62-Unit Building Proposed For France Avenue
Developer had earlier proposed a six-unit building.
Just when you thought you were almost free of news about contentious high-end buildings in Linden Hills, developer Scott Carlston walks onto the scene.
Carlston is pitching a 56-foot-high, 62-unit apartment building on the 4500 block of France Avenue to the neighborhood and city planners. The building would take up about a quarter of the block and offer 6,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor, plus 88 parking stalls underground. The proposed building would be as large as many of the structures at 50th and France.
The project is tentatively set for discussion at the Feb. 7 Linden Hills Neighborhood Council meeting.
“It’s the size of it and the density of it. We don’t think that’s consistent with the Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan,” said Ken Stone, a neighbor leading opposition to the development.
The Comprehensive Plan, adopted by the city in 2000 and last revised this past August calls for “Community Corridors” along major bus lines to see a buildup of medium-density housing over the next 10 years to reduce the demand for cars. To Carlston, the logic behind the plan still supports his building, even if it’s larger and denser than city planners layed out in their long-term recommendations for that part of the block.
“The fact that it’s on the bus line makes perfect sense,” he said. “We’ll also have outlets in the garage for electrical cars, and we’re going to have bike racks, although the exact number hasn’t been settled yet.”
Carlston originally planned a six-unit building at 4525 France Ave, but expanded his plans after other landlords on the block expressed interest in selling their properties to him.
Neighbors are concerned Carlston is trying to short-circuit the typical approach to rezoning a parcel from residential to commercial. More than that, they keep coming back to the building’s sheer size and length. Stone and other residents are exploring whether to work with the neighborhood group that has fought the star-crossed Linden Corner development. Carlston said his design won’t be as bad as the neighbors fear.
“It’ll give them more privacy and sound buffer from France Avenue. It’ll be attractive on all four sides, and these are going to be nice apartments," Carlston said. "There’s not going to be laundry hanging out the window or anything like that. It’s going to be empty nesters and young professionals.”