Motiv Apartments - 2320 Colfax Avenue S

Calhoun-Isles, Cedar-Riverside, Longfellow, Nokomis, Phillips, Powderhorn, and Southwest
David Greene
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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby David Greene » June 9th, 2014, 1:45 pm

Tcmetro wrote:No more underground parking:

http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/www/gro ... 126274.pdf
I think that's been true for a while now.

uptowner
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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby uptowner » June 9th, 2014, 7:57 pm

Great news. The Court denied the motion for injunction. Mr. Crow provided me with the order which I posted for anybody who wants to read it.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/228902337/Ord ... Injunction

The Court specifically found that the building is not a historic resource under the statute and that the plaintiffs are unlikely to succeed on the merits of the case. This order doesn't resolve the entire case, but based on the order they might want to think twice about proceeding any further.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby FISHMANPET » June 9th, 2014, 9:07 pm

That was a great read, a legal bitch slap if I ever saw one.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby VAStationDude » July 29th, 2014, 4:25 pm

cped denied residents push for Wedge down zoning http://www.southwestjournal.com/news/ne ... h-rebuffed

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 29th, 2014, 7:42 pm

Prince said properties on his block, where he’s lived since the 1980s, are essentially “zoned for teardown.” The zoning sends a message: this land is meant for apartment buildings.

“When a property is a duplex or a triplex and its zoned R6, the city is telling that owner that it is a poor economic decision to invest in that structure,” Prince said.
... I'm just really not sure this represents reality, and wondering if anyone at board meetings/otherwise challenges this assumption. It mostly works in reverse: lower intensity zoning basically says that areas in high demand will see properties that under-utilize their land skyrocket in value, making it possible for owners (owner-occupied and landlords alike) to do one of two things: 1) make investments that meet high-end buyers' tastes and still get a huge ROI, or 2) not make any investment and still make huge profits because someone with enough money will buy it anyway and renovate it themselves. The market is what tells people when to/not to invest in their properties.

Side note, did the development from the 50-70s really increase the net person density of those parcels? Seems like most of the time they reconfigured space and added parking (maybe a few more modern amenities/layouts) but the people/acre and households/acre remained close, right?

Either way, I'm glad the city made this move. I would think the work done already identifying all sorts of critical properties would be enough to give preservationists ammo in fighting demolition on a case-by-case basis. Downzoning the (arguably) fifth most desirable neighborhood in the city (behind North Loop, St Anthony, Mill District, and the CBD) is a terrible idea.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby David Greene » July 29th, 2014, 8:11 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:Side note, did the development from the 50-70s really increase the net person density of those parcels?
In many places, yes. Hence all those ugly walk-ups.
RailBaronYarr wrote:Either way, I'm glad the city made this move. I would think the work done already identifying all sorts of critical properties would be enough to give preservationists ammo in fighting demolition on a case-by-case basis. Downzoning the (arguably) fifth most desirable neighborhood in the city (behind North Loop, St Anthony, Mill District, and the CBD) is a terrible idea.
I'm all for more density in the Wedge but I'm also for preserving single-family homes, duplexes and so on. I have absolutely no issue redeveoping old apartment buildings in the core or building anything as tall as you want on the edges (roughtly one block in from Hennepin & Lyndale and anywhere south of 28th). I would have no problem downzoning the core but allowing exceptions on a case-by-case basis, and being fairly lenient when it comes to that. There certainly are homes in the inner Wedge that we can do without. What I and many neighbors object to is development without any chance for a conversation with the neighborhood. That's basically what the current overzoning allows. The only reason we had conversations about the two recent developments is because they wanted variances.

There are some particularly striking homes north of 24th street. I don't want to lose those.

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Nathan
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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby Nathan » July 29th, 2014, 8:19 pm

David Greene wrote:
RailBaronYarr wrote:Side note, did the development from the 50-70s really increase the net person density of those parcels?
In many places, yes. Hence all those ugly walk-ups.
But say a 2.5 story apartment building and a parking lot replaced 4 single family homes... and there were like 6-10 (hey they had a lot of kids...) people living in each SFH thats 30 - 40 people living in the same area that 30 one bedroom apartments is filling in the mid century buildings. The density probably didn't change too much, especially since the single family homes often became du/tri plexus

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby David Greene » July 29th, 2014, 8:28 pm

Nathan wrote:
David Greene wrote:
RailBaronYarr wrote:Side note, did the development from the 50-70s really increase the net person density of those parcels?
In many places, yes. Hence all those ugly walk-ups.
But say a 2.5 story apartment building and a parking lot replaced 4 single family homes... and there were like 6-10 (hey they had a lot of kids...) people living in each SFH thats 30 - 40 people living in the same area that 30 one bedroom apartments is filling in the mid century buildings. The density probably didn't change too much, especially since the single family homes often became du/tri plexus
Hmm. If family sizes had remained the same, would the density be higher? Seems like not quite an apples-to-apples comaprison. By number of units, density certainly increased. But I do get your point. It would be interesting to see actual numbers.

Some conversions to duplexes/triplexes probably happend long before the 50's. During the depression lots of people rented out rooms to others. I have the census records for my address to prove it. That's not quite the same thing as a conversion but it does show pressure to increase density even back then. This is one of the reasons I think ADUs are a great idea. It lets us increase density more gradually.

There are some properties in the Wedge (mostly conversions) that just went horribly wrong. Additions that are completely out of character, hodge-podge balconies and rooftop protrusions and the like. I certainly wouldn't mind if those properties went away.

I'd like to see more single- or double-lot small apartment buildings like we used to build from the '20's-'40's. I understand the economics push for larger buildings but if we relaxed some zoning (no parking minimums, for example) maybe it would make more projects like that viable. If the Wedge is super-popular, any new construction should be able to charge high rents.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby ECtransplant » July 29th, 2014, 8:42 pm

I wonder how receptive LHENA would be to the idea of downzoning with removal of all parking minimus. I suspect not very.

David Greene
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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby David Greene » July 29th, 2014, 8:44 pm

ECtransplant wrote:I wonder how receptive LHENA would be to the idea of downzoning with removal of all parking minimus. I suspect not very.
Again, don't confuse LHENA with residents. Some new members of LHENA unfortunately are very anti-development but most of the board is very reasonable.

My guess is that people would generally be wary of reducing parking minimums but my experience with most of the board is that they're willing to listen.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 29th, 2014, 8:56 pm

David Greene wrote:In many places, yes. Hence all those ugly walk-ups.
As stated by others, the net resulting density probably remained the same, even just looking at those parcels. As you note, most of the structures were already split up (or even built as multi-family pre-1950: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0PJpH2E3-yg/U ... zoning.png quite a few SFR looking structures with light blue circles in that map). So I doubt household size dropping had much of an impact when talking about just the parcels that saw tear-downs and 2.5-3.5 story walkups in the 50s/60s.
David Greene wrote:There are some particularly striking homes north of 24th street. I don't want to lose those.
I don't doubt that (well, I fully agree; I spend a fair amount of time in the Wedge). And I could probably be convinced to save maybe 1/2 of the ones you'd describe as striking in the Wedge. I just have the knee-jerk reaction to the knee-jerk reaction wanting to downzone basically an entire neighborhood. Face it, most of the people (not all) behind that push simply don't like more people, more traffic, more renters, reasons I simply can't get behind (especially when trying to broad-brush downzone an entire area instead of a more nuanced approach).

Also, there are lots of striking structures in San Francisco. Given current SFR house prices in the Wedge, is something similar that out of the question in the next 20-30 years here (and we don't have their weather, ocean, or tech jobs!)?

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby David Greene » July 29th, 2014, 9:10 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:
David Greene wrote:In many places, yes. Hence all those ugly walk-ups.
As stated by others, the net resulting density probably remained the same, even just looking at those parcels. As you note, most of the structures were already split up (or even built as multi-family pre-1950: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0PJpH2E3-yg/U ... zoning.png quite a few SFR looking structures with light blue circles in that map). So I doubt household size dropping had much of an impact when talking about just the parcels that saw tear-downs and 2.5-3.5 story walkups in the 50s/60s.
I can certainly buy that.

Good map. I've always been curious about that strip on Dupont. Also, note how a disproportionate number of post-1950 structures are north of 24th St. That's what people are worried about. That's the context people have. If development is going to happen that's where it'll happen because I'm guessing developers don't want to fight R2B zoning.
RailBaronYarr wrote:
David Greene wrote:There are some particularly striking homes north of 24th street. I don't want to lose those.
I don't doubt that (well, I fully agree; I spend a fair amount of time in the Wedge). And I could probably be convinced to save maybe 1/2 of the ones you'd describe as striking in the Wedge. I just have the knee-jerk reaction to the knee-jerk reaction wanting to downzone basically an entire neighborhood. Face it, most of the people (not all) behind that push simply don't like more people, more traffic, more renters, reasons I simply can't get behind (especially when trying to broad-brush downzone an entire area instead of a more nuanced approach).
I can appreciate that but you're painting with a very broad brush when you say most residents who want the zoning change don't want more people. I know the people who don't want more people and they'll never be convinced. However, most of the people I talk to just want to continue to have beautiful homes in the Wedge. And some not-so-beautiful ones so there's some price diversity. In that regard the southern Wedge being R2B is a good thing. I have no problem granting exemptions there for building larger.
RailBaronYarr wrote:Also, there are lots of striking structures in San Francisco. Given current SFR house prices in the Wedge, is something similar that out of the question in the next 20-30 years here (and we don't have their weather, ocean, or tech jobs!)?
Are you asking whether we'll see San Francisco prices here? It's certainly possible, maybe even probable. The Wedge isn't the only or even the first place that'll happen.

There's a tension between maintaining a SFH stock and increasing population and diversity. There's quite a bit of affordable housing the Wedge. Do we need more? Probably, yeah, but that's true almost everywhere.

Things we can do to improve density, diversity and affordability (at least long term, by increasing supply):

- ADUs
- Fully develop low-density parcels south of 28th - put 40-story towers there, I don't care!
- More density along Hennepin and Lyndale - LOTS more
- Case-by-case redevelopment in the inner Wedge (2316-2320 Colfax is a great example)

If we allow those things to happen it's going to be a very long time indeed before we need to worry about mass redevelopment of the inner Wedge.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby twincitizen » July 29th, 2014, 9:58 pm

VAStationDude wrote:cped denied residents push for Wedge down zoning http://www.southwestjournal.com/news/ne ... h-rebuffed
I actually found the last few paragraphs the most interesting. Reality is probably somewhere between the opinion of the city planner and the resident. Properties will turn over & redevelop over time. Rapid, wholesale development of areas zoned R6 isn't going to happen.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby David Greene » July 29th, 2014, 10:52 pm

twincitizen wrote:
VAStationDude wrote:cped denied residents push for Wedge down zoning http://www.southwestjournal.com/news/ne ... h-rebuffed
I actually found the last few paragraphs the most interesting. Reality is probably somewhere between the opinion of the city planner and the resident. Properties will turn over & redevelop over time. Rapid, wholesale development of areas zoned R6 isn't going to happen.
I agree, but it's a bit silly for the planner to say nothing's changed in 40 years so it won't change in the future when there are two high-profile developments north of 24th right now.

It just makes the planning department look incompetent or devious.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby twincitizen » July 30th, 2014, 6:55 am

Two high profile developments?

I only know of 2320 Colfax.

Frank-Lyn is replacing commercial property currently zoned C1 and C2. The same Wedge residents may be complaining about it, but it has nearly nothing in common with what they are worried about (the demolition of homes and R6 zoning), other than the fact that it is development.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby FISHMANPET » July 30th, 2014, 9:53 am

I still don't see the virtue of protecting Single Family Homes in a desirable neighborhood like this where there's far more demand for housing.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby David Greene » July 30th, 2014, 10:42 am

FISHMANPET wrote:I still don't see the virtue of protecting Single Family Homes in a desirable neighborhood like this where there's far more demand for housing.
Housing is being built and there's plenty of space available for more housing before we start tearing down homes in the inner Wedge. Not to mention all of the available parcels outside the Wedge. There's way more space available in Uptown than people realize.

The value of the homes is aesthetic and preserving a sense of history and place. That's subjective of course but I prefer subjective over the cold, hard numbers of Robert Moses.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby FISHMANPET » July 30th, 2014, 10:46 am

Thankfully all land in the Wedge is controlled by a single entity so when a developer is next in line they can get handed an empty plot rather than something that already has a building on it.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby David Greene » July 30th, 2014, 10:52 am

Oh come on with the snark.

Hypothetically, if the entire inner Wedge were zoned R2B there would still be plenty of opportunities for development. We wouldn't be closing the market to anyone.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 31st, 2014, 10:52 am

David Greene wrote:The value of the homes is aesthetic and preserving a sense of history and place. That's subjective of course but I prefer subjective over the cold, hard numbers of Robert Moses.
You lost me. You're comparing lot by lot re-development by a variety of market-based developers (where what we've been seeing interacts with the sidewalk in a highly urban fashion and at least maintains, if not improves, sense of place) to the vast destruction of neighborhoods by a single, centralized entity who had the power of eminent domain and public financing at his disposal? Come on.


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