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28th Ave. will be closed for bridge replacement next year

Posted on 28 May 2018 by calvin

Photo above: This image from 1904 shows the 28th Ave. bridge over Minnehaha Creek shortly after it was built. Vehicles and pedestrians shared the roadway. (Photo submitted)

The project includes moving the multi-use trail underneath the busy roadway

When the bridge over Minnehaha Creek is replaced next year, 28th Ave. will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians for about six months.

Once the work is complete, pedestrians and bikers will cross underneath the busy roadway.

Construction is expected to begin in April 2019 and be finished in November 2019.

Photo right: Resident Michael McMurghie (left) and dog Huckleberry chat with City Bridge Engineer Jack Yuzna on Wed., May 9 during an open house on the proposed project. McMurghie expressed safety concerns about the current trail crossing the busy roadway. (Photo by Tesha M. Christensen)

Right now, users of the multi-use Regional Park trail cross 28th at a skewed alignment at a crosswalk. This intersection was highlighted in the Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Master Plan, and a trail crossing below the bridge ranked as the second most important priority for the entire park.

“It’s dangerous for people going over all the time,” stated resident Michael McMurghie on May 9 during an open house on the proposed project.

As he’s collected comments on this project, City Bridge Engineer Jack Yuzna has repeatedly heard from people that they want the trail to cross 28th under the bridge.

Data on accidents at the trail crossing show they’ve primarily been vehicles rear-ending each other, or sideswiping another while passing. A few vehicles have run off the road.

Bridge built in 1904
In addition to providing a grade-separated trail crossing under 28th Ave. S. for non-motorized users, the purpose of this project is to provide a structurally-sound crossing over Minnehaha Creek for motorized and non-motorized users.

This trail is a component of the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway that has been nominated for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, and so the bridge needs to complement the historical setting as well as the natural setting.

The original bridge was constructed in 1904. The arch has a clear span of 25 feet and rise of 7 feet. Vehicles and pedestrians shared the roadway. In the 1920s, the iron railing from the Franklin bridge was installed on the 28th bridge, and sidewalks were added by cantilevering 3.5 feet beyond the bridge’s spandrel walls.

The existing structure has narrow sidewalks of 4.5 ft wide. In the new design, there will be at least 10 feet on each side to make it more comfortable for pedestrians and easier to remove snow.

The clearance needs to be at least 9.5 ft to place the trail under the bridge. A separated trail for bikes and pedestrians is planned.

Community input
Planners are asking for community input on the design of the project. “It’s a community amenity,” acknowledged Yunza.

Photo left: This renderings shows one of the design options for the new bridge and trail crossing along Minnehaha Creek at 28th Ave. (Illustrations submitted)

To accommodate a trail under the bridge, the new design can’t be an arch like it is now, explained Yunza. Doing that would require more space from the yard next door. However, design elements can be incorporated that could make the square shape look more like an arch.

Planners are also seeking input on the type of railing that will be used. Current safety regulations require a concrete railing for crash protection, but that could be topped by a steel one to look like it does now.

Photo left: This renderings shows another of the design options for the new bridge and trail crossing along Minnehaha Creek at 28th Ave. (Illustrations submitted)

Originally slated for 2017, the project was delayed because of the time it took to obtain a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. The city applied for the permit in 2015.

While the exact detour route has not yet been determined, planners are coordinating it with the 34th Ave. reconstruction project as well as Metro Transit.

After the Messenger went to press, a public meeting was held May 30 on the project.

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After 43 years, Reidy’s Market changes hands to new owner

Posted on 28 May 2018 by calvin

Cherie and Terry Reidy turned over their grocery store keys to a new owner on May 15, after doing business in Longfellow for 43 years. The Highland Park residents have owned Reidy’s Market since 1975.

The couple was just starting out when they bought the corner grocery at 3904 E. 42nd Ave. all those years ago. It was their second business venture; the first was a gas station convenience store that they co-owned briefly on the east side of St. Paul.

“This corner market had once been a full-service grocery store,” Terry said. “The original wooden walk-in freezer, dairy case, and produce case were still in the basement. The previous owner operated a meat counter for his customers and, when we got here, there were two other butcher shops still doing business in the neighborhood.”

Photo right: Terry and Cherie Reidy co-owned Reidy’s Market for more than four decades. Terry said, “The reason we were here for this long is because this is a great neighborhood, full of hard-working folks who have been a pleasure to know and an honor to serve.” (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

The story of Reidy’s Market parallels the story of every neighborhood grocery store amidst changing times. Before the early-1970’s, people did most of their grocery shopping in these small stores. Supermarkets hadn’t caught on, car travel was more of a luxury, and the majority of women weren’t working outside the home yet.

At 4,500 square feet, Reidy’s Market was twice the size of most convenience stores. “We called ourselves a superette,” Cherie said, “which was a word from the 70’s that you don’t hear anymore. Over the years, we’ve continued to do things in a way that might be considered ‘old-fashioned.’ For instance, right up until we sold—we delivered weekly groceries to a home-bound woman in the neighborhood. She’s someone we’ve known for more than a decade, and she’s blind. When she needed something that we didn’t stock, Terry would pick it up for her when he was out and about. Our general attitude has always been to try and be helpful.”

The Reidys contributed to the community in many other ways. Every year for the last 15 years, they gave grocery bags to Howe and Hiawatha School students to decorate for Earth Day. By the time the actual Earth Day rolled around, those bags were brought back to the store by a parent volunteer and used for bagging customers’ groceries.

During the December holiday season, Cherie put out a barrel in the store and made a tradition of collecting Toys for Tots. “The last couple of years,” Terry said, “we received 60-70 donations for kids.”

He continued, “We figured out that if we hired the local Boy Scout troop to deliver our sales flyers for $100/month, that was $1,200 that they could use for their camping trips every year.

Part of what makes it possible to stay in business for 43 years is having dependable help. Cherie said, “Clare Ludden was our store manager for 41 years. We couldn’t have done it without her. Both Terry and I have eight brothers and sisters, and many of them have worked here at one time or another. Only one of my siblings passed up the opportunity. Reidy’s Market has really been family-owned and operated.”

So what now? “We’re not 30 anymore,” Terry said. “That’s why we finally sold the store. Cherie is planning to retire, but me? I’d like to get a part-time job somewhere. I do have a little bit of experience in the grocery business, after all.”

Cherie said, “We had lots of people come in and say, ‘We’re sorry to see you go,’ or ‘We’ve rescinded your purchase agreement.’” To thank their loyal customers, Reidy’s Market held a Customer Appreciation Day on May 12. Three days later, the name of the market was slightly changed to Reidy’s Food Store.

The store continues to operate under new ownership.


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Tapestry Folkdance Center plans a 35th-anniversary celebration

Posted on 28 May 2018 by calvin

In Longfellow for the last 19 years

Tapestry Folkdance Center is a non-profit venue located in the Longfellow neighborhood. Founded in 1983, Tapestry inhabited a series of rental spaces for 16 years, existing variously in Dinkytown, on the West Bank of the University Campus, and deep in South Minneapolis at the Sabathani Community Center. Its first permanent home, 3748 Minnehaha Ave., was purchased in 1999 and, just a few months ago, the organization paid off their mortgage.

Photo right: A Contra dance is held most Saturday nights at Tapestry. On Sat., June 15, experienced and new dancers are welcome to hit the dance floor as part of the 35th birthday weekend celebration. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

To celebrate that achievement, along with the occasion of their 35th-anniversary celebration, Tapestry is throwing a four-day-long party on June 14-17. Check the website at for last minute details, but the schedule is likely to be:

Thurs., June 14
• 7-8:30pm—Bollywood Dance is a stylized freestyle dance form based on India’s Bollywood films. It is energetic, lyrical, and aerobic, modeled on classical and folk dance, and influenced by Western hip-hop.

Fri., June 15
• 7:30-11pm—International folk dance teaches ethnic dances from around the world including Eastern Europe, Greece, Israel, Turkey, Armenia, Scandinavia, Brittany, East Asia and a little English Country.

Sat., June 16
• 9am and 10am—Zumba is an exhilarating dance fitness class for all ages and levels. It combines Latin and international rhythms in a one hour class of fun dancing with a party-like atmosphere. Ditch the workout and join the Zumba party, with instructor Sadie Jelinek.
• 12-3pm—Dance demonstrations will include Morris dance, a form of English folk dance based on rhythmic stepping. Dancers wear bell pads on their shins; sticks, swords and handkerchiefs may also be used by the dancers. Ballroom or Latin style dance including the foxtrot, cha-cha, salsa, waltz, American tango, west coast swing, east coast swing and/or the rumba.
• 1-3pm—Articulture will be offering art activities for kids in the parking lot if weather permits; indoors if it does not.
• 3-5pm—Family folk dance (ages 3+). The family folk dance tradition focuses on simple, easy-to-learn dances that everyone can enjoy. A caller teaches dances from the British Isles and America, including group circle and line dances, and dance games with singing.
• 5:30-6:30pm—Soup/Bread/Bars with speakers and a special program. City officials have been invited to attend.
• 7:30-11pm—Contra Dance with live music by Contratopia and caller David Kirschner. Based on New England barn dancing, a caller leads dancers through movements done in a line with a partner (you don’t need to bring a one). Live music is played from different traditions including old time, Irish, Cajun, and French Canadian.

Sun., June 17
• 9am—Zumba.
• 11am-1pm—Dance Church is a non-denominational movement inspired gathering with free dance for all ages.
• 4:30-6pm—The “Mostly” Waltz Afternoon. The waltz is one of the world’s most popular couple dances. It is both accessible for beginners and challenging for experienced dancers. The variety of live waltz music is both beautiful and diverse.
• 7-9pm—English Country Dances are elegant social dances from the 17th and 18th centuries, danced to recorded baroque music and led by a teacher.

Costs for dances held throughout the weekend will be the same as Tapestry’s usual admission charges; remember to wear low heel, comfortable shoes with clean bottoms (to protect the dance floor). There will be no charge for any of the demonstrations.

Photo left: Family folk dancers will demonstrate simple line and circle dances on Saturday afternoon, June 15th, at Tapestry Folkdance Center. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

Event organizer, Lydia McAnerney, said,”The members of Tapestry hope that this long weekend will serve as a time of reunion for people who danced here over the years and fell away for one reason or another. It’ll be a great chance to come back and see old friends. On the other hand, we actively seek and welcome new dancers! Tapestry loves being part of the Longfellow Community. Come and see what’s happening right here in the neighborhood and if you’ve never tried folk dancing before—so much the better. These styles of dancing are accessible across the whole spectrum of age and ability.”

Inside the warm brick façade of Tapestry Folkdance Center, there are different dance and movement gatherings every night of the week. Take advantage of the 35th anniversary party weekend to see what keeps people lacing up their dance shoes year after year.

“There’s just something about the music and the movement,” said longtime dancer John Orrison. “From the first time I stepped onto the dance floor more than 30 years ago, it wasn’t like anything I’d ever done before. I loved folk dancing back then, and I still do.”

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Longfellow resident plants more than 10,000 seedlings and tubers

Posted on 28 May 2018 by calvin

Molly Gaeckle might be the only Longfellow resident for whom spring came early.

When her neighbors were shoveling out from 15 inches of snow, Gaeckle, 30, was watering and misting some 10,000 seedlings in the basement of her home in the 3800 block of 42nd Ave.

Photo right: Molly Gaeckle harvests snapdragons from her garden plot. The wire over the top encourages straight stem growth. (Photo by Tom Schmidt)

Those seedlings, which Gaeckle planted in late February, will eventually be moved to an 8,000 square-foot outdoor plot a block away from Gaeckle’s home. In time, they’ll become the bouquets she sells to subscribers to Northerly Flora, her community supported agriculture (CSA) flower program.

Gaeckle, who has lived in Longfellow for three years, became interested in food and agriculture when she traveled to New Zealand, Germany, Argentina and Chile during and after college.

“My parents actually laugh knowing that I am doing this now because growing up, they had a big flower and vegetable garden and I would have a lot of teenage angst because they’d make me do chores,” Gaeckle said with a laugh.

Photo left: Molly Gaeckle holds an armload of China Aster she gathered from her plot in the 3900 block of 42nd Ave. S. (Photo by Tom Schmidt)

Gaeckle, who was a horticulture minor at the University of Minnesota, thought vegetables might not work for a novice grower in an urban setting, so she looked to flowers instead.

“People are on board for local food, and now, there’s growing demand for local flowers,” she said. “I thought it was something I could do myself and on a small scale. In this area, there aren’t many flower growers, so I thought it was a niche I could get into.”

Gaeckle estimates she grows 40 distinct varieties of flowers. All but lisianthus, a delicate variety she ordered in seedling form, and dahlias, which are planted directly as a bulb-like tuber, begin in her basement.

“We can’t grow some of the things they grow in California, but really it’s surprising how much we can grow, and that’s been amazing for me to learn,” Gaeckle said.

Photo right: Molly Gaeckle estimates she’s growing about 40 different kinds of flowers, mostly annuals, for Northerly Flora, her community supported agriculture program. (Photo by Tom Schmidt)

This year, Northerly Flora sold out with 70 subscribers. Last year, it had 40.

Karina Hill is in her second year as a subscriber to the Northerly Flora. “I love flowers, and I would love to be able to grow lots of flowers in my own yard and cut my own fresh bouquets, but I am not quite there yet,” she said.

“(Molly) grows a really wide variety of flowers, and the fact that they are locally grown is very important to me.”

Jess Hopeman, another second-year Northerly Flora client, called her weekly bouquet “an infusion of happy.”
“I love anything that can be local, and this ended up being the best thing I did for myself last year, bar none,” she said.

Gaeckle has expanded Northerly Flora to include a satellite plot in Seward, which will bring her growing space up to a total of about a quarter of an acre. She’s also selling flowers on Tuesday nights at the Mill City Farmer’s Market. She does occasional events—including her own Sept. 22 wedding—but isn’t sure how much a focus they will be in the future.

“What I want is to build a sustainable business,” she said. “I want to feel proud of what I’m doing, and I want it to make a positive impact on people. What that looks like, I don’t know, but I’m excited to see where it goes.”
And yes, even after all the work she puts into Northerly Flora, she still likes flowers.

“I keep liking them more and more as I learn more about them,” she said.

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Hiawatha Golf Course CAC members seek clarification from MPRB

Posted on 28 May 2018 by calvin

Majority of committee members want all options on the table—not just reduced pumping scenarios

The Hiawatha Golf Course Community Advisory Committee (CAC) wants to be able to explore all uses at the golf course for the future, including maintaining the current level of pumping.

At the CAC meeting on April 30, members voted 9-6 to bring this issue back to the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board (MPRB) of Commissioners. The vote was done by a show of hands at the end of a meeting that went over an hour past the advertised end time.

The exact motion was as follows: The Hiawatha Golf Course Community Advisory Committee is requesting the Board of Commissioners to respectfully clarify the existing Resolution 2017-243 to include the exploration of all uses related to a reduced pumping scenario and for all uses related to a circumstance that would perpetuate the current pumping situation.

“Some members of the CAC felt the language provided by the MPRB was vague or contradictory to what they were being told verbally,” explained CAC Chair David Kaplan via email. “So the interest was to get clarification from the MPRB or DNR on the pumping question once and for all.”

Photo right: Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board staff member Deb Pilger answers questions about the permit at Lake Hiawatha Golf Course that is issued by the DNR for irrigation. (Photo by Tesha M. Christensen)

While the title of the MPRB resolution calls for a reduced pumping scenario, the rest of the resolution seems to indicate that an 18-hole golf course might fit within the scope of the project, pointed out CAC member Kathryn Kelly, appointed by an at-large commissioner. She pushed for a clarification on the CAC charge at both the Mar. 30 and the Apr. 30 meetings.

The golf course is currently pumping 242 million gallons of water each year in a circular fashion to keep water from flooding the course, although it only has a permit through the Minnesota DNR for 36.5 million for irrigation.

Discussion about options
The 18-member CAC includes Kaplan, Kelly, Anne Painter, Chakra Sankaraiah, Craig Nichols, Damon LeFlore, Duane Whittaker, Joan Soholt, Matt Hilgart, Nathan Shepherd, Roxanne Stuhr, Sean Connaughty, Sean Keir, Sheila Terryll, Tara Olds, Teresa Engstrom, Tim Clemens, and William Means.

Some CAC members felt that that the charge from the MPRB was too vague because it didn’t reference the Scenario B figure (from planning in 2017) that would reduce pumping by 70%. Therefore, members could look at a plan to reduce pumping by 1 liter, and it would be in accordance with the resolution, explained Kaplan.

“Others felt the issue had been addressed, and the CAC was not the right body to review or question the science and engineering previously looked at by the MPRB and staff—that the intent of the MPRB was clear last fall to reduce pumping to the lower level, even if the language was poorly constructed,” said Kaplan.

“I don’t know what I want this space to be, but I want the options open,” stated CAC member Matt Hilgart, who was appointed by the Nokomis East Neighborhood Association.

Photo left: Resident Monica McNaughton pointed out, “We don’t know the answers to many questions.” She questioned why planning was being done when the full scope of the problem isn’t understood. “These are people’s lives we’re affecting,” McNaughton stated. (Photo by Tesha M. Christensen)

Fellow CAC member Nicols, the Northrop School parent representative, also expressed his desire to consider all options. He pointed out, “It’s a completely different park board” now due to the November election as compared to last August when the motion was passed.

“My opinion has, and always has been, that we need to review the use of the parcel for its fundamental intended purpose—as an Administrative FEMA Flood Plain used to protect homes in the neighborhood and downriver. This is a role it serves,” said Kaplan. “Once that is addressed, then, and only then, do we look at what recreational activity can or should go on the space.”

Public comment taken at MPRB meetings
The MPRB of Commissioners is expected to address the issue at its June 8 meeting, although that agenda won’t be finalized until June 1.

All board meetings offer open time, starting at 5:30 p.m., for the public to voice comments directly to the commissioners.

The next CAC meeting, initially scheduled for May 30, has been postponed until the MPRB Commissioners have addressed the issue.

Firm to be hired
In the meantime, MPRB staff is negotiating a professional services agreement with the Barr Engineering/Berger Partnership design team.

This team will assist in creating a master plan for the golf course property.

An action will go before the Board of Commissioners in June for approval of the consulting contract.

MPRB Project Manager Tyler Pederson pointed out that the CAC is moving from a water management alternative to a master plan. A water management alternative provides a narrow focus that looks at water resources and is a starting point to figure out what is feasible. A master planning lens looks at the big picture, explained Pederson.

Through the process, a set of clear concept plans will be created and assessed, and CAC members will select the preferred one.

DNR permit for five years
MPRB is also applying for a temporary permit from the DNR to pump additional water from the golf course. This permit must be re-evaluated each year, and will only be extended for up to five years, stated MPRB Assistant Superintendent of Planning Services Michael Schroeder.

“They’re allowing us to continue pumping until we come up with a different way,” he stated.

During these five years, the MPRB will make annual reports and investigate the integrity of the earthen berm along the lakeshore.

The Minnesota DNR manages 16,000 permits for pumping water in the state, as any entity pumping more than 10,000 gallons a day or 1 million gallons a year needs a permit.

The highest active permit is 235,000 million gallons per year by a nuclear power plant. The highest golf courses permitted to pump over 150 million gallons per year (MGY) for irrigation are Lutsen, Bunker Hills, and Pebble Creek. Generally, the uses that pump between 220 and 300 MGY are construction dewatering, mining, municipal water supply, pollution contaminant, agriculture, power generation and petroleum, chemical and metal processing.

Opinions, comments shared
During the Apr. 30 meeting, time was taken to listen to questions and comments from commissioners, as well as meeting attendees.

CAC member Connaughty, appointed by the Friends of Lake Hiawatha, questioned whether trash mitigation at the stormwater sewer pipe that drains into Lake Hiawatha is being delayed for five years while the MPRB creates a master plan for the golf course property.

Connaughty pointed out that a five-year delay will mean that an additional 10,000 pounds of trash will enter the lake.

CAC member Soholt, appointed by the Hale Page Diamond Lake Community Association, wondered where all the water is coming from that is filling Lake Hiawatha and neighboring areas. “What will happen to the floodplain if we fill that up with more water?” Soholt asked.

Stuhr, appointed by the Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association, pointed out that neighboring homes affect the area water issues. “Each of our personal watersheds is contributing to the larger watershed,” she said. “So what we do on our own properties has an effect not only on our own home but on our neighbor’s.” She requested more information on water quality issues.

Resident Monica McNaughton pointed out, “We don’t know the answers to many questions.” She questioned why planning was being done when the full scope of the problem isn’t understood. “These are people’s lives we’re affecting,” McNaughton stated.

MPRB staff took notes on each question and comment, and will return with an FAQ sheet that addresses the issues raised.

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U-Haul, Starbucks, and Domino’s proposed for Hiawatha and 42nd

Posted on 24 April 2018 by calvin

Neighbors concerned about increased traffic, lack of green space and auto-oriented businesses

A proposed U-Haul, Starbucks, and Domino’s would transform the Hiawatha and 42nd St. intersection on the east side if approved by the city.

The seven-bay Wash Me car wash on the northeast side will be demolished to make space for two buildings to house a Starbucks and a Domino’s. The proposal was reviewed by the city’s planning commission for the first time on Apr. 12.

City staff expressed substantial concerns about the proposal, due to the location and number of drive-through lanes, principal entrances, and buildings on the site, as well as the lack of pedestrian connections to Hiawatha Ave.

The design includes a 1,928-square-foot building to house the Domino’s on the south side of the site with a drive-through window for call-ahead orders. North of that would be a 2,196-square foot building to house the Starbucks with a double lane drive-through window of its own. Both would be one-story buildings, with a total of 17 parking spaces. One pedestrian connection is planned to 42nd St. but there are none planned for Hiawatha Ave.

The one entrance would be located on the west side of 42nd paired with an exit, and the Domino’s drive-through lane would exit about thirty feet from Hiawatha Ave. on 42nd St.

The Domino’s one-half mile south of this location is expected to close and relocate to this site.

A Starbucks at 4700 Cedar next to Tom’s Popcorn Shop is in the final stage of construction and will open soon.

Illustration right: Neighbors are concerned about how two drive-through businesses on the corner of 42nd St. and Hiawatha Ave. will affect a traffic pattern that they say is already congested. (Graphics submitted)

The 6,765-square-foot Wash Me building at 4155 Hiawatha was constructed in 1985 and is valued at $550,000, according to city property tax records. It is owned by Wash Me Corporation based out of Edina, which also operates car washes at 3957 Nicollet Ave. in Minneapolis and 8940 Excelsior Blvd. in Hopkins. A representative could not be reached for comment.

Too much traffic already
“Two drive-through businesses at an intersection already experiencing traffic issues is unacceptable,” remarked Ericsson resident Jeff Gehardson. He pointed out that he lives 300 feet from that intersection. He already has trouble turning onto his street, and often drives two blocks over to Nokomis to enter 42nd. Plus traveling west across

Hiawatha is already difficult and inefficient because of the timing of the lights and the light-rail trains.

“I am pro-development in the city. I am pro bike. I am pro mixed use. This proposal is frustrating, to say the least,” he said. “Stand alone businesses that depend on dozens upon dozens of $10 sales mean very high traffic. We are not suited for it at all.”

Longfellow resident Bev Tuck doesn’t think this spot is big enough to support these two businesses, and she is concerned this plan doesn’t have enough green space.

“The developers and architects are always from Edina, or Eden Prairie or some other suburb coming into our neighborhoods and taking our land for their investment purposes. They pretend to ask for our input, but they hope to override it,” remarked Tuck. “Traffic congestion and lack of green spaces do not affect their lives—they don’t live here.”

U-haul to raze one building, preserve the other
The U-Haul being proposed on the southeast side of the intersection is farther along in the city review process, and public comment was taken during an Apr. 23 hearing.
The 2.18-acre site at 4225 and 4251 Hiawatha Ave. is currently vacant.

U-Haul plans to raze the large factory building on the south side to construct a five-story climate-controlled, self-service storage center (photo left provided). This building most recently housed Woof Pack Doggy Day Spa, American General, Metropolitan Security, and Hiawatha Commercial Auto Care.

The small building that formerly housed Taylor Star 1 Automotive will be turned into a showroom with model storage rooms for rental selection. Plus, an array of packing and shipping supplies, including cartons, tape, and packing materials, will be for sale.

This building was originally a Mobil Service Station opened by Navy veteran, Bernard “Bum” Flanery in 1957. The Flannery Brothers, Tim and Brian, now own and operate Flannery Brothers Automotive at 2720 E. 42nd St.

Over 250 people have signed a petition aimed at preserve this historic building. U-Haul plans to keep the iconic Pegasus horse and install antique gas pumps to give the nod to the history of Longfellow while still looking toward the future, according to U-Haul Southern Minnesota President Chris Bohlman.

The service station is also a nod to U-Haul’s history.

“For decades, well before we had company-owned stores, the business of U-Haul truck and trailer sharing was conducted out of small service stations like this one that would serve their communities as U-Haul neighborhood dealers. That practice dates to 1945,” observed Bohlman. “To this day, our dealers play a pivotal role and account for the bulk of our network across the U.S. and Canada with more than 20,000 locations.

“U-Haul celebrates history, culture, and legacy. We have a track record of preserving historic buildings, and we stand passionately behind our adaptive reuse program.”

Green initiatives
Through its adaptive reuse of old and often vacated properties for new U-Haul stores, the company helps eliminate blight, cuts down on new building materials, and keeps old building teardowns out of landfills, said Bohlman.

Photo right: A proposal before the city would tear down the existing Wash Me car wash and replace it with two one-story buildings to house a Starbucks and Domino’s Pizza. (Photo by Tesha M. Christensen)

U-Haul also offers and promotes several green programs. Customers gift used furniture and household goods to one another at the Re-Use Centers at U-Haul stores.

Through the Take a Box, Leave a Box program, customers drop off and pick up used boxes in useable condition for free so that they may be reused. U-Haul uses furniture pads made from recycled denim, and biodegradable packing peanuts made of corn and potato starch, which keeps styrofoam out of landfills.

“Our sustainability platform demands we make an effort to find store and dealer locations that are within a few blocks of public transportation to reduce the need for excess driving,” pointed out Bohlman. He believes that being just a few blocks from a light rail terminal will significantly cut down on traffic and benefit the neighborhood.

The Hiawatha Ave. location will accommodate families that require access to and from downtown, and all of the neighborhoods to the south of town.

There is currently just one U-Haul facility in Minneapolis. It’s located at 3545 Nicollet Ave. and is on 0.43 acres of land.

“The Twin Cities are arguably the most underserved metropolitan area in all of North America with regard to U-Haul self-move and self-storage facilities,” said Bohlman.

Currently, more than half of U-Haul’s customers in Minneapolis proper are driving outside the city. “As a major proponent of sustainability and green business, U-Haul wants to be able to help Minneapolis lower its carbon footprint while providing time-saving solutions,” stated Bohlman.

In 2016, Minnesota’s U-Haul traffic ranked #3 in the nation based on annual migration trends reports when comparing arrivals versus departures for one-way U-Haul truck traffic. In 2017, St. Paul and Minneapolis remained the two largest markets in the state for arrivals and departures of one-way U-Haul customers by a substantial margin.

U-Haul is a sharing-centered business focused on helping people meet a very basic need, Bohlman pointed out.

Sustainability studies show the presence of every U-Haul truck placed in a community serves as a potential substitute for 19 personally-owned SUVs and pick-ups on the road.

“Fewer vehicles on the road means less traffic congestion, less pollution, less fuel burned and cleaner air. When communities share a vehicle to meet the needs of many, everyone wins—especially proponents of less traffic and a better environment,” said Bohlman.

LCC opposes auto-centered business
During a community meeting hosted by the Longfellow Community Council last summer, residents showed concern for increased traffic, the addition of a surface parking lot, an auto-orientated use, building height and design, according to a letter written by LCC Board President Melissa Erjavec to the planning commission.

She pointed out that the U-Haul proposal is in opposition to several plans calling for a reduction of auto-oriented businesses in the area. The 46th and Hiawatha TOD (2009) Strategy and the 46th and Hiawatha Area Station Master Plan (2001) envisioned residential and office space at this site.

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A new restaurant, The Bungalow Club, opens on East Lake St.

Posted on 24 April 2018 by calvin

The crisp, white letters “TBC” painted on the door were the first sign that something was happening at 4300 E. Lake St., the former home of the Craftsman Restaurant & Bar.

The attractive Longfellow space had been vacant for months, following the closing of the Craftsman. A restaurant called The Bungalow Club is the building’s new tenant, and its partners had been preparing for their Apr. 17 opening since the first of the year.

Photo left: The Bungalow Club held a soft launch for family and friends the weekend before their official opening. Guests (foreground) enjoyed the expanded bar, which now seats 16 for dining and drinking.

Owner and chef Andrew Kraft said, “My goal has always been to have my own restaurant. I’m excited to create a menu that isn’t complicated but is very interesting. I like food that’s simple and clear. The cornerstone of TBC will be fresh pasta: we plan to have six on the menu, and the menu will change seasonally. We’ll offer house-made sausages and an extensive line of pickles. First and foremost, we’re looking to be a friendly neighborhood spot with a really solid menu.”

“My mom actually came up with the name The Bungalow Club,” Kraft continued, “when we were talking one day. She said, ‘Maybe it could be like a club for the bungalow owners in the neighborhood?’ What we envision is a place for everybody, including kids and families. This won’t be a blaring scene. We’re planning on moderate light and noise levels, an extensive list of well-sourced wine, beer, and cocktails, and special events on the patio this summer like BBQ night, or even a pig roast.”

Photo right: Chef and owner Andrew Kraft (left) and friends.

Kraft comes to the helm of TBC with solid credentials. A graduate of the Culinary Institute in New York City, he spent several years working in Manhattan before returning to Minneapolis as chef of the Grand Café from 2013-17.

General manager Jeremiah Dittman, Kraft’s brother-in-law and business partner, also spent considerable time learning the restaurant business in New York City. He shares

Kraft’s vision for running a fun, energetic neighborhood business that can eventually grow into a destination for the metro. “We’re aiming for a menu that feels comfortably adventurous,” Dittman said. “We want to offer options that range from the familiar to the unexpected, all with bright, fresh ingredients.”

The physical restaurant space is looking bright and fresh as well. The oak floors have been re-done, the bar has been extended and will serve 16 customers instead of eight.

All of the tables and counter spaces are gleaming. According to Dittman, “The Craftsman operated here for ten years; updating and some TLC were definitely in order.”

They’ll offer their dinner menu Tuesday thru Sunday from 4-10pm, with brunch served on Saturday and Sunday from 9am-2:30pm. By the time the patio opens, they’ll have brunch from 10am-4pm six days/week, and continue with dinner service from 4-10pm.

In addition, Kraft said, “We think we’ll make an excellent daytime workspace. All of our booths will be equipped with power plugs and public WIFI. We’ll offer an excellent selection of espresso, drip coffee, and specialty teas, as well as a nice assortment of baked goods, many of which will be baked in-house. Eventually, a Happy Hour will evolve, with likely hours from 2-5pm.

For more information on The Bungalow Club, visit their website at

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CAC to investigate reduced pumping options at Hiawatha Golf Course

Posted on 24 April 2018 by calvin

The charge for the Community Advisory Committee from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is to make recommendations to the MPRB Commissioners in support of any changes to the golf course property or perpetuation of current uses, with attention to priority, sequencing, timing, and funding. About 100 community members attended the first CAC meeting on March 28 at the Nokomis Recreation Center. (Photo by Tesha M. Christensen)

Some question scope of project and push for putting everything on the table, including 18-hole golf course

The future of Hiawatha Golf Course is being considered by 18 community members who have been appointed to a Community Advisory Committee (CAC).

Their charge from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is to make recommendations to the MPRB Commissioners in support of any changes to the golf course property or perpetuation of current uses, with attention to priority, sequencing, timing, and funding.

“What should we do with this property with the reduced pumping scenario? Our job is to answer that question and come forth with recommendations to the park board,” said CAC Chair David Kaplan, who is also a board member of the Standish-Ericcson Neighborhood Association.

The CAC will work to understand past investigations, conducted by the MPRB and others, to gain a reasonable understanding of water management conditions on the golf course property and nearby private properties. They are also tasked with becoming knowledgeable about past and current use of the property, including communities served by the current golf course.

Members will act as primary contacts on the project within the community.

Photo right: Community Advisory Committee Members (left to right) Kathryn Kelly, Joan Soholt and Tara Olds are among the 18 people who are studying what to do at the Hiawatha Golf Course. (Photo by Tesha M. Christensen)

CAC members are Anne Painter, Chakra Sankaraiah, Craig Nichols, Damon LeFlore, David Kaplan, Duane Whittaker, Joan Soholt, Kathryn Kelly, Matt Hilgart, Nathan Shepherd, Roxanne Stuhr, Sean Connaughty, Sean Keir, Sheila Terryll, Tara Olds, Teresa Engstrom, Tim Clemens, and William Means. Members represent groups such as a representative from the Anishinabe community, a golf coach, cross-country skiers, a Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association board member (who is serving as the CAC chair), a college professor, a landscape designer, a marine archeologist, member of the Friends of Lake Hiawatha, and more.

State Senator Patricia Torres Ray said that she is working with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to assign a staff person to the group.

The committee’s first meeting was held on Mar. 28, and was attended by about 100 community members. Upcoming meetings are set for Apr. 30 and May 30 from 6:30-8pm (locations to be determined).

Minutes and handouts from the first meeting, and other items included in the CAC member binders, are available on the MPRB project web site.

“We want to make this as transparent as possible because this is an issue that affects all of us,” pointed out Kaplan.

Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) Board Member Brian Shekleton told those gathered that he has been attending meetings about the Hiawatha Golf Course since 2014, and he looks forward to being a resource.

“We have a partnership with the park board and the city of Minneapolis such that when any one of those entities does work along the water body, we all work together to think through the planning,” said Shekleton. “Our mission is to help people, entities, companies, and units of government to have better water quality when they do a project.”

CAC member Sean Connaughty, of Friends of Lake Hiawatha and the MPRB volunteer steward of Lake Hiawatha, discussed a grant he has received to work on mitigating the large stormwater sewer pipe that drains into the northwest part of Lake Hiawatha. He plans to share updates with the CAC as the project progresses.

“I think cleaning up the lake can be an exciting goal for all of us,” said Connaughty.

Disagreement regarding scope
Some CAC members, as well as community members, questioned the scope of the project and thought it was ‘putting the cart before the horse.’
“This has not been what some of us had been told,” observed CAC member Kathryn Kelly. “We’ve been told that everything is on the table, including an 18-hole golf course.”

MPRB Assistant Superintendent of Planning Services Michael Schroeder responded that he had discussed the issue with legal counsel, and was directed to follow the resolution in its entirety that was approved by the park board of commissioners last August and not pick certain pieces of it to use as the CAC charge. That resolution, he pointed out, begins by instructing the CAC to look at a reduced pumping scenario with the perpetuation of golf in some use.

“Any changes to our instruction need to come from the Board of Commissioners itself,” said Kaplan.

Treat each other as neighbors
With the help of MPRB Community Outreach, Equity & Inclusion Manager Radious Guess, ground rules for how the CAC will operate were agreed on.

These include: speak from your own experience, respect all voices, and listen to understand. Don’t just wait to speak, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Speak with intention, no assumptions, ask for what you need to offer what you can, treat each other like neighbors, and seek common ground. The group should focus on compromise, with no screaming, think ecologically, and come with an attitude of collaboration, respect for science, and be transparent.

What the process looks like
After coming to an understanding of the project and getting to know the site and its various needs, the CAC will begin imagining possibilities—that is, thinking big for the future and developing guiding principles, according to MPRB Project Manager Tyler Pederson.

CAC members will then refine their big ideas, figure out how they fit into the larger Hiawatha-Nokomis Master Plan, and develop a focused vision before identifying a preferred direction.

The next step will be documentation–putting the plan on paper and developing recommendations to present to MPRB. Following that, the draft plan will be shared with a 45-day public comment period.

After it is approved by MPRB, the plan must also be adopted by the Met Council.

It may require alignment with permitting agencies: US Army Corps of Engineers, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, State Historic Preservation Office, Minnesota Office of State Archaeologist, city of Minneapolis, and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.

Information from the two other advisory groups, the Technical Advisory Panel and the Project Advisory Committee, will be shared during the process.

“We’re at the very beginning of this process, even though we’ve been here for many years,” pointed out Pedersen.

Work will be fluid
Next up will be forming a consultant team. MPRB has already received three proposals from companies that have a variety of staff members in areas such as engineering, landscape architecture, recreation specialists, golf course architecture, ecological engineering and more. Interviews will be ranked by MPRB staff members, and a recommendation of one proposing consultant will be sent to the board of commissioners for contract approval.

MPRB is also seeking a cultural advisor from the Dakota community.

While some questioned how the group could plan without knowing all the answers related to the water issues, Schroeder acknowledged that they would make course adjustments as they go.

“Your work here will have to be somewhat fluid,” he stated. “As we learn information from other sources, we’ll bring it back to this group.”

Those with comments are encouraged to email or fill out an online comment form at

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ANCIA Saxophone Quartet to play music from around the world in free concert at Nokomis Library May 5

Posted on 24 April 2018 by calvin

To step inside this Nokomis living room on a wintry Sunday morning was to be readily transported to a much warmer place: Cuba. ANCIA Saxophone Quartet was rehearsing a piece by Paquito D’Rivera in preparation for upcoming concerts, including a free one on May 5 at the Nokomis Library.

Titled “Monk-Tuno,” the song is a play on the word montuno, a traditional Cuban musical style, and renowned American jazz musician Thelonious Monk. These Latin rhythms offered a respite from the blustery day outdoors and a great preview of ANCIA’s upcoming performances. Featuring Latin jazz, South American tango, music from Mexico, Japanese folks songs, Afro-Funk and more, the quartet promises a trip around the world—inside the library.

Photo right: Left to right: Matthew Sintchak, Angela Wyatt, David Milne and Joan Hutton of ANCIA Saxophone Quartet will be performing a free concert of music from around the world at Nokomis Library May 5. (Photo by Daniel Soderstrom)

ANCIA (pronounced AHN-chee-uh, the Italian word for reed) was founded by Nokomis resident Angela Wyatt in 1990. One connection led to another and then another, and they became the four members who make up the quartet today. Wyatt plays the baritone saxophone, Joan Hutton, who is also from the Nokomis neighborhood, plays the alto saxophone, St. Paul resident David Milne plays the tenor saxophone, and Matthew Sintchak, from Madison, WI, plays the soprano saxophone.

Together the critically-acclaimed group performs music that spans cultures, genres and time periods, drawing on their talents as well as the range and potential of their instrument of choice.

“The saxophone is such a fantastic instrument,” said Milne. “It’s got versatility, flexibility, beauty, and power.”

Intended to be played as part of a group (according to Sintchak, there are actually 14 types of saxophone), the saxophone works as well at a concert as it does in church or at a jazz festival. ANCIA welcomes the variety of music that entails and are as at home playing with a chamber orchestra as they are in a university setting.

Dedicated to showcasing new works for saxophone quartet, ANCIA actively commissions work from modern composers.

“We’re eager for that repertoire,” said Wyatt. “Composers appreciate that we’re so versatile.”

Which means they’ve had to remain flexible. The group laughed while reminiscing about a couple of past tours. Like the time in South Korea when Sintchak was handed a 15-minute solo soprano piece just moments before the concert was to begin (they had received their other music a couple of months in advance). Or the time in Berlin when the composer was told to “make anything you want to” and greeted ANCIA by saying “I bet you hate me right now.” The quartet had agreed to play the material before it had been written, a sort of challenge they seem to embrace.

“You never know what you’re going to get,” said Sintchak. “It’s like a chef’s special.”

In commissioning a new composer, the idea of trying to embed meaning into the work is vital to the group. ANCIA collaborated with Minnesota-based composer Libby Larsen on “Confluence,” which they premiered in Strasbourg, France, in 2015. The composition draws on cultural aspects and environmental concerns at the confluence of rivers in four distinctly different regions: the Columbia, Willamette, and Snake in the Pacific Northwest; the Yangtze and Jialing in China; the Rhine, Mosel, and Ill in Europe; and the Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri in the Midwest.

Each of the four movements gives different representations of culture and the sounds you might hear. For example, Mississippi Folk songs and steamboats, with the water itself adding distinctive qualities and rhythms and invoking different moods.

“[One movement] begins at a nuclear power plant,” said Hutton. “So it’s not happy.”

Quartet members share a love of teaching and passing it on to the next generation. Music educators themselves—Hutton at Augsburg College, Wyatt at Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan schools, Milne at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and Sintchak at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater—ANCIA members credit instructors they’ve had for encouraging them to play music.

“We’ve all been blessed to have world-class professors and mentors,” said Wyatt. “That’s a huge piece to playing our instruments at a high level.”

Sintchak said he had great teachers who said he should keep on playing. “I didn’t realize how fortunate I was in my music instruction until I got to college.”

To remain a group over many years while juggling families and other obligations is its own challenge, yet ANCIA has made it work. They practice one weekend a month, with Sintchak commuting the longest (from Madison), to make music.

“We all have crazy busy lives,” said Wyatt. “But we carve out this space to play music together.”

“It’s pretty special when you find people to make music with, and you love their company,” said Hutton.

Hear them play at a free one-hour concert at Nokomis Library on May 5 at 10:30am and at Highland Library in St. Paul on May 20 at 2pm. These concerts were made possible through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Cultural Heritage Fund. Stay tuned for ANCIA’s CD release later this year.

For more information on other upcoming concerts and to hear recordings, visit their website at

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The biggest stumbling block to more ADUs may be high cost

Posted on 24 April 2018 by calvin

Chris Iverson, who said he has been anchored to the Longfellow area for many years, had become fascinated with the idea of scaled-down living. So when he learned the city had changed its rules to allow Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) on properties, he started making plans to downsize his lifestyle.

An ADU is defined as a room or set of rooms with its own cooking, sleeping and sanitation facilities which is located on the same lot as a single or two-family home. It must be smaller in area than the main dwelling to which it is accessory. ADUs can be detached, attached or internal. The property owner must reside either in the ADU or the principal dwelling unit.

“I loved the idea of increased density, not for the sake of density, but for the practical use of the space. So there was interest for me, and it gave me the opportunity to build something,” Iverson said.

Photo right: Chris Iverson built his ADU above his garage in the back of his duplex. By law, the owner or a relative of the property owner must live in an ADU. (Photo courtesy of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Home Tour)

He bought his first house in Longfellow in 1989 and left the area a couple of times but kept returning. “I definitely like the neighborhood, so deciding to invest here was pretty easy,” Iverson related.

He owned a duplex in Longfellow but was residing in a 2700-square-foot home in St. Louis Park. In January he moved into his 640-square-foot ADU, choosing to live there himself and rent out his duplex.

Although ADUs had been approved by the City Council in December 2014, the actual building of them has been moderate.

According to Minneapolis Community Planning and Development, between December 2014 and February 2018, between 34-38 ADUs have received zoning approval each year. The department has received 121 zoning applications for ADUs, and of that total 109 have been approved by zoning. Ninety-four of the 109 applications have also received a building permit or have completed construction.

Compared to St. Paul, which has a limited ordinance that passed in late 2016 and has resulted in only one ADU receiving approval for construction by the end of 2017, Minneapolis ADU construction is forging ahead. But compared to Portland, OR, which on the average approves one ADU per day, the growth is small.

However, it is in line with what the Council was expecting. Andrew Johnson, Ward 12 council member, said he considered the number of ADUs in Minneapolis to be more than he was expecting. “The first year, when I talked to Lisa Bender about her expectations, she thought it would be under a dozen,” Johnson said. Bender, a council member representing Ward 10, proposed the legislation leading to acceptance of ADUs in Minneapolis.

“You know, the reason why I don’t think we see more is because of the cost,” Johnson continued. “I mean, the cost of building new construction is not affordable. I look at some of the ADUs, and we’re talking upwards of $150,000 to $200,000. That’s pretty standard. You’ve got to be pretty motivated and have some good resources to make that decision work.”

Photo left: Chris Iverson standing in his Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) in back of the duplex he owns in Longfellow. (Photo courtesy of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Home Tour)

Iverson agreed that cost was a big factor. ‘It was maybe a bit of an over-investment in the short term, but that probably goes more to what I built.” Iverson said he went a bit overboard with his heating system because he wanted radiant heating for comfort and more efficiency. “I spent a little more, but I’m not worried about the long-term,” he said. Renting out his duplex also helps him cover the cost.

Iverson said he had an initial hurdle because he had to change the zoning on his property to move his project forward. “Most of Longfellow had an R1A zoning, but since my property is a duplex, I had to get that fixed before I could move ahead.”

Iverson said his architect, Christopher Strom, had been fairly involved in helping with guidelines for his ADU. “My instructions to him were to build completely within the zoning rules. I didn’t want to have to go back to the city for additional changes,” Iverson stated.

He said the process can take time. He first spoke to Strom about the project in the spring of 2016 and focused on getting all of the zoning requirements completed by the fall of that year. “In the fall of 2016 we started the design process and finally broke ground to start building in June 2017,” Iverson said. “It was a whole year before we actually broke ground, and the project itself took several months to construct.”

The neighbors have been very supportive, according to Iverson. “No one came forward and said they were uncomfortable with the zoning change. My next door neighbor had expressed some concerns about privacy and having this structure that would be looking into the back of her house, but we had conversations,” Iverson recalled. “Longfellow, in general, has such varied land use.”

He said council member Johnson was a big help to him in the process. “Andrew was great and super supportive as a resource. His office was really helpful. I also talked to folks at Longfellow Community Council, who were willing to leverage what they could.”

Photo right: Chris Iverson has all the amenities in his 640 square foot ADU. (Photo courtesy of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Home Tour)

Iverson designed his ADU to be completely contemporary, much different from the style of his main house. He said there are all kinds of criteria for the square footage of the ADU, and it must be at least one square foot smaller than the main house. He was not prepared, however, for all the notice his ADU would receive.

“People who don’t know me know my structure,” he claimed. “I was in the Longfellow Market and checking out when the cashier asked if I was the guy building the ADU. I said I was, and he told me he had recognized my car in the parking lot from where he had seen it parked in front of my property. I have also had bikers passing by the property and giving me a thumbs up. And cars will drive by and take pictures. I even had someone come and knock on my door and ask me questions about the structure.”

Iverson said all the comments have been positive, and he sometimes stands in his kitchen window and waves at the people who stop to look at his ADU.

It will be on display for the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Home Tour the weekend of Apr. 28.

Johnson said he has not received any complaints about ADUs. Before they were approved in Minneapolis, there had been concerns raised about traffic, parking concerns and structures not fitting in with the neighborhood, but none of those concerns have been raised. “I know we had one unique situation in my ward of variance based on a grandfathered-in nonconforming property. Otherwise, these go up pretty quietly; you just see a building come up.”

Someone who has constructed a few of those structures is Joe Slavec, who operates Minneapolis Garage Construction.

“Mostly we build garages, but we build a few ADUs here and there,” Slavec said. “They are kind of sparse because of the cost.”

Slavec said part of the costs involve plumbing, and he thinks the plumbing union has been instrumental in not letting people move forward. “There is an easier way to make these units work,” he said. “To reduce the costs, you should be able to use a system that has been used in Canada. It has a mulching unit on the back of the toilet, and it mulches waste so the toilet and water facility in the garage is supplied by a half inch PEX line and there’s a ¾ inch PEX line that goes out and can hook up to the house rather than go out into the street. But I have yet to see plumbing inspectors approve the use of that system. That would dramatically reduce the cost.”

Slavec said it is also important for property owners to realize they are basically building a small house when they build an ADU. “This is going to be a five to six-month process because you have to get all the inspections and same things that go into building a house,” he noted.

He said that a decline in the labor market has made it even more difficult to get someone to come out for a small job.

“Fortunately, there is not a shortage of electricians or plumbers, but there is on carpenters,” he said.

One of the ADUs Slavec has built is for himself, on his property in Independence, on the other side of Wayzata. “I live in the main house and have a detached ADU. My home is the old Shady Beach Resort,” he said.

Despite the cost, Slavec said he is getting more and more requests for ADUs.

“I typically point people to one of my earlier experiences,” he said. “We were building a garage and the lady next door was just starting her own ADU project. She had provided three contractors with the same set of plans and received quotes for $180,000, $250,000 and $320,000.”

“She chose the $180,000 project. I circled through the following spring and checked in with her and asked how the project was going. ‘Well, we’re still working on it,’ she said. ‘It’s up to $210,000 now.’”

Slavec said when he tells people that is around the standard cost, it scares some of them off.

Slavec said his parents are elderly and currently living in Iowa. At the point where they might need help, he will be able to offer them the ADU to live in. “Or I might live there,” he reflected. ‘but it will be nice that I can offer them the same care as the care that I received when I was growing up.”

Another factor that Slavec encourages people to consider is the importance of getting a set of plans first before hiring a contractor. “Otherwise people go into the process with a great deal of confusion,” Slavec said. “When they go in with a designer, at least someone is getting paid for that knowledge, and sharing it and helping that person move forward.”

He said if he gets a request for an ADU, he passes it on to a designer, asking him or her to work with the customer.

“Once you are done with the designer, get it locked in,” Slavec said. He encouraged the property owner to then take that plan to three different contractors and get an honest price. “I tell them to start with the designer; it cuts to the chase and helps people make a more informed decision,” Slavec said.

He also warned people building ADUs to hold the designer accountable and be sure codes are being checked. He said the designer should create a plan that can be brought to the city and accepted.

Slavec said he does see ADUs becoming a growing trend. Iverson agreed, adding that his architect is now working on another ADU in the Longfellow neighborhood.

Johnson cited the increasing costs for rentals and home purchases will make a remodel or ADUs look more and more reasonable.

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