Housing hopes coming true in New Hope


Finance & Commerce –

In the coming weeks, Doran Cos. will start sinking steel pilings into a soggy site in New Hope to prepare for Alatus LLC’s apartment project next to a city-owned golf course.

Financing the work delayed this particular project for seven months, but that’s just a blip considering the city of New Hope has tried for more than eight years to bring new housing to the site.

The 183-unit, market-rate project at 8400 Bass Lake Road was supposed to start last fall on land next to the New Hope Village Golf Course. But Minneapolis-based Alatus and the city had to work out a reimbursement to make up for the site conditions and utility work the company will do for the city.

Alatus purchased the 3.54-acre site for $1.44 million from the New Hope Economic Development Authority on July 11, according to a recently filed certificate of real estate value.

The developer has started work on the site, which is in the northeast quadrant of Highway 169 and Bass Lake Road. Alatus’ general contractor, Bloomington-based Doran Cos., will drive pilings up to 85 feet long over the next several weeks to support the four-story structure and its underground parking deck.

The city will contribute $6.574 million in tax increment financing to the $43 million project. The apartment building will be the first to rise in New Hope for some time, said Jeff Sargent, the city’s community development director. New Hope is 98 percent built out and has seen primarily single-family housing built in recent years. The city issued no permits for apartment construction last year, he said.

The apartments will open in October 2018, said Chris Osmundson, Alatus’ development director.

The project site became available after the city purchased an older, five-building, 60-unit apartment complex next to the golf course in 2008 for $2.25 million. Sargent said the city decided to position the site for redevelopment because it drew a high number of service calls from police and fire departments.

The complex was razed and the property has been vacant for several years.

“It was in need for some kind of intervention,” Sargent said.

Rather than issue a request for proposals, the city interviewed several developers to determine the site’s best use, Sargent said. Alatus was one of two developers the city asked to pitch a development idea.

“We were waiting for the right fit,” he said.

About eight years ago the city had developer PariPassu Cos. lined up to bring a 120-unit condominium project to the site, but the deal fell through during the housing market crisis, Finance & Commerce previously reported.

The Alatus apartments will offer amenities similar to those in new buildings in downtown Minneapolis, plus one that few complexes can claim – namely the par-3, nine-hole golf course it borders. Osmundson said Alatus is talking with the city about co-branding the still-unnamed apartments with the course. The golf course and the apartments will have shared access off Bass Lake Road, said the city’s Sargent.

“I think it’s a rare opportunity in 2017 to locate your complex next to a beautiful area that already has a golf course,” Osmundson said.

Future residents may receive course memberships or some other golf benefit with their units, he said. The developer and the city might also offer winter activities at the course such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Other building amenities will include a deck and terrace with a swimming pool, a craft room, a coffee bar, a fitness room, and 255 underground parking stalls.

The complex will offer apartments with up to three bedrooms. Monthly rents will range between $1,050 and $2,400.

Alatus expects the apartments to attract “a younger demographic that doesn’t necessarily have a compelling reason to live in downtown Minneapolis or the West End” in St. Louis Park, Osmundson said. Other renters will likely include empty nesters.

New Hope has a 2 percent vacancy rate for apartments, according to Marquette Advisors’ Apartments Trends second-quarter report. The metro-wide vacancy rate is 2.8 percent.

By: Matt M. Johnson
Date: July 21, 2017 12:07 pm CST
View original article and images here.