Lyndale neighborhood sees competing proposals for 3329 Nicollet

Live-work apartments by Pocket Properties, one of two proposals under consideration for an empty lot at 3329 Nicollet Ave. Image courtesy of Wells & Company Architects

The Lyndale neighborhood will hear two project ideas July 25 for a vacant lot owned by the city at 3329 Nicollet Ave.

The ideas include eight live-work townhouses by Pocket Properties, or a 34-unit apartment building by developer Randy Hobbs.

“They are very different concepts,” said Brad Bourn, executive director of the Lyndale Neighborhood Association.

Pocket Properties proposal

— Two buildings of three stories, with a shared central courtyard and a front yard sculpture garden. The courtyard would serve as a “woonerf” open to pedestrians, bikes and cars.

— Eight townhouses, each with three bedrooms and two bathrooms

— A ground-floor two-car garage for each unit could double as a studio.

“It’s designed specifically for people who work from home,” said architect William Wells.

— Market-rate rents

— The project would require city approval for a variance for smaller front- and side-yard setbacks.

Randy Hobbs proposal

— Thirty-four units with one and two bedrooms

— Pet-friendly with pet wash station; locally-designed cabinets

— Preliminary plans called for no off-street parking, as the lot sits on a transit corridor, according to a Lyndale neighborhood committee’s June meeting minutes.

— The project would need city approval for a zoning change from R4 to R5 to accommodate the size of the development. Randy Hobbs did not return calls for comment.

The site went into foreclosure in 2011, and the city currently owns the land.

Staff at the Lyndale Neighborhood Association considered working to develop the property in recent years, discussing the need for more large family-friendly apartments. Bourn said Lyndale would not partner in either of the current proposals, however, as there is plenty of interest from private developers.

Another developer, Jim Dowds, said he previously designed an eight-unit apartment building for the site with a central courtyard and garages across the back alley.

“I just backed away,” he said. “I love the neighborhood, I just can’t afford it right now. … Southwest is too expensive.”

The Lyndale meeting is Monday, July 25, 6-8 p.m. at Painter Park at 34th & Lyndale.