Mixed-use apartment project gets Edina, DEED support

Developer Ted Carlson plans to build this 46-unit, mixed-use building at 4500 France Ave. in Edina. The project advanced Tuesday with a vote by the City Council and a redevelopment grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. (Submitted image: ESG)

Edina developer Ted Carlson’s mixed-use apartment proposal took two big steps forward Tuesday.

Through his company Orion Investments, Carlson plans to redevelop 4500 France Ave., into 46 mixed-income apartments and 6,500 square feet of commercial space.

The project site, formerly a movie theater and dry cleaner, has significant complications, including asbestos and other contamination. Those obstacles are simpler to overcome now after the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced Tuesday it is granting $335,000 to Edina for abatement, demolition and infrastructure.

The project also is getting traction with the city, as the City Council voted later Tuesday to approve the project’s development plan and rezoning request.

“We’d taken the time to understand the small area plan, had a lot of good dialogue and feedback with the neighborhood, and I think the time and collaboration that went into it is what produced a 5-0 vote in favor of our project,” Carlson said in an interview Wednesday.

The project will cost between and $25 million and $30 million and will include three affordable units. Carlson intends to start site work this year and begin construction in earnest in the spring. Bloomington-based Stevens Construction is the contractor, and the architect is Minneapolis-based ESG.

Key to that timeline is the funding DEED announced Tuesday, which will be matched by the city through tax increment financing, Carlson said. The project is one of eight to receive grants or loans through the agency’s Redevelopment Grant Program. The total approved in this funding round is $2.16 million.

“Redevelopment grants and loans are a good taxpayer investment, with the latest round of projects attracting $151.8 million in private money,” DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy said in a statement.

The largest grant announced Tuesday was for $812,614 to the city of Minneapolis for the Rand Hotel redevelopment. Chicago-based Maven Real Estate Partners plans to redevelop the 26-story tower at 527 Marquette Ave. S. into a “4- to 4.5-star” hotel. A second Minneapolis project, the Malcolm Yards Market food hall redevelopment, received a grant of $225,000.

Other grants announced Tuesday include $250,000 for Northern Stacks VIII in Fridley, an industrial park expansion by Minneapolis-based Hyde Development and Golden Valley-based M.A. Mortenson Co.; and smaller grants for projects in Winona, Mankato and Battle Lake. An eighth project, a warehouse demolition in the city of Braham, received a $125,723 loan.

The Redevelopment Grant Program has two funding rounds per year, with priority given to projects in need of contamination remediation, advancing environmental sustainability and accounting for affordable housing and transportation. The program has generated nearly 27,800 jobs since it was created 20 years ago, according to DEED, and the latest funding round is expected to add 1,822 to that total.

Source Article