Selected feedback about this project (please see Feedback for more comments): From Trammell Crow Co.: We believe the 11-story project best respects all stakeholders, respecting that some believe this isn’t the case. Neither scheme, 6-story or 11-story, requires a variance to address density, unit count, traffic management, or parking. We are proposing this project as a PUD to the C3A zoning in place, which allows a height position to be taken by the City of Minneapolis so long as it meets the requirements associated with this position. We believe that our 11-story project best meets the objectives of light, air, green space, and impacts on the Midtown Greenway. We respect and understand that not all of you agree and appreciate that your opinions have been or perhaps will be expressed as such. We simply want the CIDNA Land Use and Development Committee to possess as much feedback as exists, whether opposed or in support of the proposed 11-story project, as they take our design into consideration. Grady Hamilton, Principal, Trammell Crow Co. 1/6/14
From Committee Meeting:
–Jeffrey Peltola, West Calhoun Resident, introduced the idea of a taller building and narrower building. A taller structure would allow for the same number of apartments but be less bulky and less likely to block views. “It might produce an airy density, not a blocky density.”
–Jane Kennedy, a Loop resident, stated “We knew this land would be developed.” She provided testimony that she thought the 11-story version with the park would be acceptable and would enhance the value of her property. She lives on the south in west side of the Loop opposite the proposed tower.
–Russ Palma, a Loop resident, stated that the tower would be an improvement on the “pile of dirt and leaves” now behind Tryg’s restaurant.
–Rodge Adams, a Lake Point resident, also observed that a narrower tower taller than 11 stories might be more attractive for the neighborhood.
From Nadine Emerson: My apologies for the somewhat chaotic nature of my exchange with you after Monday’s meeting; aside from having a ride waiting, I was recovering from an illness at the time. It has taken a little time for us (an informal subgroup of people who live at Loop) to metabolize our reactions to the meeting. Speaking for myself, I appreciate the time and work that has gone into these proposals and the meeting itself. We were invited to offer feedback; however, we were left with the impression that the only feedback that would be taken seriously was that which fell within the confines of two options, a high-rise tower or a 6-story “wall” of apartments. We found this disappointing and disturbing, as both options appear oversized for the location, lot size, traffic situation, neighborhood and (a tower) the West Calhoun skyline. Thank you for the opportunity to communicate with you on this matter. Nadine Emerson
From Richard Logan:
Thank you Bob for organizing and Ryan for commenting:
A few additional comments:1. Urban density is essential for the city tax base as well as inevitable. Yes.2. If one lives south of Lake St.– i.e., in West Calhoun – we already have more density than infrastructure can support! Just look at traffic density and jams, daunting/dangerous intersections for walkers/bikers, rescue units trapped in place by Excelsior traffic, etc., and fire trucks hampered by jams on Market plaza. Plus, the 186-unit (= 300 plus residents = 200+ more cars) Bigos “Be” is only now beginning to fill. It has 199 on-site parking spaces. It will soon spill a lot more traffic onto the clogged Excelsior-Lake corridor via the already-deadly W. 32d St. intersection. It will also add to clogged street parking. Additionally, it has been proposed via Transit Oriented Development to put a residential and commercial complex right behind Whole Foods and next to the proposed West Lake Station. If that happens, it will create even more traffic spilling on and off Lake St.-Excelsior. Add the Trammel-Crow project to this plus the Weinstein project further toward Uptown and you have a far worse traffic safety situation. 3. Bear in mind too that Hennepin County (statement by Commissioner Jim Grube at West Calhoun Walkability Workshop, 2012) has no plans to upgrade the Lake St. – Excelsior corridor in the next five (ten?) years.4. Consider too the future West Lake Station: Yes, it may eventually reduce some traffic on Lake -Excelsior if LRT use outstrips population growth and vehicle use, But, It will be a magnet for still more vehicle traffic into the neighborhood as both cars and buses drive in and out from and to Excelsior via Abbott to the station.Clearly our traffic situation can become wildly worse than a situation that is arguably unsustainable already for safety and quality of life.So, I suggest this:: No more major development projects in CIDNA and West Calhoun along the Lake.St. – Excelsior corridor until infrastructure to make this sustainable is in place. By this I mean: a) Light Rail in place (or other sensible transit) and b) Dangerous Traffic density on Lake-Excelsior significantly reduced, via upgrades or rerouting of vehicles, or however.If the City and County want greater density for a bigger tax base, then pay it forward — invest — first of all in the infrastructure to make it work; don’t allow huge developments in a crowded area where existing travel infrastructure will not support it! Allowing large developments now only contributes to an unsustainable situation. (I appreciate very much other residents who said much the same as this at the Monday CIDNA Land-Use meeting on the Tryg’s project.)I propose the statement in underlined bold above as a resolution for CIDNA and West Calhoun. Let me clarify a little more: We have one of the most appealing assets in the entire Twin Cities, Lake Calhoun. We residents want to enjoy it as an easy and comfortable walk or bike ride, and we want visiting walkers and bikers to reach it without stress from the Greenway and eventually LRT and Trolley. This involves crossing Lake and/or Excelsior. How unpleasant and dangerous could this sojourn become?? What happens to quality of life if residents are hostages in their homes because of traffic (thanks Stacia), and if moving around by foot or bike for residents and visitors is at best unpleasant and at worst dangerous?Let’s hold off and develop ways to plan our way through all of this. Greater urban density has to be built on an adequate infrastructure foundation, not the other way around. Especially in crowded areas like West Calhoun, improved infrastructure has to come first. We aren’t even sure that Light Rail is an absolutely done deal.Richard Logan, West Calhoun Resident
From Ross Bauerly:
Bob – Thanks for your continued efforts and communications surrounding the proposed Trygs development.
I don’t believe either of these proposals would be the right fit for this space. I agree with a lot of the comments being discussed and precedence to changing zoning rules is a very key point. One of the main reasons I didn’t choose to live in the Calhoun Square part of uptown was neighborhood density. The Dean parkway area has a small neighborhood feel. If you look at what changing the zoning rules did in the Calhoun square area (ie. the Bar Louie Parking Ramp/Office height) it totally changed the feel and look of the area. If we ignore height restrictions, reasonable space between buildings and traffic; the Dean Parkway area will morph into an extension of the other side of Lake Calhoun. I think one of the main goals of your organization is to preserve the neighborhood as a separate area than Uptown.
Obviously the developers need to jam as many units into a small space as possible to make the economics work, but the two designs presented thus far do not benefit the neighborhood enough to off-set the potential long term costs of ignoring zoning rules.
To propose an alternative in the meantime, maybe the city could give the owners of Trygs some sort of Tax Credit for setting aside/creating green space where the empty space is by the greenway. This would buy time for other new build-up by the Beachclub and the Ellipse2 to lease up as well as give time to see where the light rail and other transportation initiatives pan out.
Thanks again for your time and I’d like to reiterate that the two proposals are not the right fit for the space.
From Ryan Fox:
I may send multiple comments as they come to me rather than a consolidated list. Apologies in advance. As always, thanks for your efforts on land use within our neighborhood, Ryan Parking:
- Autos (Restaurant) – The informal sidewalk, behind cars within the driveway, does not my personal safety standards
- Bicycle (Restaurant) – External bicycle parking for the restaurant only calls for three (3) spaces. Given the proximity to the trails, (proposed) rails and recreational assets, I feel this should be greatly expanded (perhaps 12 spaces) to support TOD.
- Deliveries (Restaurant) – The restaurant will require food service delivery trucks (including semi-truck) to offload. My understanding is that the building lacks a loading dock, therefore the truck(s) will block one lane in/out of the property, multiple restaurant parking spaces and perhaps the residential garage entrance.
- Deliveries (Restaurant) – The restaurant will require (likely daily) semi-truck deliveries. I do not feel the driveway corridor accommodates the ability of the vehicle to complete a U-turn on the property to exit back to Lake St. This would force deliveries from truck to curb while blocking a lane of Lake St. Alternatively, deliveries completed within the corridor, then backing out onto Lake St.
- The parkland at the rear, while nice, creates a Greenway setback issue
- I feel commercial and residential structures should open onto the Greenway
- Loop Calhoun does this today
Broadly (beyond the TC parcel):
- I support City’s goal to increase the tax base, primarily through population growth (new construction residential)
- I support proposed transportation infrastructure projects near this parcel (SWLRT & Streetcars)
- I support existing transportation infrastrucutre (Bus, Midtown Greenway, Kenilworth, informal cow paths)
- I envision a well designed, mixed use, Lake St and Greenway facing commercial, higher density residential development combined on both the Pfaff and TC parcels
- I understand this is not proposed at this time
- I understand the two property owners and their decisions are exclusive and not dependent on one another
- This vision includes multiple residential towers that exceed the current overlays, but maintain an airy feel due to their placement throughout the large surface area.
- I feel the TC parcel presents long-term development challenges due to its long/narrow shape and limited in/egress
- I feel the TC parcel, as proposed (11-story tower), does not make the best long-term use of the land
- Too much mass, not airy enough
- Too much mass, too close to existing residential (Loop Calhoun)
Ryan Fox, CIDNA Board Member 1/10/14 I live in the Cal-Isle Condos and I feel that allowing either the 6 story or 11 story designs presented by Trammell Crow would set an unfavorable precedent to the area. Thank you, Marcia Palma