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Kingfield Neighborhood Association Redevelopment Committee Special Meeting
June 23, 2020 @ 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
The Kingfield Neighborhood Association Redevelopment Committee had the opportunity to review the developer’s proposal for 4220 & 4230 Nicollet Avenue South last week, and the committee is holding a special committee meeting via Zoom to allow interested neighbors to learn about the project and ask questions of the developer, Michael Pink of Left Lane Corporation.
Review the project summary below, and we welcome you to submit project questions BEFORE the meeting so we can request that his team address them in the presentation. For questions, please email and put ‘4220 & 4230 Nicollet Meeting’ in the subject line. Questions will be accepted during the presentation if time allows.
Brief Description of the Nicollet Project, provided by the developer, Left Lane Corporation
The project at 4220-4230 Nicollet envisions 47 market rate apartments ranging in size from 475 square feet to 1050 square feet including 11 studios, 22 one bedrooms, and 14 two bedroom units. Although the City of Minneapolis does not require on site parking at this location, our proposal nonetheless includes 32 enclosed parking stalls and 44 bike stalls. The front of the building is designed to provide an active use along the street. To the right of the centrally located lobby are two residential walk-up style units with individual entrances and patios on grade. To the left of the entrance there is a lobby with an adjacent office area that will serve as a (public? Or still to be determined?)co-working space. Aesthetically, the building is designed to be a modern interpretation of a classic walk up style apartment such as the historic, three story brick apartment buildings that sit across the street from the site. These vintage apartment buildings consist of a central access point with units on each side in a symmetrical design. The proposed design of our project takes its cues from these vintage buildings, incorporating a central lobby, units on either side of that lobby, and a brick facade.
The first floor of the building is intended to be a transition between the commercial uses directly to the South, and the residential uses to the North. The first floor has large windows, common spaces used for co-working, and the residential lobby, as well as the aforementioned walk-up units. The first floor also has its own articulation consistent with the one-story commercial uses in the area. The office area consists of a mezzanine to increase the visibility and volume of the space as seen from the street. The building’s fifth floor is stepped back ten feet so that it feels like a four story building to pedestrians and passers by.
Land Use Application Summary
The site is comprised of two parcels, 4220 and 4230 Nicollet Avenue South. 4220 currently has two structures on it. At the front of the lot on the sidewalk is a residential property that was most recently used as a tattoo parlor on the lower level with a dwelling unit located over it. On the back of the lot is a single family residence. 4230 has a single family residence, which had been divided into two apartments, with a detached garage. These four living units will be torn-down and rebuilt to support 47 units, increasing the density along this important transit corridor.
We will be requesting the following land use applications:
- Rezoning of one parcel (4230) from OR1 to OR2 and the second parcel (4220) from R2B to OR2. In essence, we are requesting to rezone the property up one level from the current zoning of the Southern lot and combine the two parcels together. The zoning we are requesting is consistent with guidance provided by the 2040 Plan.
- Conditional Use Permit to allow additional height (from 4 stories 56 feet to 5 stories 65 feet). The height we are requesting is one story less than the guidance provided by the City’s 2040 Plan. That said, the building sits on a sloping site. As a result, the height on the West side is less than 56 feet from grade to the top of the roof. Further, we intentionally stepped back the fifth floor on the East side so that the elevation appears as a 54 foot tall structure from the street. Thus, from both the rear of the building and Nicollet Avenue the building will read as less than 56 feet tall.
- Side yard set-back variance on the South side from 13′ to 6′. A Comcast infrastructure hub sits South of the project. The Comcast building represents an inactive use. Further the building has a 30 foot drive apron and the adjacent building to the South has a 24 foot drive apron. Together, these drive aprons result in a very wide area for vehicle access that creates a “dead zone” and interrupts the pedestrian experience. We believe decreasing the setback to the South accomplishes two goals. First, it improves the pedestrian experience by decreasing the dead zone between active uses. Second, it provides more of a buffer between the new building and the residential property to the North.
- Front yard setback variance from 15 feet to 6 feet. I’d note that the current structure at 4220 is 5 feet from the sidewalk. Thus, our request is consistent with the current condition. Further, the building is being situated so as to provide a transition from the commercial buildings to its South, which sit on the sidewalk and the residential properties to the North which are set back further.
- Variance to allow for the at grade patios we envision for the walk-up style units on Nicollet. We are seeking this variance because we believe the walk-up units and their front yard at grade patios provide a nice transition to the single family residential properties to the North and serve to activate the street and provide a friendly pedestrian environment.