The St. Paul City Council recently asked the Metropolitan Council for a $1.25 million grant to help fund a new 226-unit, six-story apartment complex on vacant land at Lexington Parkway and University Avenue.
Some neighborhood advocates — seeing the project as a step toward gentrification — are livid.
A 36-page concept design unveiled by Minneapolis-based Alatus envisions efficiency units priced at roughly $1,000 a month. One-bedrooms would lease for $1,400. Two-bedrooms would be $2,050. Four-bedrooms would start at $850 — per bed.
“This project triples the market rent for the area, thereby ensuring increased displacement of the present community adjacent to this luxury apartment complex,” said Frogtown Neighborhood Association co-directors Caty Royce and Tia Williams, as well as board chair Tong Thao, in a Nov. 11 letter to the city council. “This application is by no means ready for submission. Please retract it.”
The $57 million project — to be privately funded other than the potential Met Council money — would include a dozen units that qualify as “affordable” relative to median rents across the metro.
Chris Osmundson, director of development for Alatus, said the company is restricted from making more affordable housing units available because the city program that offers tax credit for low-income housing to renting developments is not available. Applications for 2020 closed in July.
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"St. Paul’s Frogtown advocates criticize Lexington Parkway proposed apartment complex"; By FREDERICK MELO and NATALIE RADEMACHER; Pioneer Press; November 18, 2019