In Minneapolis, rentals are hot – so hot that an estimated 850 units are planned to come online within the next year or so, and that’s just in the North Loop. Residents of the North Loop are enthused that the vision for the Twinsville neighborhood is finally taking shape, and it’s only the beginning. Some North Loopers hope that the surge in housing and retail growth will help spark interest in building a new Vikings stadium in the lower North Loop on the current farmer’s market site.
“People who live in the North Loop are self-selected Pioneers,” states David Frank, President of the North Loop Neighborhood Association. “If you’re someone who has selected to live in an urban environment with loading docks and industrial buildings, you want things to happen and are comfortable with change. It’s a lot less clear what will happen with development in the neighborhood than if you live in a single family home in South Minneapolis. My family and I are proud that we have chosen to live in the North Loop and to invest in making our neighborhood better.”
Frank explains that overall, the North Loop neighborhood has been supportive of new housing developments, especially proposed plans that contribute to establishing the North Loop as a pedestrian-friendly urban environment. However, more affordable housing options continue to be an important objective and developers so far have not been stepping up to the plate. Frank fears that if not enough affordable housing is built initially, the North Loop will become “a gated community” privy only to middle to high income earners.
Currently proposed developments include Ryan Companies’ 7-story, mixed use, 280-unit apartment building at the former Jaguar dealership site at 222 Hennepin Avenue. Rumor has it that Whole Foods will anchor the project. On Washington Avenue adjacent to Union Plaza, Hines Interests is pitching a three-phase development on the six acre site that will eventually incorporate several types of housing, retail, and offices. The project will be launched with a 185-unit high-end apartment building called Dock Street Apartments.