As previously discussed, there is a proposal to replace two houses with an apartment building on the northwest corner of 24th Street and Colfax Avenue in LHENA. That proposal was further elaborated on at the October 10, 2012 LHENA Zoning and Planning Committee meeting.
According to the Wedge Newspaper (v32n11),the project would be a five-story, 54-foot tall building containing 48 apartment units, most of which would be one-bedroom.Rental rates would be $1.75 to $2.00 per square foot, which would make a 550-foot one-bedroom unit run for $962 – $1,100 per month. The building would have 47 parking stalls, with 7 of them being tandem stalls (two deep). A shared car and 48 bike parking stalls would also be provided. The proposal would require some set-back variances but would not require a conditional use permit for increased height since the property is zoned R6, which allows a building of that height. The article states that of the 30 attendees, many were concern with the demolition of the existing houses and the proposed scale and or density of the project.
One of those opposed to the project is Anders Christensen, a passionate advocate for the preservation of houses built by the Master Builder T. P. Healy. Healy built the house at 2320 Colfax Avenue, which today is a legally operating rooming house. Christensen reported on his take-aways from attending and presenting at the LHENA meeting at the Facebook page for T. P. Healy houses (pretty neat page, check it out). In a post on November 11th, 2012, Christensen said that it appears the motivation of the project is from the property’s current owner, Michael Crow, who lives in LHENA and said he bought the property for its R6 zoning years ago and that little was of historical value in the house due to fires and renovation. Christensen also raised concerns that Crow was stating this without providing any evidence. The City of Minneapolis, according to the Wedge, determined that the houses fail to meet the “thresholds for historical significance.”
The Wedge Newspaper states that the project team includes Collage Architects, the Lander Group, and At Home Apartments. The Lander Group’s principal is Michael Lander, an Uptown resident (ECCO neighborhood) and has a long history of designing and developing projects in the community such as the Midtown Lofts, the Dunn Brothers at 34th/Hennepin, the old fire house at 35th/Hennepin, and the funky townhomes at 35th/Hennepin. At Home Apartments appears to have a pre-existing relationship with Michael Lander, as they manage the West River Commons and are developing a project with Lander at 46th Street and 46th Avenue. Collage Architects has also worked with Lander on a project in White Bear Lake called BoatWorks Commons.
Since these reports, a LHENA source has indicated that the project’s scale and density has been reduced to a four story building with some sections only two or three stories. This hasn’t been confirmed but perhaps some readers would want to comment on this.