Originally published in the Dec 2018 – January 2019 issue of the Corcoran News
After breaking ground in December 2017 the first phase of housing at the L&H Station Development site is on schedule to welcome its first residents beginning December 1st 2018. Representatives from Hennepin County and from L&H Station Development came to the November 1st CNO Land Use and Housing Committee meeting to provide updates on the opening of the new residential building and on planning underway for subsequent phases of housing.
The parcel of land under development is at the southwest corner of the Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue intersection. It was purchased by Hennepin County from Minneapolis Public Schools in 2015. The first new construction on the site was the county’s South Minneapolis Regional Service Center which opened in 2017. The remainder of the land is being developed as housing except for a public plaza that will be immediately adjacent to the Lake Street Blue Line Station. A partnership of private firms called L&H Station Development is purchasing portions land from the county as they develop new buildings on the site.
The first of those buildings is named Southsider Apartments. According to representatives from L&H Station Development they anticipate the building will be approximately 10% occupied when they open in December. They expect to be 100% occupied within a year with the greatest uptick of leasing in the spring. There are 123 units in Southsider Apartments, a mix of alcoves, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom apartments.
Also in December of 2018 Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) will be vacating their Adult Education Building that still exists on the development side. Those programs move into the new MPS building just two blocks west on Lake Street. Demolition of the old building is anticipated to occur in Spring of 2019.
The second housing development on the site is expected to break ground in summer of 2019. It will be oriented almost exactly where the existing MPS building is located. The current plan for the building has two levels of below grade parking and six levels of apartments totaling 142 units. Rents will be at market rate but it will be primarily “micro” units with reduced square footage to keep the rents affordable. Construction of the public plaza is also expected to begin in summer of 2019 according to Michael Noonan, the Administrative Manager of Real Estate for Hennepin County.
There are two additional housing developments planned for the south end of the site. The construction timeline for those is less clear though L&H Station Development representatives expect to begin work on them one at a time following completion of the second building. Next would be a six story building of 110 affordable senior housing unit. Last is a mixed income five story building of 185 units where 80% of them are rented at market rate with the remaining 20% rented as affordable housing.