Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

How much traffic can 46th St. and Hiawatha handle?

Posted on 28 October 2018 by calvin

Residents question Reuter Walter representatives during a community meeting on Oct. 9. Reuter Walter has proposed razing the former Bridgeman’s near Minnehaha Park at 4757 Hiawatha Ave., and constructing a six-story, 85-unit structure. (Photo by Tesha M. Christensen)

Residents discuss traffic, parking, and air quality issues sparked by proposed developments near Minnehaha Park

By TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
Can the 46th St. and Hiawatha Ave. area handle all the traffic caused by development there?

Residents aren’t sure, and they have been voicing their concerns at local meetings, including one on Oct. 9 at Brackett Park.

There were two developments that night on the agenda, Reuter Walter’s proposal for the former Bridgeman’s property and Hayes Harlow Development’s proposal for Minnehaha and 46th (see related article on page 1), but overall five projects are currently being reviewed for the area. Plus, just north is the upcoming Snelling Yards development and Amber Apartments building, and to the east will be the redevelopment of the Ford plant.

“That’s a gigantic increase in car traffic,” said one resident.

Another stated, “It’s going to be a traffic nightmare.”

Citizens are asking for a traffic study. Others also asked for air pollution and air quality studies to be done in the area.

Council member Andrew Johnson clarified that a traffic study couldn’t be used to deny a project. “It can be used to mitigate traffic impacts,” he explained and stated that he will push for one to be done.

Johnson said that it is important to him that traffic flow well in this area, but that includes vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles, and buses.

“It’s not easy as there’s a lot of competing interests here,” he said. “How do you make 46th St. adequate for not just now but 10, 20 years down the road?”

Parking concerns
Residents have also been expressing concerns about parking at these buildings, which are sometimes providing less than one parking spot per unit.

The 4757 Hiawatha Ave. project proposes 59 stalls for 85 units; the Oppidan phase 2 high-density option next door proposes 96 stalls for 96 units; the Minnehaha 46 building proposes 27 stalls for 54 units, and the Lander Group proposal for the Greg’s Auto site has 37 stalls for 37 units.

“Where are everyone’s friends going to park?” questioned one resident. Another pointed out that most couples have two vehicles.

Six-story, 85-unit building
Reuter Walter has proposed razing the former Bridgeman’s near Minnehaha Park at 4757 Hiawatha Ave., and constructing a six-story, 85-unit structure.

Reuter Walton decided not to include commercial space in this development because it will be located on the same block as the new Cub Foods development, explained Brasser. “Speculative retail space in apartment buildings is difficult to fill,” he stated.

A citizen argued that the location is a “gold mine,” especially on the weekends. “You’ve got to see the lines at Sea Salt,” he said.

Others pointed out that visitors wouldn’t be able to see the first floor of this building from Minnehaha Park to know if a restaurant or coffee shop was there. There’s also an issue with parking, which could prevent a business from moving in as it did for so many years on the lower level of the building at the 46th St. light rail station. Venn Brewing finally moved in after years of negotiation with neighbors regarding parking on the streets nearby.

Some residents expressed concern about the proposed height at 4757 Hiawatha Ave., which will be about the same as the five-story Lowa46 building just to the north that will house Cub.

“I kind of feel like you are the 6.5-foot person standing at the front of the concert,” a resident stated.

The next meeting on this project will be on Nov. 8 at the Neighborhood Transportation and Development Committee.

Photo below: There are five developments being proposed or in progress around Minnehaha and 46th. Being proposed are the Hayes Harlow Development’s project at Minnehaha and 46th, the Lander Group project at Greg’s Auto location at 4737 Minnehaha, the Oppidan phase two project, and Reuter Walter’s project at the former Bridgeman’s property. Under construction is the first phase of the Oppidan project that includes 148 market-rate apartments and penthouses, a 45,000-square-foot Cub Foods grocery store, 3,000 square feet of small-shop retail, and a large public plaza. (Graphic by Tesha M. Christensen)

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