Developer planning apartments at Lake & James

A New Hope-based management and development company is planning a six-story apartment building for the intersection of Lake & James in Uptown.

Oak Management & Development Company is planning an approximately 77-unit building with about 50 parking stalls on the site, which spans the southwest corner of the intersection. That’s according to plans company Vice President Chris Kirwan presented at the East Calhoun Community Organization Livability Committee meeting on May 21.

The building would be a mix of studio, alcove, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, said David Miller, principal for Minneapolis-based UrbanWorks Architecture.

Miller said preliminary plans have the building’s main entrance off Lake Street and for first-floor flats to line part of James Avenue. The plan is to have a level of underground parking and a partial level of at-grade parking, he said.

Residents will use the alley west of James Avenue to access the parking garage.

Oak Management & Development isn’t planning to have any commercial space in the building, though it’s planning to build the fitness and common area along Lake Street. The company will need to obtain a conditional-use permit for the site, as the northern half is zoned C1 and the southern half is zoned R4. C1 has a by-right height maximum of 2.5 stories or 35 feet, and R4 has a by-right height maximum of four stories or 56 feet for multi-family buildings.

The site is also within a shoreland overlay district, which has a by-right height maximum of 2.5 stories or 35 feet.

Kirwan said units will start at around 400 square feet. He didn’t know the exact unit mix yet but said it would likely be heavier on studio and alcove units.

Some East Calhoun residents at the meeting expressed concerns about how the project would affect parking in the neighborhood. Several said they expected the project to increase demand for street parking because the building would have fewer parking spaces than units.

Miller said he’s finding that there isn’t market demand for 1:1 parking. He noted that every unit will have a private bicycle spot.

Kirwan said he’s thinking the company will make its applications to the city this summer. Construction work could start in the first quarter of 2019, he said.