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Traffic, parking top list of concerns near Minnehaha and Nawadaha

Posted on 24 July 2018 by calvin

To make the building at 4737 Minnehaha Ave. fit in with the neighborhood, the design includes a landscaped pedestrian frontage with individual sidewalk entries for five homes. Every unit will have access to individual private outdoor space whether that be a porch, balcony, or terrace. (Illustration courtesy of The Lander Group)

Residents offer less input on proposed development; more comments on concerns near Minnehaha Park

By TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
Residents are less concerned about what’s being proposed for Minnehaha Ave. and Nawadaha Blvd. as they are about overall traffic and parking issues in the area.
Among the suggestions made at a July 10 Longfellow Neighborhood Development & Transportation Committee meeting were to build a parking ramp for Minnehaha Park visitors and to enforce parking restrictions along the streets.

Michael Lander of The Lander Group suggested that another meeting be held that would look at these concerns specifically before he proceeds with any development at 4737 Minnehaha Ave.

“There clearly needs to be some follow-up regarding traffic,” summed up Lander.

He also observed that 80 percent of the comments at the meeting had to do with the frustration over the planning documents for the area that residents don’t seem to have embraced.

Photo right: Michael Lander of The Lander Group presents his plan for a 30,741-square-foot building at Minnehaha and Nawadaha, across the street from Minnehaha Park where Greg’s Auto is now. It would offer 37 housing units, split between one- and two-bedroom apartments with a few studios. (Photo by Tesha M. Christensen)

Building to replace Greg’s Auto
The Lander Group has proposed constructing a $9-10 million, four-story structure at Minnehaha Ave. and Nawadaha Blvd., directly across from Minnehaha Park.

The building would replace Greg’s Automotive Service as the owner retires. “We will be cleaning up the site,” observed Lander.

Previous projects in Longfellow by The Lander Group include West River Commons at E. Lake St. and the river, and Parkway West at 46th and 46th. The Lander Group has also recently completed a project at 38th St. and 28th Ave. which now houses its offices, and will soon be redeveloping the 38th St. light rail station site.

As they always do, the staff at The Lander Group began this project by looking through the various city and neighborhood plans for this area, explained Lander.
However, Lander was cautioned that these plans might not reflect the values of residents.

“Please don’t make any assumptions about what we want because there’s a broad diversity,” stated Neighborhood Development & Transportation Committee member Lisa Boyd.

One and two bedrooms
The proposed 30,741-square-foot building would offer 37 housing units, split between one- and two-bedroom apartments with a few studios. Configurations within the L-shaped structure would range in size from 550 to 1,062 square feet.

Every unit has access to individual private outdoor space whether that be porch, balcony, or terrace.

Rents are expected to be market rate at $1.80 to $2.60 per square foot with no income or rent restrictions.

To make the building fit in with the neighborhood, the design includes a landscaped pedestrian frontage with individual sidewalk entries for five homes.

Photo right: “Please don’t make any assumptions about what we want because there’s a broad diversity,” stated Neighborhood Development & Transportation Committee member Lisa Boyd, who cautioned The Lander Group that the plans on file for the neighborhood might not reflect what people want. (Photo by Tesha M. Christensen)

Lander pointed out that the entire area along Minnehaha is used currently to access the service shop, and the proposed design would make it safer for pedestrians who would not be competing with vehicular traffic.

The design includes 27 underground and ten at-grade parking spaces. Parking is accessed from an existing alley to the east. One bike spot per unit may be added to the wall in the parking garage.

Clem Paschal is concerned about how this will affect traffic in the alley and on his neighborhood streets, pointing out most families have two vehicles, not one. “Traffic has been really bad,” he said, since the park board fixed up the park.

Carleton Crawford owns the house adjacent to the proposed development site and noted that when he moved in two years ago, he expected there to be redevelopment.

However, he questions putting a 50-foot wall next to his backyard and how long the shadow will be from a four-story building. He suggested that the L shape to the north be removed instead of using every bit of the property for the building.

Construction likely in 2019
The target market is expected to be seniors and empty nester/boomers, both likely living in or near the neighborhood in single-family homes. The location of the building and nearby amenities such as light rail and bus access, as well as the parks and shopping being added along 46th, is likely to appeal to younger mid-career professionals seeking a more mature neighborhood setting, according to planning documents.

Apartments will feature open floor plans, abundant natural light, and modern kitchens and baths.

While many of The Lander Group developments include commercial space on the ground level, 4737 is all residential. Lander pointed to the large development with a grocery store, restaurant and more being constructed along 46th, which will be within a block of this space.

The project will incorporate stormwater best management practices (BMPs) on site. The BMPs will be designed to reduce peak flow runoff rates and provide water quality treatment before connecting to the city storm sewer, and will be coordinated with the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District. Other sustainable features include: solar energy panel allowance; LED lighting; low water use plumbing fixtures; and high-efficiency heating and cooling.

The current project timeline would start construction in February 2019 and end in May 2020.

‘Million dollar site’
“You’re trying to make Minnehaha Falls like Lake Calhoun,” stated lifetime Longfellow resident Mike Foster. “It’s going to be all big buildings. This is arguably the premier park in Minneapolis.”

Meanwhile, resident Matt Brillhart pushed for higher-end housing at the site because of its proximity to Minnehaha Park. “I’m a little underwhelmed by this design,” stated Brillhart. “This is a million dollar site.”

 

 

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