My thoughts on mixed use projects in the park system

Good morning everyone. I wanted to start a new thread to share some of my thoughts on the potential for mixed use projects that I discussed at the last Park Board meeting.

First let's clear up a few things. The Park Board does not have any funds available for affordable housing and I am not proposing to divert any toward that. But we could potentially partner with entities that do have such funds, such as the City, County, or nonprofit organizations, to create mixed use spaces where the park facilities would be on the first floor of a building with other uses above that. The Park Board would not need to own the upper floors. We could simply "condo-ize" a building. This is something Vancouver, Canada has done--they put housing above rec centers, which helps cover the costs of building those facilities. Closer to home, Carver County has multiple government buildings with housing above them. The library in Waconia for example has senior housing above it. My view is that when there's a location close to high quality public transit, it's wasteful to build just a one-story building. The most expensive parts of a building are the foundation and the roof. It doesn't cost much to add a second or third floor once you've already committed to the first. I am extremely dedicated to preserving and expanding our green space. I view that as a solemn responsibility. It is only when a land use has already been forfeit to a structure or parking lot that I believe we should take a closer look at how we might be able to make better use of the space.

Read entire post HERE.

"My thoughts on mixed use projects in the park system"; by Chris Meyer; Minneapolis Issues Forum; June 26, 2019

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