The $45 million Currie Park Lofts will turn around a vacant, blighted property in Minneapolis’s Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.
It’ll also bring much-needed affordable housing to the area, according to developer Bianca Fine, who leads Fine Associates
The six-story development will have 260 mixed-income apartments between floors two through six--with room to accommodate large families--while a cultural center, adult and child daycare, and a neighborhood grocer will share the first-floor retail space.
Right now, besides some limited parking, there’s a single-family home on the site that has an interesting history as a brewpub, and which the company is looking into the possibility of moving, she says.
One of the biggest advantages of the project's location is its proximity to the light rail transit lines, bus stops, and bicycle amenities. It’s also within walking distance of several large institutions, including the University of Minnesota
, and downtown’s business district.
As such, “It’s a true transit-oriented development,” which helps fulfill city and neighborhood goals for the area.
Visually, Currie Park Lofts will blend into the neighborhood with a brick, glass and metal exterior, along with a pedestrian-scale design and landscaping. “Many different colors and finishes and textures will make it look like several different small buildings,” Fine explains.
Further, the design incorporates a number of balconies, which means “a lot of eyes on the street," and there'll also be green spaces and recreational areas.
Fine Associates has been working on the project since 2005, and that has “given us a lot of time to figure out how to do it best,” Fine says. “The more we got to know the neighborhood, the more we got to understand its needs,” and respond to them, which, she adds is key for its long-term success.
In the next 20 years, projections show the need for housing in the neighborhood is likely to increase dramatically, according to Fine. “The neighborhood needs an engine of economic improvement,” she says, adding that the project will be “strongly integrated.”
Construction of the lofts could begin as early as this fall.
Source: Bianca Fine, Fine Associates
Writer: Anna Pratt