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The Minneapolis Planning Commission is schedule to consider approval of the Greystar and Trammell Crow apartment projects on June 23 at 4:30 p.m.  Please see the Planning Commission agenda and related staff reports here:  http://www.minneapolismn.gov/meetings/planning/index.htm

On Wednesday, April 9 the CIDNA Board unanimously approved resolutions not to oppose two apartment projects following recommendations by its Land Use Committee on April 7. Greystar, already one of the largest developers in Uptown with Élan, has proposed a 90-unit luxury apartment project on the vacant land at Thomas Avenue and West Lake Street. The developer is seeking a conditional use permit to exceed the 35-and 56-foot height proscriptions. Greystar has achieved a sensitive balance between respect for the shoreland, parks, trails, and single-family residences while considering the context of the 12-story Calhoun Beach Club Apartments and the City’s classification of West Lake Street as a high-density thoroughfare.

SEE FINAL TRAMMELL CROW RESOLUTION AND DRAWINGS HERE.

SEE FINAL GREYSTAR RESOLUTION AND DRAWINGS HERE.

The Greystar project represents ten years of work by CIDNA to shape development on the site. Greystar has proposed a height and shadowing profile similar to the Lander project, which was not built, but which CIDNA approved in 2006. CIDNA has opposed three other tall projects in the neighborhood: 10-stories by Lander in 2005, 12 stories by Bigos in 2012, and 11 stories by Trammel Crow in 2013.

Founding members of ELECT, who in the 1990’s successfully introduced an ordinance to limit shoreland buildings above 35 feet, objected to Greystar’s height and massing. Although approving Greystar, CIDNA officially commended Arlene Fried, Harriet Horwitz, Sally Anson and Steve Woldum, founding members of ELECT speaking before CIDNA, for their work in limiting building height on our lakes, and creating a lasting legacy of human-scale shorelines in our city.

CIDNA also approved a 154-unit 6-story apartment project proposed by Trammell Crow Company, a major national developer, on the site of Tryg’s restaurant at 3118 West Lake Street next to the Loop Calhoun Condominiums. CIDNA commended the developer for addressing the neighborhood’s concerns about height, Greenway and Loop Condos interface, and project design, which eliminated the previously monolithic character of the building. The average height of the project would be about 60 feet, and would be within +/- 4 feet of the Loop Condos height.

Traffic has been a huge concern for the neighborhood with both of these projects. Forty thousand cars pass the Lake Street/Dean Parkway intersection daily, one of the busiest street intersections in the city and the state. Pedestrian safety also has been of great concern in CIDNA even before the tragic accident of Caitlan Barton at Market Plaza. Council Member Linea Palmisano in cooperation with West Calhoun Neighborhood Association has invited concerned citizens to discuss pedestrian and cyclist safety in the community on Tuesday May 13, 7pm. at The Bakken Museum, 3537 Zenith Avenue South.

To partially address safe pedestrian connectivity Trammell Crow will build sidewalks on the east and north perimeters of their site to create safer pedestrian walkways, which could represent the beginning of a pedestrian trail south of the Greenway between Dean Parkway and Calhoun Village. CIDNA also is supporting community efforts to explore a new north-south bike-ped trail between Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles. This trail could cross a bridge as envisioned by a Park Board charette in 2012, or the trail could cross Lake Street at Thomas Avenue, or both. Please contact your neighborhood to participate in these important projects. Another vision we are exploring to calm traffic and create more livability is the “boulevardization” of Lake Street, which would add trails, trees, center medians, and lighting to this busy and high-speed County thoroughfare.

The CIDNA Land Use and Development Committee unanimously approved resolutions on April 7 supporting

FromTinFish

Greystar Apartments viewed from the Tin Fish

the Trammell Crow and Greystar apartment projects.  In both cases the developers have responded positively to CIDNA’s guidelines and requests for improvement.  The Land Use Committee is recommending approval of these projects by CIDNA on Wednesday, April 9.

Trammell Crow reduced the height of their project to +/- 4 feet of the Loop Condos height, added attractive Greenway interface, eliminated the “L” to create a clear side yard, and offered major design improvements in terms of articulation, architectural features, and materials.
Greystar responded to 10 years of work on the Weisman site by CIDNA, modelling key features of their project to the Lander project approved by CIDNA in 2006.  The result is an elegant design solution that

Redesigned Tryg's Apartment project as seen from West Lake Street.

Trammell Crow Apartments & the new Tryg’s Restaurant from West Lake Street

strikes a sensitive balance between conflicting interests—the shoreland, Midtown Greenway, parks, single-family residences, 12-story CBC Apartments, and West Lake Street as a major high-density thoroughfare.

GREYSTAR RESOLUTION APPROVED IN COMMITTEE APRIL 7, 2014

 

CIDNA COMMITTEE MEETING APRIL 7:
You are invited to tonight’s CIDNA Committee meeting at 6pm, Jones Harrison Residence, Lake View Room, 3700 Cedar Lake Avenue.  Doors will open at 5:30pm to see project boards and speak with the developers and committee members.
Any Committee recommendations about these projects will be forwarded to the full CIDNA Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday April 9 at 6pm. Doors also open at 5:30pm on Wednesday to preview these projects.
DRAFT RESOLUTIONS: Printed copies of the draft resolution will be available at the meetings and are presented below:
PROPOSED AMENDMENTS AND CORRECTIONS: The following resolution amendments have been proposed.
Trammell Crow Resolution:
Author: New data provided by Trammell Crow to fill in the blanks.
Paragraph 1.g:
Restaurant Patio approximate square feet: “1,300”
Pool Patio approximate square feet: “3,200”
Roof Patio approximate square feet: “4,000”
Paragraph 1.g(1): Insert “patio” after “street-level”
Greystar Resolution:
Author: Stephen Golty
New Paragraph inserted after Paragraph 13: “WHEREAS CIDNA is concerned for one’s safe accessibility in arriving and boarding at the Metro Transit Bus Stop at West Lake Street and Thomas Avenue, South located at the southwest corner of developer’s project address; and furthermore how this condition becomes significant for pedestrian and bus rider safety during Winter months, that site planning and design measures be employed by the developer to insure appropriate safety and esthetic design be implemented at this portion of the site adjoining this bus stop and major vehicular-way intersection.”
Author: Robert Corrick
Paragraph 3.b:  Delete “Edgewater Condominiums,”  Lin Schutz from East Isles has correctly commented that the height of Edgewater Condominiums is not the same height as the proposed Greystar Apartments.  The Edgewater height was approved at 82 feet (compared with Greystar proposed at 89 feet).  My apologies for this error.  I propose to delete this reference in the resolution because Edgewater is not central to the discussion about context for the Greystar project.
Paragraph 3.d: Delete “unattractive”.  The attractiveness of CBC Apartments of course is a matter of taste, and our neighbors  live there.
AGENDAS:
NEIGHBORHOOD FEEDBACK:
TRAMMELL CROW FEEDBACK (Please scroll down to the end to see the latest comments.)
GREYSTAR & THE SHORELAND
Inline image 3

Dear Neighbors,

I am writing to describe some of the design rationale for the Greystar apartment project at West Lake Street and Thomas Avenue South. This is a sensitive and complex site.  We must balance many conflicting interests.  Greystar has sought to strike a balance between respect for the shoreland, parks, trails, and single-family residences while considering the context of the 12-story Calhoun Beach Club Apartments and the City’s classification of West Lake as a high-density thoroughfare.
 Inline image 4
The developer is seeking a conditional use permit to exceed the 35- and 56-foot height limits of the Shoreland Overlay and the OR2 zoning classification. The building would be 89 feet high. Greystar has offered a range of design features to support a conditional use permit:
  • The project would preserve access to light and air and minimize shadowing on adjacent parks, the Midtown Greenway, and single-family residences.
  • The project would fit the scale and character of the surrounding neighborhood including the 12-story Calhoun Beach Club Apartments, old Calhoun Beach Club building, Edgewater Condominiums, the Midtown Greenway, and single-family residences.
  • The view-shed from the shorelines, vehicular ways, walkways, and bikeways of Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, and Cedar Lake would be minimally impacted by the project.
  • On the north Calhoun skyline, the project would present a graceful stepped-down interface with the unattractive 12-story Calhoun Beach Club Apartments.
  • The project would present a geometric match to the original Calhoun Beach Club on the opposite side of CBC Apartments.
  • The massive eastern wall of CBC Apartments would be addressed with an artful triangular bookend building converging to east.
  • The 30-foot setback from Lake Street would match the setback of the CBC Apartments, creating a clear and aesthetic definition of the Lake Street corridor.  This type of setback is supported by modern urban planning principles and city planning practices.
  • Project height would match the tree line.
 
Inline image 1
 
CIDNA is working with Greystar to further soften the facade of the building with additional architectural features, materials, and articulation. The project would represent the approximate height and shadow profile of the Lander Project approved by CIDNA and the city in 2006, and meets the guidelines set up by CIDNA for the site during the past 10 years.
CIDNA has opposed taller projects with concern for the height limits including the 110-foot Lander project in 2005, the 136-foot Bigos project in 2012, and the 120-foot TrammeIl Crow project this year. The Greystar project seeks to address neighborhood concerns for this challenging site.

Two draft resolutions are presented for consideration by the CIDNA Land Use and Development Committee in its meeting on Monday April 7, 6pm at the Jones Harrison Residence, Lake View Room, 3700 Cedar Lake Avenue.  Public comment will be taken.  You may arrive at 5:30 to see boards and ask questions of the developers and committee members.

Draft Resolution for Trammell Crow Apartments at 3118 West Lake Street

Draft Resolution for Greystar Apartments at 2626 West Lake Street

If you have any questions or comments before the meeting, please contact Bob Corrick, Chair, at corrickcidna@gmail.com.

Greystar Investment Group and Trammell Crow Co. have both formally submitted apartment proposals to

Redesigned Tryg's Apartment project as seen from West Lake Street.

Redesigned Tryg’s Apartment project as seen from West Lake Street.

CIDNA for consideration in its April 7 Land Use Committee meeting, 6pm at Jones Harrison Residence.

Greystar’s drawings were submitted to CIDNA this afternoon and are presented in a PDF here.  (Please scroll down the PDF to see all drawings.)

Trammell Crow’s drawings, which seek to address many of CIDNA’s concerns as announced in last week’s Hill & Lake Press, are presented in a PDF here(Please scroll down the PDF to see all drawings.)

Greystar Project:  Greystar is proposing a 90-unit apartment building on the site owned by Lake Limited

Proposed Greystar Apartment Project looking west across Lake Street with Calhoun Beach Club Apartments in the background.

Proposed Greystar Apartment Project looking west across Lake Street with Calhoun Beach Club Apartments in the background.

Partners at the intersection of West Lake Street and Thomas Avenue South east of the Calhoun Beach Club Apartments.  The project would be 8 stories (89 feet) on the Lake Street side stepping down to 3 stories on the Thomas and Greenway sides.  The building would shade only part of the Midtown Greenway trail at noon on winter solstice.  The structure would be lower than the Calhoun Beach Club Apartments, which are 136 feet high, and the same height as Edgewater on East Calhoun Parkway. Monthly rent would be about $4,500 per month.

CIDNA has been shaping its position and seeking neighborhood input regarding this site since 2005.

Profile of proposed Greystar apartment project as seen from the Tin Fish on Lake Calhoun.

Profile of proposed Greystar apartment project as seen from the Tin Fish on Lake Calhoun.

Greystar is proposing a building with features similar to the Lander project that was approved by CIDNA in 2006.  The approved Lander project was 84 feet high  stepping down to 2-1/2 stories on the Midtown Greenway.  The 2006 Lander project failed as a result of the 2008 recession.  CIDNA has opposed taller and larger structures on this site in the past including the first Lander project of 110 feet in 2005 and the Bigos project of 136 feet in 2012.

Trammell Crow Project:  The developer has offered the following design revisions for its project:

•    Establish building height within +/-4 feet of the Loop Condos.  The structure, nevertheless, would be 6 stories.  The official height of the building would be 60 feet excluding 3-foot parapet and a  small 15-foot

The Greystar proposed apartment project looking west from the northeast side of Lake Calhoun with the CBC Apartments behind and the Lake Point tower to the left.

The proposed Greystar apartment project looking west from the northeast side of Lake Calhoun with the CBC Apartments behind and the Lake Point tower to the left.

penthouse and stairway structure structure.
•    Eliminate of the “L” adjacent to the Loop Condos to create a completely open side yard facing the Loop Condos.
•    Create a more graceful interface with the Midtown Greenway using a single step back.  No shading would occur on the Greenway at winter solstice.
•    Add attractive architectural features, articulation, and materials to eliminate the monolithic character of the building and produce a more aesthetically pleasing experience for the neighborhood.
•    Move the swimming pool away from the Midtown Greenway to the top of the new 1-1/2 story Tryg’s Restaurant on Lake St.

The revised project would be somewhat smaller than proposed on January 6.  Trammell Crow had proposed a

The proposed Greystar Apartment project from the northwest side of Lake Calhoun with Calhoun Beach Club Apartments to the immediate left and the Lake Point Tower far left.

The proposed Greystar Apartment project from the northwest side of Lake Calhoun with Calhoun Beach Club Apartments to the immediate left and the Lake Point Tower far left.

project with 177 apartment units.  The company is now proposing 155 units with 233,335 gross square feet including 62,206 square feet of parking.

Neighborhood Walkability and Safety:  CIDNA has been concerned about walkability and pedestrian safety in the neighborhood long before the recent tragic accident of Caitlan Barton at Market Plaza.  A neighborhood task force between West Calhoun and CIDNA has been working on improvements including traffic control, street design, and trail/sidewalk additions.  As part of the Trammell Crow project, CIDNA is considering a pedestrian walkway on the south side of the Midtown Greenway between Dean Parkway and Calhoun Village.   Similarly, for the Greystar project we are considering a trail connecting the

The proposed Greystar apartment project from the south side of West Lake Street looking west with CBC Apartments and the Lake Point Tower behind.

The proposed Greystar apartment project from the south side of West Lake Street looking west with CBC Apartments and the Lake Point Tower behind.

Thomas Avenue/Lake St area with Lake of the Isles.  Cooperation will be sought between the developers, Park Board, City and County to accomplish these trails.  We need more safe trails away from one of the city’s busiest intersections.

CIDNA Action:  The CIDNA Committee could consider formal resolutions on these projects in its April 7 meeting.  Action by the CIDNA Board could take place on April 9.  We expect to post draft resolutions in the coming week.

On Monday, April 7 the CIDNA Land Use Committee will consider a revised proposal from Trammell Crow Co. for an apartment project on the site of Tryg’s Restaurant.  Drawings for the revised proposal are presented here.  The meeting will be held at 6pm in the Lake View Room of Jones Harrison Residence, 3700 Cedar Lake Avenue. The developer seeks to address many of the neighborhood’s concerns including respect for the 56-foot zoning height limit.  The Board of the neighboring Loop City Condominiums also has opposed the initial designs.  The CIDNA Committee could consider a formal resolution in the April 7 meeting.  Action by the CIDNA Board could take place on April 9.  We expect to post drawings and possible resolutions for the revised project on this website  in the coming weeks before the meeting.

The developer recently has offered the following design revisions:

•    Establish building height within +/-4 feet of the Loop Condos.  The buiding, nevertheless, would be 6 stories.  The official height of the building would be 60 feet not including 3-foot parapet and a small 15-foot penthouse and stairway structure.
•    Eliminate of the “L” adjacent to the Loop Condos to create a completely open side yard facing the Loop Condos.
•    Create a more graceful interface with the Midtown Greenway using a single step back.  No shading would occur on the Greenway at winter solstice.
•    Add attractive architectural features, articulation, and materials to eliminate the monolithic character of the building and produce a more aesthetically pleasing experience for the neighborhood.
•    Move the swimming pool away from the Midtown Greenway to the top of the new 1-1/2 story Tryg’s Restaurant on Lake St.

The revised project would be somewhat smaller than proposed on January 6.  Trammell Crow had proposed a project with 177 apartment units.  The company is now proposing 155 units with 233,335 gross square feet including 62,206 square feet of parking.

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