Four-story apartment building pitched near Fuller Park in Tangletown

Developer seeking big reduction in parking minimum

A proposed apartment building near 48th & Grand would include 23 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units with rents averaging about $1,800 per month. Submitted image

A single-family home and a duplex near Fuller Park in Tangletown could be razed to make way for a four-story, 23-unit market-rate apartment building with 10 garage parking spaces and 12 bike racks in the lobby. The developer is asking the city for a reduction from the 23-space parking minimum.

The proposal has drawn fierce ire from some nearby residents worried that the building is too tall for the neighborhood and that insufficient parking will lead to increased traffic.

“You’re talking about this building like it’s on the Greenway,” one resident told developer Joshua Segal after he introduced the proposal to the Tangletown Neighborhood Association on Sept. 16. “This is not a convenient area to get places on your bike.”

The site of the proposed building, located a half block north of the 48th & Grand commercial intersection, is currently zoned for high-density, multi-family development up to four stories in height — though the immediate neighborhood has no three- or four-story buildings. The Minneapolis 2040 plan, yet to be approved by the Metropolitan Council, would downzone the site to an Interior 2 designation that caps most development at 2.5 stories.

Segal said the fact that the project will come before the Planning Commission on Oct. 7, four days before the City Council is scheduled to vote on the 2040 plan, could be a stroke of good fortune, though the timing was unintentional.

“We had found this project and started it even before we knew about the 2040 plan,” he said.

The project, dubbed Fullertown Flats, would be the first apartment building built by Segal, who lives near 54th & Washburn and co-founded the fitness studio Urban Cycle at 50th & Penn almost 10 years ago. He said his previous development experience is in teardowns and rebuilds. Segal’s company, ReImagine Southwest, would also manage Fullertown Flats.

The apartment building would consist of a mix of 14 studios (between 460 and 510 square feet), six one-bedrooms (580–730 square feet) and three two-bedrooms (1,040 square feet). Segal said rents in the building would average about $1,800 per month, including utilities and parking, with studio units ranging from $1,200–$1,400.

Segal said residents’ strongly voiced feedback at the Sept. 16 neighborhood meeting had given him a lot to think about.

“It was kind of rough in there,” he said. “We want to do the project, but we want the neighborhood to be behind it, too. I don’t like walking around in blinders and not saying hello to the neighbors.”

Council Member Jeremy Schroeder (Ward 11) said he’s keeping his eye on the development as it makes its way to the Planning Commission.

“I think it’s critical that the developer hear the concerns of the neighborhood,” he said.

Segal said he initially planned to build a five-level building that would have included an additional below-grade level of parking and a car elevator, but he said he changed the building’s designs in part because the city urged him to include less parking.

Segal acquired the single-family house at 4740 Grand Ave. in August 2018 and is set to close on the duplex immediately to the north. Segal said monthly rents for the house and for both duplex units are about $1,800.

Designs call for a facade of stucco, aluminum and white brick. Plans include a first-floor lobby with a fireplace and a fourth-floor community room and co-working space for tenants.

Robyn Miller and Nancy Grabow both own units in the triplex immediately south of the proposed apartment. They said they worried that the building would block light from reaching their yard and windows and increase traffic on their street and in a driveway they would share with apartment residents.

“It took me 20 years to find the perfect home; I was the Goldilocks of house hunting,” Grabow said. “Now I’m going to have people looking [in my window]. It’s going to cast a shadow and make my living room a dungeon.”

In addition to the parking reduction, Segal is asking for a variance to reduce the setback on the property’s north side from 11 feet to 9 feet. The Tangletown Neighborhood Association is recommending that the city deny both the parking reduction and the setback variance.