Thursday, October 21, 2021

Developer plans 174 affordable apartments at Plato & Robert in St. Paul

A Minneapolis developer has proposed a five-story building at Plato Boulevard and South Robert Street in St. Paul that would house 174 affordable apartments, as well as 10,000 square feet of ground-level commercial and community space. The new structure will replace an older American Red Cross office building.

Shaffer Richardson’s proposal effectively extends recent housing and mixed-use developments within the city’s revitalized West Side Flats area, off the Mississippi River. The flat was home to a bustling Latino and Jewish community until the early 1960s, when the city cleared the area of ​​residents and installed a levee wall in response to heavy flooding.

The Red Cross continues to maintain a blood and platelet donation center at a neighboring site.

Shaffer Richardson, in a zoning variance application, indicated that the proposed U-shaped building at 174 South Robert St. would set rents for its one- to four-bedroom units at levels that are intended for families who live in the area. Earn no more than 60 percent of the median income. . A letter included with the application indicates that the developer hopes to add some deeply affordable apartments for families earning an average income of 30 per cent of the area.

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The developer is applying for financial assistance, including a low-income housing tax credit, brownfield cleanup grants, federal tenant-based rental assistance, the State Department of Employment and Economic Development Fund, and the Transit-Oriented Development Fund through the Metropolitan Council .

One level of parking will be underground.

Under city zoning rules, a mixed-use building in an industrial zoning district must reserve no more than 50 percent of its ground level for dwellings. Schaefer Richardson, which plans a series of three-bedroom and four-bedroom townhome-style units on ground level, is seeking a variation for 75 percent of ground level to be devoted to residential use, including Facilities like fitness room are included.

A variation hearing before the St. Paul’s Board of Zoning Appeals is scheduled for October 18 at 3 p.m.

In a September 21 letter to the city’s Department of Planning and Economic Development, Monica Bravo, executive director of the West Side Community Organization, said that remarkable affordability would be a prime asset for mixed-income neighborhoods that are home to a large home. Latino population.

“WSCO considers this project to be of high importance to the community, as it is a gateway development into the neighborhood of St. Paul’s West Side,” Bravo wrote.

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