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Two apartment complexes proposed across from the stadium

Posted on 11 February 2019 by Calvin

The proposed development at 441/453 Snelling Ave. would include 120 apartments, 87 parking stalls, and full storefront along Snelling at street level, with wraps around to Shields Ave. It would contain approximately 5,700 square feet of commercial space. (Photo taken from PowerPoint presentation by Scannell Properties)

By JANE MCCLURE
Two mixed-use retail-apartment projects will go up on Snelling Ave. across from the Allianz Field Major League Soccer stadium. Wellington Management’s six-story, 156-unit building, will be on the Bremer Bank site at the southwest corner of Snelling and Shields avenues.

Indiana-based Scannell Development’s six-story building will replace two commercial properties at the northwest corner of Snelling and Shields. Both buildings housed Furniture Barn. One building is currently construction headquarters for Mortenson, the firm building the stadium.

Union Park District Council’s land use committee reviewed the projects Jan. 28. The two projects have the potential to add mixed-use development to the areas, as well as market-rate housing. But they also will bring great changes to adjacent churches—Central Baptist and Bethlehem Lutheran-in-the-Midway—and to neighbors on the west.

Photo right: The proposed development would replace two existing buildings along Snelling Ave. Both buildings housed Furniture Barn. One building is currently construction headquarters for Mortenson, the firm building the stadium. (Photo taken from PowerPoint presentation by Scannell Properties)

More than four dozen people attended the meeting to hear about the projects. It was the first community appearance for Scannell, which has a regional headquarters in the Twin Cities.

Both developers will be back before the district council in the future for support for requests to the city. The properties are zoned for traditional neighborhoods mixed use, but each project will require a conditional use permit to build to the desired heights. The Wellington project will also require city approval to have drive-lanes for future tenants Bremer bank and possibly Walgreens. Scannell is likely to ask for a variance of floor area ratio as well, to allow for more density.

Both developers would like to start work on their projects this construction season and be open in 2020.

Many at the meeting were from Bethlehem Lutheran, including Scott Simmons, the interim pastor. He noted that both churches do a lot to serve the area’s low-income and homeless population. The Lutheran church houses Open Hands Midway, with a weekly meal, food shelf and clothing closet. He and others said that community still needs to be served, despite a changing landscape.

Simmons and others from the two churches questioned the construction of market-rate housing, saying the area needs more housing for people who have very low incomes. They want developers to include at least a few units in each building for very low-income residents.

Another issue is parking. Longtime church member Steve Hendricks said, “I just don’t know where people are going to park.”

The Scannell project plans 120 studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments, with 72 resident and 25 public parking stalls, one level of underground parking and main floor space for a restaurant and building amenity spaces.

Wellington Management has touted its project as the first market-rate housing on the Green Line area, between downtown and the western end of University in St. Paul. Much housing has been built along and near University, but many of those units are classified as affordable.

Wellington has had its plans out to the community before. The latest iteration only uses the bank property. The developers had hoped to purchase an adjacent Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) site, but the price is too high, said Casey Dzieweczynski, development associate at Wellington.

The developers haven’t ruled out adding the parcel in the future, “but we don’t wish to wait,” he said. “That could be a phase two down the road.”

The bank and possibly a Walgreens will be two of the first-floor tenants, with a small space for a smaller third tenant. The apartments will be a mix of studio, one and two-bedroom units.

Wellington is working with the adjacent Central Baptist Church on plans including vacating the alley that separates the bank and church properties, and on a new parking structure that would be shared by the church and the new development. Two levels of underground parking are planned beneath the new building.

 

 

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