Developers present proposals for Dale Street Fire Station


The Roseville HRA heard proposals from three developers seeking to purchase and develop the three-acre Dale Street Fire Station site. (submitted photo)

Joshua Nielsen
Review staff

Three developers interested in purchasing and developing land at the site of the old Dale Street Fire Station outlined their proposals to the Roseville Housing and Redevelopment Authority Oct. 15.

Representatives from the Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation, Sand Development LLC and CommonBond Communities met separately with the RHRA board to present each proposal for the three-acre parcel.

The land slated for development is located on the west side of Dale Street, just north of Highway 36, between Lovell and Cope Avenues. The city owns the one-acre site where the old fire station is awaiting demolition. The RHRA previously purchased five lots on two acres of land to the south and west of the station and cleared them.

The three companies interested in developing the prime real estate had had very different proposals.

Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation

GMHC is proposing to build 29 owner-occupied, single-family environmentally-sustainable homes on the site.

The proposal includes:

• 12 two-story, 2,400-square-foot single-family homes set in a courtyard style configuration, each with four bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and a two-car detached garage.

• Eight single-level, accessible senior homes with a choice of styles: two-bedroom/two-bath 1,600-square-foot unit with an attached two-car garage or a two-bedroom/one-bath 1,000-square-foot unit with an attached single-car garage.

• Nine 2,100-square-foot townhomes, each with four bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and a two-car tuck-under garage.

According to GMHC’s proposal, all 29 units would have a porch, patio, and/or balcony. The neighborhood design would feature shared courtyards and sidewalks, as well as a rain garden to capture storm water runoff and to create a buffer between existing homes.

All homes would follow Minnesota 2011 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria and would be sold at market rate, which according to GMHC estimates would range from $225,000 for smaller units to $295,000 for the largest models.

“We’re putting up quality mid-ranged homes here,” GMHC Director of Construction Bill Buelow told the RHRA. “I’m sure they would surpass some of the more expensive homes… we think a lot of people could get excited about this.”

GMHC is seeking to purchase the land for development for $1.

Sand Development, LLC and Habitat for Humanity

The second proposal heard by the RHRA was from Sand Development, LLC and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, who want to partner to build on the site.

Under their proposal, Sand Development would build an apartment building along Dale Street, and Habitat would construct five homes along Cope and Lovell Avenues.

In the proposal:

• the three-story apartment building would have 48 one-, two- and three-bedroom units, underground parking and a flat roof to help minimize the visual impact of the building’s height. Units would be expected to rent from $1,195 to $1,447 per month.

• the five single-family homes would feature three- or four-bedroom/two-bathroom layouts ranging from 1,500 to 1,700 square feet. Each home would have a two-car garage and would be valued at around $225,000.

The single-family homes would be sold at the market rate; however, there would be a cap placed on the amount of income an applicant family could make. To qualify, an applicant family would have to earn between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income.

Habitat’s Land Acquisition Manager Mike Nelson said the upper income limit for a family of four would be around $50,000 per year.

Affordability would be ensured with a zero percent first mortgage and forgivable-after-30-years second mortgage.

Both companies indicate in the proposal they would utilize local, sustainable materials for construction. Nelson said all homes would be built to be “ very energy efficient so utility bills would be low.”

The developers would also be seeking Minnesota Green Community Certification for the entire project.

The site would feature water-efficient landscaping and a detention pond to help filter storm water runoff.

Sand Development is offering $1 for the site and is requesting $500,000 in tax-increment financing to cover the costs of demolition, environmental reviews and site work.

CommonBond Communities

The third proposal the RHRA heard for redevelopment of the property was from CommonBond Communities, which proposes an all-rental development. The company’s site plan includes:

• a three-story, 64-unit apartment building with an underground parking garage and a vertical greenhouse, which would allow residents to garden year-round

• nine rental townhomes with a surface parking lot with walking paths to homes

• amenities to serve both groups of residents including a center courtyard with benches and green space, walking paths throughout the site, an activity zone for children and a “pocket park” with additional green space and landscaping.

CommonBond pledged in its proposal to be committed to environmentally-friendly housing and to adhere to Green Communities development criteria if chosen to build on the site.

CommonBond Housing Development Associate Justin Eilers told the RHRA the goal is to provide affordable housing, so there would be income eligibility requirements.

“This housing limits how much you can make. The rents we charge are slightly less than the norm.”

According to the proposal, rental rates would range from $775 to $1,075 a month, depending on the size of the unit and the funding sources secured during the development process.

CommonBond’s offer for the land is $100,000.

Timeline

The RHRA met with Roseville’s City Council Monday, Oct. 21 to outline the proposals. The RHRA and city council will have another joint meeting scheduled Tuesday,  Nov. 19 at 6 p.m., where the RHRA may recommend a proposal to the council.

“We hope to be in a position to select a firm in November,” RHRA Chair Dean Maschka said. “We’ll have to go over some details and see what the outcome is from Monday’s meeting. Before we select a company, there are some fairly complicated numbers to go over.”

Because the fire-station portion of the Dale Street property is owned by the city, the council must vote on the RHRA’s recommendation of a developer.

“They are all pretty good proposals,” Maschka said. “Our decision will ultimately come down to what fits in the best with the neighborhood.”

Ideally, Maschka said the RHRA would like to see ground broken at the site this spring.

Joshua Nielsen can be reached at jnielsen@lillienews.com or 651-748-7824.
 

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