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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, 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  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.”

Mickey (Marilyn) Carlston February 14, 2012 at 03:42 PM
It is a perfct place for people that have gone to school and lived in that area while growing up and now want to return, besides others. That includes those of us who had moved out ot state and now want to return to be closer to our families but places to live there are limited. It is a wonderful area where we can get out and WALK for fun and for all the necessities of life without having to worry about using our cars and gas. I, for one, am thinking of returning from AZ and would love to move there --- the apartment building would make my decision much easier. The area of Morningside, 50th & France AND Washburn along w/Southwest High, are the type of an area where we would be comfortable, like to live and enjoy life which this apartment building would make possible. I would THINK it would help the community with the taxes that building would provide (I am not an expert in that field so am just assuming). The other big factor is Scott Carlston. He is extremely honest, caring and understanding of people AND of the building/remodeling business itself. He is proud of his accomplishments in that field, as he should be, and his reputation in that field has always been very important to him. From the picture I just saw, in this article, the building looks very attractive and would be a welcoming addition to Morningside. which he should be. FROM a person that has known him all his life AND also worked with him for many years.
John from Minneapolis April 03, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Too late -- the NIMBYs are already on it.
Parissa April 14, 2012 at 03:31 AM
That's easy to say if it's not in your back yard. I don't think anyone would want this monsterous proposal LITERALLY at the back yard of their single family home. Would you? There are ways to develop the neighborhood more responsibly.
John from Minneapolis April 29, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Those existing buildings are ugly. And this is on France Avenue, for heaven's sake. It's a major thoroughfare in a business area. It's exactly the kind of place that should have higher density.

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