Ten stories at West Lake & James? You've gotta be kidding.

No, you read that right. Ten stories, two blocks from Bde Maka Ska, three blocks west of Lunds Uptown.

Oak Management & Development, of Brooklyn Center, first proposed a six-story, 77-unit building with eight units affordable at 60% of AMI.

Then, even though their initial pro-posal would eviscerate both the Up-town Small Area Plan and the Shore-land Overlay District, the developers decided to push the envelope and ask for 127 units and ten stories.

Their carrot for City Hall? In addi-tion to the now-increased total of 13 units affordable at 60% of AMI, they'd set aside another 13 units at 80% of AMI.

Under the built form map of the 2040 Plan, the West Lake & James site will lie in a Corridor 6 district.

If approved at ten stories (despite that pesky Uptown Small Area Plan, pledges in the 2040 Plan that "devel-opment near lakes and waterways should be designed to preserve and improve the natural and built envi-ronment," and impacts on neighbor-hood livability from the addition of 127 new households in a building with parking spaces for only 90 of them), the West Lake & James build-ing will create a shuddering, mind-numbing precedent for all of West Lake Street clear over to Blaisdell and for both sides of Hennepin Avenue from West 28th Street clear up to the Walker Art Center. And we know how developers think: if that project got approved at ten stories, then let's see if the city will approve my project at 12 stories ... or maybe 15.

Read about the issue HERE in David Tompkins' article in the March issue of Hill & Lake Press.

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