New idea for East Calhoun Pkwy lakefront: Senior housing

The owner of property at 3017, 3021 and 3025 E. Calhoun Pkwy is proposing three floors of senior housing in a new building.

Citing a “eureka moment,” the owner of three homes on the eastern edge of Bde Maka Ska wants to develop senior housing in a proposal that aims to alleviate neighborhood concerns about height and parking.

Under the new concept, about 17 independent- and assisted-living units would stand in a building of three floors (35 feet) at 3017, 3021 and 3025 E. Calhoun Pkwy. The building would cater to seniors who don’t want to drive, and provide about three to five parking spaces. Average unit sizes would be 600-700 square feet, most with lake views.

“I don’t need five stories. I can do all of this on three levels,” said Basir Tareen, referencing a shelved proposal for a five-story, 18-unit condo building.

He said the new idea checks lots of boxes to address local concerns: no renters, no parties and fewer car trips. Senior housing was a popular choice in a neighborhood survey, he said.

Such facilities typically prepare meals onsite and keep a nurse on staff, he said. He said the new building would not provide intensive memory care or nursing home care, however.

“The beauty of it is the lake and community is your amenity,” he said.

Tareen said he commissioned a market analysis that found Minneapolis has a shortage of senior housing, with huge demand for it.

“It’s an interesting idea,” said resident Lee Todd, speaking with Tareen at a March 19 East Calhoun Community Organization meeting.

“There is nothing in Uptown,” said another attendee, referring to senior housing. “…I think you’re totally on to something.”

Resident Lara Norkus-Crampton said she hopes the developer would partner to help improve pedestrian safety, ensuring that seniors could make it across the street safely.

Resident Gary Farland said he appreciates the reduced height.

The developer put a five-story concept on hold a year ago, following resistance from the city Planning Commission. The site is located inside the Shoreland Overlay District, which requires a conditional use permit to build above 2.5 stories near the water.

Tareen said he’s no longer interested in building condominiums, saying they would need to be priced at about $2 million apiece to build.

He plans to retain ownership of the building, hiring Reuter Walton Construction and a senior housing management group. He expects to return to an ECCO meeting in the coming months with design drawings.