Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Controversial Long Ave. project can move ahead

Posted on 09 July 2018 by Calvin

A controversial rezoning proposal in the West Midway/South St. Anthony Park area won St. Paul City Council approval June 13. The council voted to rezone 2330 Long Ave. from traditional neighborhoods two to traditional neighbors three use, to allow for redevelopment.

The zoning change was sought by developers to allow more building height and density. But neighborhood reaction was mixed, with some neighbors saying that more density should be welcomed in an area close to Green Line light rail and other transit options. Others said more development is adding to parking congestion and could force out small businesses.

Developer LB 842 Ray LLC sought the rezoning, which won a recommendation of approval in the spring from the Planning Commission. At the Planning Commission Zoning Committee meeting this spring, developer Jamie Stolpestad said the intent is to provide needed housing, with a focus on appealing to all generations. Land Bank Twin Cities is also involved in the project, as EG Capital LLC.

Small business led the charge against the rezoning. Salon George owner Patty George, who circulated a petition against the proposal, said the businesses have already lost parking due to the Raymond bike lane and other development in the area. She said the area’s rapid redevelopment had put the squeeze on longtime businesses and homeowners.

Before voting to approve the zoning change June 13, City Council members said they understand the challenges redevelopment and change can bring. But the city’s comprehensive plan identifies the area as a place for future growth and higher density.

Two projects are eyed for the area. One is the Long Ave. project, which could have 20-50 micro-units of housing, with some of those designated as affordable housing. A second, Guild842, would have up to nine luxury condos above and adjacent to the Lakes and Plains Building at 842 Raymond Ave.

Area projects receive funding
The Metropolitan Council has awarded nearly $3.3 million in brownfield investigation and cleanup grants that promote redevelopment and economic opportunity, through its Livable Communities program. Grants awarded will be used to investigate and clean up pollution, and promote redevelopment of sites in areas where poverty is concentrated.

The grant awards this funding round will help clean up 12 acres, increase the net tax base by $3 million, and encourage millions more in private investment.

“For more than two decades, the Livable Communities Grant Program has turned polluted land across the Twin Cities into fertile ground for economic growth and opportunity,” Gov. Mark Dayton said in a press release. “These grants will help create 200 jobs and support the development of more than 1,200 new homes, including affordable housing for 96 Minnesota families.”

The Metropolitan Council received 28 applications this funding round totaling $7.9 million in requests.

Photo right: Architect’s rendering shows Ain Dah Yung, a redevelopment of cleaned up property in Saint Paul, that will include 42 affordable, supportive apartments for homeless youth with community and amenity space. (Photo provided)

Area projects funded include Ain Dah Yung supportive housing, which was given $47,200 toward a hazardous materials assessment, asbestos abatement and soil remediation at a half-acre site that was used for residential purposes, as well as by a variety of appliance, vehicle and equipment sales and service companies. The redevelopment includes 42 affordable, supportive apartments for homeless youth with community and amenity space. The project is on University Ave. east of Victoria St.

A second area project is a Minnesota Chemical Company building that is being redeveloped for commercial use, at 2285 Hampden Ave. The St. Paul Port Authority is working on this project in the West Midway, with Exeter Group. The council allocated $328,200 toward asbestos abatement, soil remediation, and soil vapor mitigation at a 1.5-acre site that has been used for a variety of manufacturing purposes. The redevelopment includes renovation of an existing building and site work.

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