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Plans are in the works to create a new residential development next to the Northstar Commuter Rail station on Northdale Boulevard (behind Target) on land owned by the Anoka County Regional Rail Authority. Minneapolis-based Sherman Associates proposes a four-story 176-unit market rate apartment building, a four-story 63-unit mixed-income apartment building and a small retail component. The apartments are expected to include many amenities, including a dog run, playground equipment, underground parking, walking paths, and improved access to the transit station.
The market rate units would have rents between $1,200 and $1,750 per month and the affordable units would have rents between $800 and $1,200 per month. The apartments would be oriented toward empty-nesters, professionals, and other area households, particularly those who use the Northstar commuter rail. The 48 affordable apartments would be restricted to households earning 60% of the median income, which translates to over $50,000 for a family of four. Including the affordable apartments in the overall project was critical to attracting funding sources to construct this contemporary project with a high level of amenity.
The City adopted a development framework for the site in 2007 that envisioned a residential development that would capitalize on the presence of the transit station and create a sense of place with strong pedestrian connections and open spaces. In the last few years, as the housing market has improved, the City and County worked together to identify a developer for the site. City Council members and County board members toured several developments around the Twin Cities and met with various developers. Through those meetings, it was determined that the development needed to include primarily housing, as opposed to retail or office uses. The broader area includes a large amount of retail and office development already and this site does not have the visibility from Main Street or Highway 10 that larger retailers expect. The retail component of the proposed project might include a small coffee shop or similar retail use. Ultimately, the City and County opted to work with Sherman Associates on the project. Sherman, which has managed other apartments in Coon Rapids, demonstrated a strong track record of building well-managed, high-quality apartments.
The project could break ground by early 2017 if funding is received. Many details surrounding the project are still in the works, including the locations of sidewalks and open spaces and overall traffic circulation. There will be additional opportunities for public input in the coming months. In the meantime, if you have questions or comments, please send an email to email@example.com.