Grocery and 130 apartments planned for 47th and Cedar Ave S

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Dallas-based developer High Street Residential has plans for a grocery store and 130 apartments at 47th and Cedar Ave near Lake Nokomis in South Minneapolis. The site’s existing grocery store, Bergan’s, would be replaced with a Lunds and Byerly’s.

  • Ground level: Lunds grocery. 82 car parking spaces in outdoor lot; 25 spaces of covered parking.
  • Level 2: residential parking; roughly 1 space per unit. Floodplain prevents construction of underground parking.
  • Levels 3, 4, 5: 130 apartments.
  • 80% are 1 bedroom or smaller. 20% are 2 bedroom.
  • Sizes ranging from 447 to 1114 sq ft.
  • Rents from $1,200 to $2,375.
  • Seeking city approval by end of 2019.
  • Hope to open grocery and residential by Spring 2021.

The following is Wednesday night’s live coverage of the presentation and Q&A:

Lady with microphone says her mom used to say she “wasn’t made of shit or sugar” and won’t melt. It’s raining very hard outside — she is making a very down-home rain joke. Ward 12 has a surprisingly rural feel.

Building will be in Ward 12 (represented by Council Member Andrew Johnson), right across the street from Ward 11 (Jeremy Schroeder). Both in attendance.

Andrew Johnson has heard traffic concerns from constituents. Says there will be a traffic study. He wants to work with Hennepin county on traffic calming on Cedar. It’s not a highway extension, it’s a neighborhood street. He’s “very impressed” with tonight’s turnout.

The developer rep is named Johnny Carlson. That’s one letter away from being named Johnny Carson.

Johnny Carlson says the most developer thing ever: “We love Minneapolis… We really strategically tried to enter this market.”

Guy from Lunds, the grocery store tenant, says that Lunds wants to be a part of the community. He says “17.6 years is the average lifespan of a Lunds and Byerly’s employee.” Sounds like a hard job.

Reading statement from Steve and Marsha Bergan, of Bergan’s SuperValu: it wasn’t an easy decision after 35 years. We need a new grocer here.

I recognize the strategy here: they’re throwing a feel good presentation at this crowd so they don’t get upset about traffic and parking. Everyone loves groceries. Lunds guy says “We would very much like to be your grocer in your neighborhood.”

Developer’s landscape guy: “There’s an opportunity to have some plaza and seating spaces.” Making it about people instead of just cars. Garden space, trees, flowers, natural grasses.

Exterior material described as “beautiful white brick.” Traditional and modern at the same time. This 5 story building is Hiawatha golf course adjacent.

Traffic study. 75 additional trips compared to status quo of existing grocery store. 60 of those trips for residential, 15 for grocery.

Question about affordable housing. It doesn’t trigger inclusionary zoning ordinance. In this case, if you want affordable housing you must ask for a bigger building.

Traffic concerns. Guy says he can’t imagine this won’t intensify problems. Are we increasing transit?

Answer: Earlier traffic data presented says says they expect 75 additional trips per day. Very minimal impact on traffic. Residential traffic enters off of Longfellow.

This is “out of character” with the neighborhood says guy. He wants 3 stories. “I’m going to be in the shadow of this development.” Round of applause after he says “sacred parkland.”

Zoning allows this, says developer. That doesn’t make it right, says guy.

Parking concerns. Johnny Carlson says nobody cares more about parking than Lunds, and they are satisfied with parking provided.

Surprise applause line: guy fed up with parking concerns, says “there’s too much!” He wishes the 2nd level was housing and not parking.

Stormwater concerns. Lady recalls a guy who drowned in a basement. She’s thankful to Steve Cramer (I assume the downtown business guy?) for giving them a holding pond.

Maybe I’m at a different meeting from some of these people, but I believe they said they’re doing a better job with storm water than the existing conditions.

More units and more affordable housing, says next resident.

Council Member Andrew Johnson says a permanent inclusionary zoning ordinance is on the way. Interim ordinance does not apply to this building as proposed. The building would need to be 60% bigger to trigger IZ.

Guy calls Andrew Johnson “alderman.”

Witnessing the birth of a rumor: All the talk about tax increment financing has one guy worried this building is going to be publicly financed. It won’t be!

Andrew Johnson, allaying concerns, getting into the weeds of TIF and inclusionary zoning.

Developer: “we are not asking the city for anything.” Building is estimated to bring the $6.3 million in additional tax revenue to city over 10 years. Above existing tax revenue.

“Before you start developing and adding people to our neighborhood” you need to solve “people blowing through stop signs.”

Andrew Johnson, attempting to explain he feels your pain, says that 3 times in the last year he’s had close calls with cars as a pedestrian. (We nearly lost Andrew Johnson.)

Johnson says safety concerns are not exclusive to this site. These are traffic safety issues for the whole city. “We need to address it all over.”

Lady brings up the shoreland overlay and precedent and the 2040 plan. Very Ward 7 question.

Andrew Johnson explaining the conditional nature of height limits in the shoreland. Extra height is allowable in the shoreland overlay under certain conditions. It is allowable. That’s why they call it a conditional use permit.

On this site, the shoreland overlay is triggered because of proximity to the floodplain.

Guy excited to have his neighborhood become “a place that people walk or drive to rather than a place that people drive through.”

Resident says the “White brick overpowers me.” Response: the rendering doesn’t really convey texture.

April 2021 is when they want to open. Both grocery and residential. (Unless someone throws a lawsuit into the gears of the machinery, God forbid.)

People at this meeting wonder why transit service isn’t so great in this area. Andrew Johnson says it’s too low density (meaning we use the power of the law to prevent people from living here). And the state legislature doesn’t fund transit.

Guy wants to talk about the shoreland overlay again. (C’mon guy we already covered the shoreland overlay!)

Johnson, again: “The shoreland overlay is not meant to prevent buildings over 2.5 stories.”

Bad friend Andrew Johnson: “my colleague is on the zoning and planning committee.” Andrew Johnson is throwing Jeremy Schroeder under the bus, trying to get him involved in Ward 12 shoreland overlay drama. Schroeder manages not to get involved.

Andrew Johnson warns people about public records. If you put “dirty language” in your email correspondence with him, it will show up in the packet of public comments associated with this development. Don’t blame him.

Existing site: Bergan's SuperValu
The existing Bergan’s SuperValu and parking lot on Cedar Ave.