Proposed Wedge apartment project moves ahead despite opposition

An illustration of the new 10-unit apartment development planned for 2008 Bryant Ave. S.

The City Council’s Zoning & Planning Committee voted Thursday to allow a developer to move ahead with a new 10-unit, four-story apartment development at 2008 Bryant Ave. S. neighborhood despite objections from several neighbors concerned about another teardown in the Wedge neighborhood.

The committee voted 4-0 to deny an appeal filed by James Boyle on behalf of Minneapolis Neighbors United objecting to a March 28 Planning Commission decision allowing the project to proceed.

DDMZ Real Estate plans to demolish an 1893-era, two-story property to make way for its new project.

Boyle, along with several other people who testified at Thursday’s public hearing, said he was concerned about the pace of homes being bulldozed in the area and the removal of affordable housing to make way for new high-end rental units.

Several people also criticized city leaders for not giving residents more say in the development process.

City Council Member Lisa Goodman (Ward 7) said that while she opposed the demolition of the neighborhood’s Orth House — which generated a massive debate — the property at 2008 Bryant Ave. doesn’t have “any historic significance.”

The property is also zoned R6, which allows for high-density development, she noted.

She also said that while she bemoans the loss of naturally occurring affordable housing in the city, the Council has no authority to mandate the developer’s planned price point for the development.

Goodman, however, did criticize the city’s Planning Commission for putting the proposal on its consent agenda, which failed to give community members the opportunity to share feedback on the project.

Development trends in the Wedge have been a source of major controversy in the neighborhood.

The City Council voted two years ago to allow a developer to demolish the Orth House at 2320 Colfax Ave. S. to make way for a new 45-unit apartment complex despite intense neighborhood opposition. The 1893-era Queen Anne-style home designed by master builder T.P. Healy was home to a rooming house.

In August 2015 the Council approved a historic district in the Wedge, which includes 55 notable houses built between 1882 and 1920 located on the 2300 and 2400 blocks of Aldrich, Bryant and Colfax.