, the revamped, half-size version of Mark Dwyer's former Linden Corner project, just got even meeker.
Not only is the proposed building for the corner of 43rd and Upton just half the size of its former self—opponents had called the Linden Corner design a "cruise ship"—and not only does it now fit within the basic confines of the site's zoning classification—another objection to the Linden Corner design—but it won't even touch the "pocket park" that sits exactly at the corner of West 43rd Street and Upton Avenue South, according to an announcement Dwyer made at Thursday night's meeting of the Linden Hills Neighborhood Council (LHiNC).
The project, Dwyer said, is now asking the Minneapolis Planning Commission for just one variance that will let the building’s balcony design go forward.
The park was, in some ways, at the emotional heart of efforts to stop Dwyer's first project. Dwyer and his design team had wanted to rebuild and update the pocket park as part of the construction of 4250 Upton. from Linden Hills residents at several community input sessions earlier this summer, Dwyer said he is turning over discussions about the park's future to LHiNC, although he left the door open to incorporating any suggested park improvements into the building's design.
During the presentation to LHiNC leaders, listeners also got a hint of what drove Dwyer's assertions that his previous, 40-unit project would not have been profitable if it was any smaller.
"I had always wanted to include a restaurant," Dwyer said. "I thought it would be really nice (on that corner)."
The problem, he explained, was that a restaurant requires lots of parking by city code. In the center of Linden Hills, the 40-plus parking stalls would have had to be built underground, driving up construction costs to the point that additional floors needed to be added to the building to provide more income for the project.
Deleting the restaurant from the 4250 Upton project, he said, helped permit the building to come down to three storeys and reduced the amount of traffic the project would generate.
currently at the corner of 43rd and Upton will not have to vacate its space until construction begins, which depends on most or all of the 4250 Upton project's units being sold, Dwyer said, preventing an empty lot from gathering dust in downtown Linden Hills. If all goes according to plan and the project gets green-lighted by the Minneapolis City Planning Commission, he said, construction would start in Spring 2013.