New Southwest condos in the ‘low $100,000s’?

The Lander Group says it will build 41 "eco-friendly" condos priced in the low $100,000 range at 3800 Nicollet Ave., formerly home to Theisen Vending Company.

Units would be 620 square feet to 1,540 square feet. The development will feature underground parking and new retail space on the ground level. Construction is set to begin this fall.

Eco-friendly elements include bamboo floors and cross-flow ventilation to reduce energy costs. Some of the existing building’s historic elements will be retained, while a newer expansion will be demolished.

The Kingfield Neighborhood Association (KFNA) has worked with CARAG-based Lander on site plans since last fall. KFNA members had been pushing for a mixed-use project with lower-priced units.

David Motzenbecker, chair of KFNA’s Redevelopment Committee, said the neighborhood group initially sought out Lander Group, asking them to take an interest in redeveloping the site.

"They’ve made it a point to address quite a few of our design and development guidelines," he said. "Everyone who has seen the design and the basic idea has liked it a lot."

Still, Motzenbecker said the project plan is an early version and KFNA members are still pushing for more from the developer. He said they would like to see sustainable affordability – possibly a land trust lease that helps hold the long-term unit price down while owners build some equity – and more greenery.

While KFNA members are focused on project specifics, Lander Group officials are tying up loose land acquisition ends to move forward with the project.

Lander Group Project Manager Chris Kennelly told KFNA May 25 that there are still a few outstanding site issues with the property owner.

The issues include the contract for the billboard atop the existing building and environmental cleanup needed to go forward with the plans.

KFNA members have previously said they’d like the billboard removed from the site.

For more information about the Lander Group, visit www.landergroup.com. For more on KFNA, see www.kingfield.org.