CEDAR-ISLES-DEAN NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
LAND USE & DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
JANUARY 6, 2014
AT JONES HARRISON RESIDENCE
RE: TRAMMELL CROW/TRYG’S APARTMENT PROJECT
6 pm: Meeting Convened. We thanked everyone for coming out on a very cold night.
AGENDA: Attendees were invited to see the printed agenda.
ATTENDEES: All attendees introduced themselves.
CIDNA Committee and Board: Craig Westgate, Joan Soranno, Jay Isenberg, Stephen Goltry, John Kim, Ryan Fox, Bob Corrick
Trammel Crow Team: Grady Hamilton, Johnny Carlson, Burt Coffin, Aaron Roseth, Lucas Van Sistine
Community Residents included: Meg Carr, Mike Elson, Kerri Acheson, Steve Acheson, Josh Rissman, Deanne Seppanen, Sherry Smith, Jeffry Peltola, Haydée Peterson, Leela Rew, Russ Palma, Barbara Lunde, Sandra Sandell, Stacia Goodman, John Wessinger, Troy Cusey, Richard Logan, Jane Kennedy, Bart Lisk, Rodgers Adams, Norman DeWitt, Jon Burnside, Nadine Emerson
Press: Michelle Bruch, Southwest Journal, and Marlys Harris, MinnPost
PREFACE: Bob Corrick, Chair, summarized the process:
1) This is an introductory public meeting for the project. Trammel Crow is seeking community input before making a firm proposal. Your input, pro or con, is important.
2) We will discuss this Committee meeting in our Wednesday CIDNA board meeting for about 30 minutes. You are welcome to attend.
3) You may also comment after this meeting and throughout this process by sending me an email, which will be forwarded to our committee and posted on our website cidnalanduse.wordpress.com.
4) Please follow our work on the site, and consult for meetings and approval schedule.
5) CIDNA may consider its position on this project in the February 12, 2014 meeting.
6) The Committee will not take any position regarding this project in tonight’s meeting.
7) CIDNA has some of the highest density in the city. We have supported high-density projects on every site in the neighborhood that has been proposed for development during the past decade including Lander on the Weisman site at 84 feet, the Loop Condominiums at 56 feet, and Ackerberg Village Green at 56 feet, all in the Shoreland Overlay District. Creative solutions are encouraged.
8) The property is zoned for C3A with height a height limit of 5 stories (subject to a height exception above 56-feet with a conditional use permit), so some kind of higher density project will be built on this site eventually.
PRESENTATION BY TRAMMEL CROW TEAM:
Please refer to the following links for slides, perspectives and drawings:
11-Story Tower Perspectives and Drawings:
Comparison of 11-Story and 6-Story Options:
Trammell Crow’s experience and background was presented. The developer is a wholly owned subsidiary of CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate investment company. Trammell Crow built Junction Flats near Target Field. Units will be ready in 2014. Arcarta, 165 units adjacent to the Colonnade Office Tower, also will open in 2014. In Glenview IL they developed Midtown Square with138 apartment units.
The Tryg’s site is 1.89 acres.
The developer seeks to avoid maneuvering and ingress/egress conflicts.
Johnny Calrson presented zoning of C3A. A portion of the site is in the Shoreland Overlay District with maximum height of 35 feet. Maximum height permitted is 56 feet without a conditional use permit. The Floor Area Ratio limit is 2.7. Front rear and side setbacks requirements are 15 feet.
The developer stated that the proposed project would meet most zoning requirements other than height. Parking would be 1.3 stalls per dwelling unit compared with 1/1 requirement. 1.33 includes 30 visitor stalls, but does not include 50 stalls for the restaurant. There would be 177 units. Height of the tower would be 121 feet (129 feet high including mechanical penthouse). 2.2 FAR. Only for first floor, would be five feet away, but well beyond 15 feet above the first floor. 270-foot setback from the Greenway. The existing Tryg’s Restaurant would be replaced with a smaller bar/restaurant. There would be a 15-month construction period.
The audience presented almost an hour of comment about the effect of the project on traffic. Parking was included in this discussion. As background to this discussion, Trammell Crow presented key parking ratios for the project compared with other projects in Uptown.
Development Neighborhood Units Parking Stalls Parking Stalls/Unit
Tryg’s* Uptown 177 236 1.33
Walkway Uptown 92 110 1.20
LIME Uptown 171 203 1.19
Blue Uptown 242 287 1.19
Elan Uptown 625 706 1.13
Flux Uptown 216 225 1.04
Cityview Uptown 158 142 0.90
*excluding retail parking (50 stalls)
CIDNA had requested a traffic study early in the process. Spack Consulting presented its draft study, concluding that the proposed project would have negligible impact on the 40,000 cars a day at the intersection nearby.
Spack stated that City, County and Regional authorities must address solutions for the traffic problems and congestion. Left turns out of this site are not usually done. They are recommending no left turn out but allow left turn in. Left turns would be allowed at Market Plaza. Residential buildings in this area produce half of the traffic that suburban apartment do. Multi-family residences are the calmest use. About 1/3 of cars come from the project would arrive and leave during rush hour.
Attendees commented throughout the presentation. Parking and traffic were a major part of the dialogue during the first hour of the meeting. Audience comments included the following:
Rodge Adams, Lake Point: Suggested that it may be difficult to increase parking stalls because the city requires less parking in the Uptown area, which is served well by buses, bike trails, sidewalks, and nearby retail.
Jeff Peltola, West Calhoun: Inquired about the front yard setback requirement for the front restaurant? The proposal is well beyond the 15 feet. The developer responded that the proposed setback would be 34 feet compared with a requirement of 15 feet.
Stacia Goodman: Stated that during certain times of day, we are held hostage by the traffic in our neighborhood. She asked Trammell Crow to acknowledge that the proposed project is exacerbating the issue. Trammell Crow asserts that traffic is not a relevant factor in seeking the zoning height variance, and their traffic study shows that the project would have no appreciable impact on traffic in the area.
Richard Logan, West Calhoun: The demographic of young professionals is a single bedroom with one car each. There does not seem to be enough parking. Between 4:30 and 5:30 it takes forever to get home through this area. Trammell Crow responded that the density of the proposed project is well below the zoning limit for C3A.
Meg Carr, Loop Condos: Inquired why we should not wait until light rail is completed? Development of this site perhaps should be part of a more comprehensive plan. Why not have a moratorium on development?
Maggie Smith, Loop Condos: Wondered about the validity of the study when there are 70 units active in Loop Calhoun.
Jeff Peltola, West Calhoun: Stated that Mike Spack was one of his students at the University of Minnesota. On a regional level we need to do more. He inquired the status of integrated traffic counts in Minneapolis with new hardware. It was observed that newly installed traffic hardware would improve traffic timing. This system also considers pedestrians and bicycles.
Richard Logan, West Calhoun: Stated that he hangs out at the Caribou Coffee shop. He observed that many of his friends and acquaintances will not face the Market Plaza intersection. It isn’t just this proposed project that is causing the traffic problem; it is a large set of projects that have been developed in the area. This project is part of a bigger picture. In addition, the West Lake LRT Station will be magnet for more cars coming into the neighborhood.
Josh Rissman, Calhoun-Isles Condominiums: Asserted that preservation of views is a factor considered with respect to the conditional use permit for height exceeding 56 feet. Both proposed options interfere with lake views.
Attendees inquired whether parking could be routed behind the shopping center from the Tryg’s site? Trammell Crow responded that they have researched this idea. Owners of Calhoun Village do not want to limit future development options for their property. As a result, traffic from the Tryg’s site cannot be routed through Calhoun Village. In addition, Calhoun Village wants to retain control of its loading dock and rear parking.
Craig Westgate, CIDNA President: Inquired about any conversations with the State and County about the traffic problems? Trammell Crow stated that the County largely defers to the City on its roads in the city, but that periodic discussions are held to seek solutions to the problem. Regional and State funding will be required to solve the problem.
For the 11-story tower option, Trammell Crow presented its ideas about a pocket park on the north side of the property adjacent to the Greenway. Pedestrian connections would be emphasized. The challenge of the pocket park is that the future Greenway streetcar would cut off direct access from the north. Trammell Crow would seek collaboration with Loop Condos, Calhoun Village, and Ackerberg/Village Green Apartments for an east-west trail south of the Greenway. The park could be a destination: community garden or exercise park.
One attendee commented that we are already blessed with many parks. We do not need a pocket park.
Stephen Goltry, CIDNA Board Member: Inquired about who would maintain and manage the park. Trammell Crow stated that, as owners, they would agree to maintain the park. Goltry was concerned about a more precise agreement that would hold the park owner to a level of maintenance that would be acceptable to the community.
Trammell Crow presented the 6-story idea as an alternative to the 11-story tower. The 6-story option would be the same density as the tower. It would be 65 feet high. The developer presented shadow studies of both options. The developer asserted that it would not have the ability to remove soil from the back of the property in the case of the 6-story option.
Rodge Adams, Lake Point: Compared the size Calhoun Beach Club Apartments to the 11-story tower. He wondered whether a taller, narrow, and more elegant tower would be preferable to the long 11-story option presented by Trammell Crow. He also inquired whether the project could be higher on Lake Street and lower on the north side.
Josh Rissman, Calhoun-Isles Condominiums: Observed that the density may be too much for the site even though the proposed floor area may be permitted by the zoning code.
Stephen Goltry, CIDNA Board: Inquired whether the Truelson family desires to leave an architectural legacy? Aaron Roseth from ESG responded that there is no doubt that Nora and Tryg would like to see fine architectural design on their property.
Jeff Peltola, West Calhoun: Minneapolis seeks a higher population to improve urban vitality and strengthen its tax base. Airy height seems better for this property.
Jane Kennedy, Loop Condos: Favored the 11-story tower and green space and flowers of the pocket park.
Russ Palma, Calhoun-Isles Condos: State that the 11-story option would be a higher quality building. The existing ugly pile of leaves behind Tryg’s has not been a thing of joy and beauty.
Nadine Emerson, Loop Condos: Stated that an 11-story building would pretty much take away the sky for about 40 units of the Loop Condos. A pocket park would be no compensation for the loss of the sky.
In an email prior to the meeting, Grady Hamilton summarized Trammell Crow’s position: “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.”