Plymouth City Council gives nod to proposed affordable housing development

By Kristen Miller
[email protected]

Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative has expressed interest in building an affordable housing development on the western edge of Plymouth, north on Highway 55.
Prior to submitting an application, Beacon presented its proposal to the Plymouth City Council for a sketch review during the June 27 meeting.

Community Development Director Steve Juetten explained the process of reviewing a sketch plan allows the city council the opportunity to provide feedback of a proposed project before an application comes forward, as in the case of Chick-fil-A’s recent request to build in Plymouth City Center, which the council denied.

The collaborative requested informal comments on its sketch plan of a 47-unit apartment, three-story building that could be located on a 2.4-acre site between Old Rockford Road and Highway 55, just east of the senior housing apartment now under construction. Underground parking would also be constructed, with additional parking for visitors and tenants on the north side of the building.

The development would offer one- to four-bedroom units for families with incomes at or below 50 percent of area median income, along with affordable housing for incomes at or below 30 percent of area median income.

The council expressed concerns related to access to the properties to the east of the proposed development.

Additionally, the proposed development is guided CO (commercial office) and would need to be reguided LA-4 (living area 4, which allows 12-20 dwellings per acre). The property would also utilize three parcels and therefore would need to be platted as one lot.

Anne Mavity, Beacon director of new projects, told the council this proposed project is in the early stages of development and Beacon is willing to work with city staff and the community to address some of the concerns, including designing a road that will provide access to the sites to the east utilizing 45th Avenue.

Mavity said she feels this development actually helps facilitate the ongoing development of the properties to the east, which are currently not for sale. She also invited the council to visit Beacon’s newest housing development, 66 West, offering 39 studio apartments for young adults in Edina, to get a feel for the development.

Overall, the council expressed support for the project as long as the three parcels to the east could be accessed via 45th Avenue rather than the current access on Highway 55. The council also wants to see viable public safety access to the building.
According to the timeline provided to the council, the collaborative would like to begin construction in June 2018, with completion the next spring.

Other business
In other business, the council:

• Approved a brewer taproom license application by Cargill, Inc. for internal use at its product development facility at 14800 28th Avenue North. It was noted the taproom would be used to demonstrate recipes of the company’s grains and hops to its customers.

• Adopted a resolution supporting the submission of a Department of Employment and Economic Development Minnesota Investment Fund Program application on behalf of Energy Management Collaborative, LLC, which will allow the business to relocate to the southeast corner of Vicksburg Business Center, offering job growth in Plymouth. There is no financial impact to the city budget.

• Announced the 27th annual Night to Unite Tuesday, Aug. 1, with the mayor inviting the community to a free kick-off event 2:30-4:30 p.m. at the Plymouth Creek Center. Neighborhoods interested in participating may contact police department or register the party online at plymouthmn.gov under Departments-Police-Programs and Services.