“Minnesota micro” apartments in West Calhoun neighborhood head to city vote

Rendering by DJR Architecture

Update: The Planning Commission approved the site plan and variances for this project on Dec. 4. 

The Planning Commission is scheduled to vote today on a three-story (39 foot) apartment building at 3823 W. 31st St., a site that currently holds a single-family house.

The proposal by CPM Companies dropped from five stories to three stories in recent months, a decline from 29 units to 15 units. Unit sizes would range from 450-510 square feet, with a front-yard patio and a 600-square-foot common area on the first floor.

At a West Calhoun Neighborhood Council meeting in June, CPM co-founder Dan Oberpriller said residents are living with “less square footage than ever,” and architects are designing spaces with large windows and high ceilings to make units feel larger. He said the project could provide apartments for a mix of incomes without any government subsidy.

When the apartment was proposed as a five-story project last summer, board member Sandra Rieger asked about the potential for more congestion, which she said had become a hot topic for the neighborhood.

Oberpriller said they couldn’t efficiently build a ramp on the site, and said he tries to provide the right balance of parking.

“It’s hard to fit two people in a unit of this size,” Oberpriller said. “That does reduce the number of cars.”

CPM is proposing five vehicle spaces and 15 bike parking spaces, according to the city staff report.

The project is slated to go before the City Planning Commission on Dec. 4, requiring approval for factors including setbacks and the location of the patio and parking lot. The site’s current zoning is “R6,” a high-density multiple-family district.