{ Development Roundup } Feb 2020


Taco Bell won’t be rebuilding

Facing the prospect of a no vote from the St. Paul Planning Commission, Taco Bell has shelved plans for a new restaurant at 565 N. Snelling Ave. That means the current restaurant, which dates from 1973, can remain in place indefinitely. It also means neighbors may have less leverage to seek changes in what they considered to be disruptive operations.

But it drops a plan that could have put vehicles closer to adjacent homes.

The request was supposed to go to the Planning Commission Zoning Committee in December 2019, but were delayed at the applicant’s request. A January hearing was cancelled after the application was withdrawn.

Casket company building to become affordable housing

A Midway project is among the efforts winning grants in January from the Metropolitan Council. The council approved a total of $3.3 million in grants.

The council awarded one contamination investigation grant and 10 clean-up grants. “Housing affordable to working families and older residents who earn lower incomes is increasingly scarce in the metro region,” said Council Chair Charlie Zelle. “Stable, quality housing is at the heart of thriving families and communities. These local projects are revitalizing properties and creating housing and jobs that will increase regional prosperity.”

One project is for the former casket company building at 1222 University Ave. The building has housed different office and commercial uses in recent years. Plans call for it to be renovated into 62 affordable housing units.

The grant awarded is $49,200 for an environmental assessment work plan, environmental assessment, hazardous materials abatement plan, vapor mitigation pilot test and other activities.

Met Council gives $ to Alatus

A controversial housing project near the southwest corner of University Ave. and Lexington Parkway has obtained development funding from Metropolitan Council. On Jan. 8, the council approved a $1.25 million Livable Community Transit-oriented development grant for Alatus’ proposed project at 411-417 N. Lexington Parkway.

The funding, which was approved on the council consent agenda without discussion, would help pay for new sidewalks and streets, a renewable energy geothermal system and stormwater management. The total cost for the mixed-use, 226-apartment project is estimated at more than $59 million. Most of that is private funding.

The next step is for the funding request to go to the St. Paul City Council, which has the option of accepting or rejecting the funds. Livable Communities grants are submitted by cities on behalf of developers. No date for city council action has been announced.


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