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City Council will act soon on controversial rezoning for 2330 Long Ave.

Posted on 07 May 2018 by Calvin

Change continues at a quick pace in the West Midway. The St. Paul City Council is poised to act in late spring or early summer on a rezoning request for another multi-unit housing development. And part of the longtime Minnesota Chemical Company complex is poised to be transformed into office space.

The proposed redevelopment of 2330 Long Ave. has generated controversy in South St. Anthony Park and the Raymond-University area. Developer LB 842 Ray LLC is seeking to rezone what is now a parking area from traditional neighborhoods two to traditional neighborhoods three use. The zoning already allows for dense, mixed-use redevelopment. The change would allow higher heights and more density. City staff recommended approval, citing consistency with the city’s comprehensive plan, and the site’s proximity to Green Line light rail and other transit.

Jamie Stolpestad appeared before the Zoning Committee to explain the project. He is a veteran developer and development consultant. He explained that the zoning change would allow for a building of up to four stories. The zoning as proposed would allow a height of up to 45 feet, with more height if there are building step-backs.

While no building plans are set, Stolpestad outlined ideas for multi-generational housing.

The project has generated a mixed reaction.

Longtime South St. Anthony Park resident Ray Bryan said he and his family have already made many accommodations as housing development has grown all around them. He and other neighbors raised concerns about possible displacement as more sites are redeveloped.

Businesses including Alchemy Architects, Skon Chiropractic, and Salon George raised concerns about loss of parking and overcrowding. Patty George, Salon George owner, said she is worried about the neighborhood being overrun by redevelopment.

But other area businesses, residents, and property owners sent letters of support, saying the proposed housing would meet a need.

Stolpestad is working with Land Bank Twin Cities, which focuses on real estate projects to help people with low to moderate incomes who face barriers to housing. The Land Bank works with developers, nonprofit service providers, and other organizations through brokering, land banking, and lending. The project also involved EG Capital LLC, which is based in Minneapolis and New York City.

No specific building plans were presented. Those aren’t needed for a rezoning.

Stolpestad’s family members lead longtime St. Paul real estate developer Exeter Group. Exeter’s projects include the C&E Lofts at University and Raymond, the downtown post office turned Custom House, and East Side 3M site redevelopment.

It was recently announced that Exeter would be redeveloping two of the longtime Minnesota Chemical Company properties as office space for a wide range of potential tenants. The buildings are at 2295 Hampden Ave. The two buildings date from the early 20th century.

Minnesota Chemical doesn’t need the buildings for its current product lines and work. Part of one building is leased month-to-month as artists’ workspace.

Exeter has discussed the possibility of pollution cleanup funding with the St. Paul Port Authority, through applications to the state and Ramsey County.

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