 50 or a 100 years from now. We have buildings from 100 or 130 years ago we do cherish… these new buildings, nope.

    It’s like we finally got the dense, mixed-use developments with improved pedestrian experience and somehow we lost it on building architecture and lively street front.

    Even though the new brotels on University have retail on street and are dense and walkable, as a fellow neighborhood friend said “but walk to what?” another souless pizza chain.

    Some of those architecture examples in the Senior Housing info do look decent and interesting in a historic setting but most don’t look like they would be appealing on street front, they don’t look like anything that is going to work and be attractve for 50 years.

    I can’t put my finger on exactly how this seems to be going awry, there are towns that have very modern high rises and still seem to have plenty of charm and soul – I think of Vancouver before it got completely out of control – but this trend in architecture, as sharp as it looks new, is missing something.

    When we are starting almost from new, like in industrial areas converting to mixed use, it seems we should be able to do better.

    Like I said we are getting so much better in the street grid, walking and biking infrastructure, mixed, dense use and transit, that’s great but we still need to figure out how to get the character in our cities back.

    1. Rosa

      maybe it just takes time? When we don’t build much for decades and then build a lot at once, it’s all going to be same same and expensive, but over time people will personalize, some of the buildings will go downscale, things will be added and changed.

  6. Keith Morris

    Very disappointing to see what’s proposed for 15th & Nicollet. We’re losing irreplaceable affordable commercial density. I oppose this for the same reasons as the block of storefronts in Dinkytown including Camdi (which survived the wrecking ball) and the Bun Mi, Village Wok, et al block (which didn’t). These are highly functional commercial blocks with high foot traffic and small footprints. And now we’re losing places to walk to and more people will have less to walk to.

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