Motiv Apartments - 2320 Colfax Avenue S

Calhoun-Isles, Cedar-Riverside, Longfellow, Nokomis, Phillips, Powderhorn, and Southwest
Jacobean
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Motiv Apartments - 2320 Colfax Avenue S

Postby Jacobean » October 10th, 2012, 11:02 am

On Lowry Hill East neighborhood's Zoning & Planning committee agenda this evening:
1. Informational Presentation on 2316-2320 Colfax Redevelopment: Collage Architects
Proposed 48-unit, 5-story apartment building; Rear and side-yard setback variances required
This one should raise a NIMBY shit show. I wonder what Meg Tuthill will have to say about the project?? That said, they appear to only need a couple setback variances, which isn't much in the way of land use entitlements.

mnmike
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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby mnmike » October 10th, 2012, 11:13 am

I'd be against that one. It knocks down a few decent solid 100 year old houses...and that block already has 1960s crap apartments on the other side of the street. Surface lots people, surface lots. There are so many.

min-chi-cbus
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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby min-chi-cbus » October 10th, 2012, 11:17 am

I am all for preserving history, but that doesn't mean I'd preserve ANYTHING just because it was historic. I haven't seen these 100 year old houses but unless they are architectural masterpieces or even well kept, they can go if it means brining in something better. Lots of "ifs" though...

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby min-chi-cbus » October 10th, 2012, 11:23 am

It appears there is a surface parking lot at the intersection of Hennepin, Colfax and 22nd (or 23rd) Street(s). This seems to be very close to the area in question, so I agree with mnmike here: use the surface lot first!

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby mnmike » October 10th, 2012, 11:26 am

Ok, I typed a reply, but it didn't go through. Weird. The houses there are nothing special really, but suit the street much better than a 5 story apartment block IMO. This is a quite side street...rowhouses would be okay(chicago type infill that we never seem to see). I am far from a nimby, but I just don't think this is the place for a new 1/2 block apartment building. Sorry, just because someone wants to build a new 5 story apartment building, it doesn't mean they should be able to do it on just any street in the city! I am sure if it is real nice, I will be okay with it, but I still say this is a weird place for it. I'd rather see the new huge 5 story buildings stick to the main arteries.
Last edited by mnmike on October 10th, 2012, 11:32 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby MNdible » October 10th, 2012, 11:30 am

Could be a rough road for this project -- CM Tuthill lives very close to this site.

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Nathan
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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby Nathan » October 10th, 2012, 11:58 am

I live just 2 blocks from here, and walk/drive/bike past it on the daily.

The house on the corner would be worth saving, however I think it may be too far gone. It's all covered in vinyl, has random additions, they are rental homes, and the whole yard is parking. I don't think we would loose much history if we lost them (I know, shock, coming from me, I'll stand in front of almost any dozer). I do however think the houses are a better scale for the block. I'm not sure that 5 stories is the answer here. It's just too much. This is what belongs on like Hen and 27th... 2 or 3 stories max here I'd say. Row houses... something nice and high density residential.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby mnmike » October 10th, 2012, 12:05 pm

Totally agree! What he said.

John
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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby John » October 10th, 2012, 12:30 pm

Unrealistic proposal and inappropriate scale for this site. The generic design will look like every other apartment building going up in Minneapolis. I'm sure it will be sharply criticized at the neighborhood meeting. The developer will be told to come back with a design more sensitive to the character of the neighborhood. In their genius, they will then come back to the neighborhood with a "compromise" of a 4 story copy of the original plan to appease them. :x

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Nathan
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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby Nathan » October 10th, 2012, 12:48 pm

It would be great for something like these...


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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby John » October 10th, 2012, 1:11 pm

Yes, more of a rowhouse type building with separate entrances on the street level. Would work better. But ultimately, the best option for this site would be to renovate the existing old building and leave the neighborhood alone.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby garfield » October 10th, 2012, 10:18 pm

These are actually rooming houses. They are pretty much dumps, even though they've been under a constant stage of construction. The owner has been trying to sell these buildings on craigslist for years.

I think the neighborhood would love to get rid of these, as there have been some pretty shady people that lived there, but I doubt they will go for something so large. Also, isn't there a moratorium on development right there? Or does that end at Dupont?

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby seanrichardryan » October 10th, 2012, 10:35 pm

MNdible wrote:Could be a rough road for this project -- CM Tuthill lives very close to this site.
So do I, I see it everyday from my front door. The current houses are in less than attractive shape, that's for sure, but not beyond saving. I attended tonight's meeting, and the overwhelming consensus of the 40+ people who attended was that 5+ stories is way to big. This property and the remaining block were a contentious issue in the rezoning study several years ago. R6 is too dense for this stretch. The neighborhood has been fighting against the city for 40 years on just this type of issue. There are single family homes on that block that sell for well over 600K.

Also, the houses are both Healy Houses and actually do retain much of their original character, thankfully protected by vinyl siding. And a parking lot can become a garden quite easily, look at my back 40'.

Here is a photo of the house in question-

Image
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

seanrichardryan
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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby seanrichardryan » October 10th, 2012, 10:46 pm

This was once a rooming house in the middle of that block-

http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/r ... 54081.html

Another neighboring property that recently sold-

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2200- ... 0249_zpid/

These are both over-zoned properties in the same R6 swath.
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby John » October 11th, 2012, 12:22 am

It's clear this apartment proposal is the wrong thing to occur on this site, and it tears down yet more of the history and character of The Wedge. With that said , it would behoove the neighborhood association to assist the owners in finding some person ( or persons) who will buy and lovingly restore the original homes. In fact, it would be great if your community developed a plan to help preserve and restore these historic properties when they go up for sale. Maybe that's unrealistic though.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby min-chi-cbus » October 11th, 2012, 7:52 am

seanrichardryan wrote:
MNdible wrote:Could be a rough road for this project -- CM Tuthill lives very close to this site.
So do I, I see it everyday from my front door. The current houses are in less than attractive shape, that's for sure, but not beyond saving. I attended tonight's meeting, and the overwhelming consensus of the 40+ people who attended was that 5+ stories is way to big. This property and the remaining block were a contentious issue in the rezoning study several years ago. R6 is too dense for this stretch. The neighborhood has been fighting against the city for 40 years on just this type of issue. There are single family homes on that block that sell for well over 600K.

Also, the houses are both Healy Houses and actually do retain much of their original character, thankfully protected by vinyl siding. And a parking lot can become a garden quite easily, look at my back 40'.

Here is a photo of the house in question-

Image
I just want to put this question out there to chew on.....I'm not necessarily directing it at you: Where IS an appropriate place to build R6 level density (or 5 story residential infill), if not here? It can't ALL happen on the biggest of the big arterial streets in Minneapolis.

I would think that a neighborhood like this, that already has a variety of housing types and sizes, could afford to take on projects such as these -- so long as we are not tearing down anything with historic significance or anything worth saving, for that matter. I know this is generalizing but I figured the area north of Lake Street was pretty much fair game for urban redevelopments like the one being proposed. But if not, where should these types of developments be concentrated? What is a good general rule of thumb that the city can use to a.) keep developers from building anywhere they want, however they want, but b.) give developers the ability to build what they feel is being demanded SOMEWHERE?

Thoughts?

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Nathan
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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby Nathan » October 11th, 2012, 10:51 am

I think the first solution here would be to restore the houses, I think everyone would agree, if that were possible. BUT if that isn't the case I still think 5 stories is too much here to maintain the residential charm that the neighborhood is known for. Just blocks away are good examples of 3.5 story buildings that are charming and fit the aesthetic. It would be great if they could build 3 buildings connected by underground parking or a 1st floor commons to keep the scale of the houses too. I think that this sort of density is more than appropriate for the neighborhoods off the main corridors (when there are soooo many surface lots to do away with), but no more. (I say as a wedge resident.)


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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby Nick » October 11th, 2012, 11:00 am

Can/should we be zoning for charm?

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Nathan
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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby Nathan » October 11th, 2012, 11:14 am

I do think so. If you don't maintain the neighborhood feel, and charm, it will inevitably lower the property values of the gorgeous houses around them, they get neglected, we loose more history... so on and so on, soon we have a neighborhood full of 5 story 21st century apartment buildings where there was once a well known historic neighborhood. I just don't think it's acceptable when we have a nearly vacant DTE, Eliot Park ripe for redevelopment, and a lot of available lots in other high density neighborhoods like uptown, NE, and Northloop. I don't think there is any point to start plundering the feel of our old hoods until we have to.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby mulad » October 11th, 2012, 11:37 am

Heh, "zoning for charm" sounds a lot like form-based coding to me. (Just since the term drove me nuts when I first heard it, "form-based coding" basically means that there are a lot of regulations describing how buildings should look, how big they can/should be, what the setbacks should be -- defining the general shape of things, and sometimes getting very specific, rather than caring too much about what uses they have.)

While many older neighborhoods have a lot of charm, I do think it's important to still have some development/redevelopment/expansion/repair happening in them. Shiny new and remodeled buildings often induce a "keeping up with the Joneses" effect where other nearby properties get spiffed up in order to compete. That can go overboard too, but it's often bad to have neighborhoods remain totally stagnant. If enough property owners stop caring about keeping things up, an area can go downhill quickly, but you don't want to get people into the mode of tearing things down and replacing them all the time either.


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