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The public hearing for a proposed 200-unit apartment development at 3100 W Lake St (Brickstone project), originally scheduled for August 14, has been delayed. The new date is:
Monday, September 18
4:30 p.m.
City Hall, Room 317
If you have questions about the project, please contact the City staff person listed below. If you like to submit comments, you can make them verbally at the meeting or submit them in writing to:
Hilary Dvorak, Principal Planner

At its regularly scheduled board meeting on July 12, the CIDNA Board of directors voted not to oppose the 8-story apartment project proposed at 3100 West Lake Street by 3100 MSP, LLC, an affiliate of Brickstone Partners.  CIDNA’s position is subject to four conditions:

  • The Project will be constructed and staged entirely on the site (or off-site away from the adjacent street and sidewalk), so that no lane-closures are expected to occur, other than for emergencies, right-of-way work required by the City to improve curb and gutter and other facilities, utility improvements, and staging mistakes (the latter of which will be quickly corrected).
  • 3100 MSP will seek to minimize disruption and damage from construction for the community and all adjacent neighbors, including where possible, use of drilled pier earth retention systems (vs. a driven pile system), layback excavation system to minimize use of earth retention, and location of storm water retention to minimize excavation.
  • 3100 MSP will respect CIDNA’s resolutions dated May 2, 2005 and January 17, 2006 (attached) which address traffic and safety issues in the neighborhood regarding the exit ramp to Dean Parkway from Lake Calhoun City Flats, including conversion of the alley to one-way, and closure from midnight to 7 a.m. and during dangerous icy winter conditions.
  • If necessary 3100 MSP would minimize dust from demolition with extra water from fire hoses.

CIDNA does not oppose the basic design of the Project for the following reasons:

  • Height and setback, while not ideal, would reasonably respect the neighbors and the intent of the Shoreland Overlay ordinance.
  • The height precedents of Lakes Residences and Edgewater on Lake Calhoun within the Shoreland Overlay District would be reasonably respected.
  • The Project would offer attractive design with glass, materials, articulation and clean contemporary lines.
  • There would be reasonable setback from Lake Street to address the interface with adjacent buildings including a respectful pedestrian environment.
  • The emergency generator would be located away from the neighbors on the northeast ground corner.
  • The 8th-floor roof would be clear with no overruns except the elevator, and the swimming pool attractively located on the 7th-floor roof.
  • Other than the elevator overrun, there are no significant roof structures.

CIDNA submitted eight requests related to the project:

  • The City should explore prohibition of U-turns for easterly traffic on West Lake Street at Dean Parkway, and instead encourage U-turns at the quieter intersection of West Lake Street and Thomas Avenue South.
  • A small appropriately designed retaining wall should be constructed on the Project’s east property line to preserve trees and other landscaping on Lakeshore Arms apartments.
  • The three mature trees on the southwest corner of the site should be preserved in addition to other trees near the western boundary of the site.
  • Existing environmental art work on the site (the “Green Chairs” and the “Fish Mobile”) should be moved to the south side of Excelsior Boulevard on the front lawn of the Executive Center (thanks to Stuart Ackerberg, owner of the art).
  • If possible, louvers on the Magic Paks should be permanently set to point to the side away from nearby neighbors.
  • Eliminate the bump out at the beginning of the left turn lane from West Lake Street to Dean Parkway.
  • The left-turn lane from the west on Lake Street into the existing westerly curb cut should be eliminated.
  • CIDNA invites 3100 MSP to host a grand opening of the cornerstone box placed in the Ministers Life Building when construction commenced in 1953.

BOARD APPROVED RESOLUTION DATED JULY 12, 2017

EXHIBITS:

OTHER EXHIBITS:

  • Draft traffic study by Wenk Associates
  • Left turn bump out aerial view at Dean Parkway
  • Left turn to curb cut aerial view
  • CIDNA Resolution not to oppose Ackerberg/Village Green Project dated May 2, 2005
  • CIDNA Resolution regarding Ackerberg Alley dated January 17, 2006
  • CIDNA Letter from Michael Wilson requesting opening of 1953 Ministers Life Building Cornerstone
  • Letter from Leo Zabezhinsky dated July 10, 2017 to CIDNA
  • Letter from Leo Zabezhinsky and John Wessenger dated July 10, 2017 to 3100 MSP

 

The CIDNA Land Use Committee has recommended no opposition to the 8-story apartment project at 3100 West Lake Street proposed by 3100 MSP, an affiliate of Brickstone Partners.  The Committee’s recommendation results from a 7-2 vote with 1 abstention.  CIDNA’s position would be subject to conditions including the developer’s non-binding intent:

  • To avoid lane closures by staging and constructing the project entirely on its site (or off-site away from the the adjacent sidewalk and street) except for emergencies, utility work, adjacent street and sidewalk improvements, and quickly corrected staging mistakes.
  • To use excavation and shoring methods that would seek to minimize damage to adjacent neighbors.

As previously announced, the CIDNA Board of Directors will consider its formal position on the project in a meeting on Wednesday, July 12, 6 p.m. at the Jones Harrison Residence, Lakeview Room, 3700 Cedar Avenue.  Representatives of 3100 MSP will attend and present at this meeting.  For more information about this resolution, please refer to the following documents (which, because of size, are best viewed by first downloading, and then reading with the most current version of Acrobat Reader).

RESOLUTION NOT TO OPPOSE THE APARTMENT PROJECT BY 3100 MSP, LLC AT 3100 WEST LAKE STREET DATED JULY 17, 2017 (INCLUDING EXHIBITS)

ADDITIONAL EXHIBITS TO THE RESOLUTION:

 

During the coming weeks Brickstone is working with CIDNA on additional information about construction methods and plans to minimize construction damage to neighbors.  Accordingly, CIDNA has delayed its final resolution on the Project until the July 12 board meeting.

Brickstone will formally submit its project to the City in the coming days, so CIDNA has communicated the following concerns to the City in advance.  Most of these concerns were discussed with Brickstone in CIDNA’s public meeting on June 5.

Lane closures:  CIDNA is very concerned about lane closures in this narrow and congested area.  Brickstone states:  “During construction, AP does not currently plan to close the north lane of Lake Street on a long term basis. Short term closures will be necessary and coordinated with the city and neighbors… On some occasions, specifically during heavy delivery activities (concrete pours, etc), AP plans to close the north lane of Lake Street, but only from 9:00AM to 3:00PM as mandated by the City of Minneapolis.“ This language is not acceptable to CIDNA.  Lane closures should be exceedingly rare, occurring very few times during the entire project.  All of the thousands of concrete pours and deliveries (even if large) should occur off the street.  All construction activity should occur on the site, and no public land should be used on the ground or aerially.  The sidewalk should always remain open.

U-Turns: The City should consider prohibition of U-turns for easterly traffic on West Lake Street at Dean Parkway, and encourage U-turns at the quieter intersection of West Lake Street and Thomas Avenue South.  (Some residents still favor U-turns at this intersection. For example, Steve Goltry, together with 16 other residents who live next to the project at Lake Shore Arms apartments, 3026 West Lake Street, make the U-turn to access their garage. Brickstone also supports continued U-turns at this intersection for its future residents. Calhoun Flats Apartments renters also would benefit from this U-turn.)

Left Turn Lane at Dean: Eliminate the bump-out at the beginning of the left turn lane from West Lake Street to Dean Parkway (see the bump-out in the lower left corner of the photo below).

Left Turn Lane at West Curb Cut: Eliminate and fill the left turn lane onto the western curb cut that will disappear.

Eastern Retaining Wall: A small retaining wall should be constructed on the Project’s east property line to preserve the ash tree, jack pine, and other landscaping on the adjacent property at 3026 West Lake Street.

Trees on Western Property Line: The three mature trees on the southwest corner of the site (the linden, spruce and box elder) should be preserved; in addition, all other trees within 10 feet of the west property line should be preserved, subject to tree survey by Damon Farber.

Art: Art on the site (the “Green Chairs” and the “Hanging Fish”) should be moved to the south side of Excelsior Boulevard on the front lawn of the Executive Center (Stuart Ackerberg, owner of the art and the Executive Center, already has informal plans to move this art before the Project starts).  We favor new art in the wide side yard to the west to replace existing art.

Magic Paks: Louvers on the Magic Paks should be permanently set to point to the side or away from adjacent neighbors pending technical study.

Please contact Bob Corrick, Chair, CIDNA Land Use (corrickcidna@mail.com) with comments.

There will be a public meeting to see Brickstone’s proposal to build an 8-story apartment project on the site of the Ministers Life Building between Lake Point and the Loop Calhoun Condominiums on West Lake Street.  Public comments will be taken. The meeting will be held on Monday, June 5, 6 p.m., at the Jones Harrison Residence, Lake View Room, 3700 Cedar Lake Avenue.  The CIDNA Board of Directors may consider its formal position concerning the project in its regularly scheduled meeting on June 14.

Brickstone has released the following information concerning its proposal:

Draft landscape and lighting plan

Technical specifications for Magic Paks to be used in the project for HVAC

Draft Traffic Study

Draft rendering of the roof top

ALTA survey

Brickstone Partners has submitted a new project design for an 8-story apartment project at 3100 West Lake for informal review by the Minneapolis Planning Department (CPED) and the Planning Commission’s Committee of the Whole (COW) at a meeting that is expected to take place at 4:30pm at City Hall, Room 319, on April 27.  The PDF file submitted to CPED by Brickstone, which contains many photographs, maps, renderings, plans and perspectives, can be downloaded here.  The COW agenda and CPED staff report, when available, will be posted here.  Presented below are renderings of the project selected from the Brickstone submission.

Source: Brickstone Partners PDF submission submitted to CPED April 18,2017, page 14.

 

 

Source: Brickstone Partners PDF submission to CPED dated April 18, 2017, page 9.

Source: Brickstone Partners PDF submission to CPED dated April 18,2017, page 10.

Source: Brickstone Partners PDF submission to CPED dated April 18, 2017, page 16.

Source: Brickstone Partners PDF submission dated April 18, 2017, page 15.

CIDNA Response:  Brickstone invited CIDNA’s Land Use and Development Committee to informally review the project on Thursday, April 13.  Brickstone submitted its proposal to the city on Tuesday, April 18, so CIDNA was unable to formally respond to the proposal.  The Committee met on Monday, April 17 to provide informal and preliminary feedback to Brickstone, CPED, and the Planning Commission.  Many pages in Brickstone’s submission were not shown to the Committee on April 13, so a more complete review of the submission by the Committee will be forthcoming after input from the homeowners associations, the neighborhood, and the community during the coming weeks and months. Brickstone expects to meet with CIDNA and the HOAs in the near future. There follows CIDNA’s preliminary comments about the project:

The design addresses many of the concerns that the Committee has communicated to Brickstone since our first project meeting on October 3, 2016:

  • Height and setback, while not ideal, would reasonably respect the neighbors and the Shoreland.
  • The height precedents of Lakes Residences and Edgewater on Lake Calhoun within the Shoreland Overlay District would be reasonably respected.
  • The project would offer attractive design with glass, materials, articulation and clean contemporary lines.
  • There would be reasonable setback from Lake Street to address the interface with adjacent buildings and work toward a respectful pedestrian environment.
  • The emergency generator would be located away from the neighbors on the northeast ground corner.
  • HVAC would be accomplished with magic packs, which are small individual heating and cooling units on the wall in each apartment, not environmentally ideal, but perhaps modestly quiet for the neighbors under many circumstances.
  • The 8th-floor roof would be clean with no overruns except the elevator, and the swimming pool attractively located on the 7th-floor roof.

Before CIDNA supports the project, or agrees not to oppose it, we must address the following unresolved issues:

  • Traffic and staging during construction: CIDNA is extremely concerned about traffic disruption during construction in this very congested section of Lake Street.
  • Access to the project after completion: The westerly curb cut on this site would be eliminated, creating more complicated traffic patterns and potentially unsafe pedestrian environment. Issues of U turns, improved crosswalks, and other traffic-pedestrian issues should be addressed.
  • Verify any structures that would be located on the roof.
  • Lighting plan as it affects pedestrians and the neighbors in this very tight urban environment.
  • Detailed review of landscape interface with the neighbors.
  • Plan to protect the neighbors from construction damage including a reasonable agreement to compensate neighbors from construction damage. Construction easements may be part of this discussion. (The COW should know that the neighboring Loop Condominiums have borrowed $1.8 million to pay for construction damage caused by the Trammell Crow project. A lawsuit is pending. CIDNA wants to avoid a repeat of this kind of damage.)
  • Reasonable, timely and transparent process for the community to review the project including meetings with the homeowners associations and CIDNA.
  • Approval by the CIDNA Board of Directors.

Given these unresolved issues, CIDNA requests another COW meeting at the appropriate time to review the project. The Committee’s comments are subject to review of all additional documents and submissions by Brickstone (including the developer’s submission for the April 27th COW meeting, which the Committee was not shown before submission.)

CIDNA looks forward to working with Brickstone and the city on this important project in one of our most densely populated areas.

Next Steps:  Brickstone and CIDNA will work with stakeholders during the coming weeks and months to address project improvements, clarifications and unresolved issues.  Follow this website (click the Follow Button) for updates, announcements, and meetings.  Please submit questions and comments to corrickcidna@gmail.com.

We feature selected comments by readers as a blog posts.  The following two comments by Rodge Adams and Cem Erdem help to inform the dialogue about the Brickstone project:

By Rodge Adams:  In recent years, big residential developments near the northwest corner of Lake Calhoun have triggered debates about height, and especially about the impact on the Shoreland Overlay’s goal of avoiding tall buildings that rise above the tree line. As each new project has been proposed, there have been debates about precedence — whether a project fits the pattern of previous developments, or sets a new, higher pattern. And, at what point does the new pattern invalidate the whole point of the Shoreland Overlay? Precedence was raised again by Dan Otis in his quote reported in a previous post in this discussion: “With the previous approvals of 8 stories at 2622 W Lake St, and 6 stories at 3118 W Lake St, there is clearly precedent for both of these height concepts [a 9- or 10- story Brickstone building].”
 
Comparisons based on height in stories can be tricky, since buildings sit on different ground levels and since the height of a story can vary. When considering the impact on the spirit of the Shoreland Overlay, the elevation of the tops of buildings may be a more useful guide: How tall does a building appear to be when viewed by, say, a boater on the lake? How respectful is it of the tree line along the shore? 
 
We have no images of a Brickstone building that has not been built, but Brickstone has said that its 9-story building would be approximately as high as the 14th floor of an existing building, Lake Point. So, a 10-story Brickstone building would be approximately as high as the 15th floor of Lake Point. CIDNA’s web site already has shown a view of the northwest corner of Lake Calhoun from a boater’s point of view, shown below. A black line has been added at the height of Lake Point’s 15th floor, as well as a green box representing the height of a 10-story Brickstone building. This makes comparisons with the new 8-story Lakes building and the tree line possible.

 By Cem Erdem:  During the January 26th Public Hearing, when asked by an audience member about precedence, Brickstone representative responded by saying “Every project is evaluated on its own merit and we don’t believe there is a precedence issue”. Conflicting with their own statement from the Public Hearing, Dan Otis from Brickstone is using two previous city approvals as precedent and pushes to increase the height limit even further in his quote above: “With the previous approvals of 8 stories at 2622 W Lake St, and 6 stories at 3118 W Lake St, there is clearly precedent for both of these height concepts.”

There are 4-5 floor apartment buildings on Dean Parkway. If there is approval for Brickstone building, why would those property owners not think that they can also push for higher buildings? Calhoun Village Shopping Center, the mall where Barnes and Noble and Wallgreen is, would be a prime location for another high rise. If Brickstone’s high rise plans are pushed through the Shoreland Overlay ordinance, other builders will start sharpening their pencils for all the surrounding properties of lakes area that can be built higher.

Brickstone’s proposal doesn’t only impact its immediate surrounding neighbors but if it is approved, it will open gates to many other high rise projects around the lakes that will change the landscape of Minneapolis, the City of Lakes.

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