Metro Inn may become apartment site

A new proposal is brewing for the Metro Inn. North Bay Companies wants to build a five-story apartment building with a mix of market-rate and affordable units at 5637 Lyndale Ave. S.

Founder Dan Oberpriller said he has the property under contract.

The current concept calls for roughly 95-110 units and 91 parking spaces. Oberpriller said he would seek tax credits to include affordable units. The motel’s ability to generate income makes it possible to take the time to seek tax credits, he said.

Oberpriller declined to say whether he is also pursuing the nearby Aqua City Motel property; Metro Inn owner Shahid Mian said Oberpriller also has the Aqua City site under contract for purchase.

“We just need to go, it’s too much for us,” Mian said.

Mian said he has an apartment onsite, and his kids graduated from neighborhood schools.

“This was my bread and butter,” he said. “…For spending these 20 years in this neighborhood, we don’t have a neighborhood, I’m telling you. … We were never recognized that we lived here, that we are part of the community.”

Mian said he hopes to get the deal done and move forward.

Both motels have been under close scrutiny for years, in response to neighborhood complaints about issues like litter and security. City staff started a process to deny the motels’ license renewal, but that is on hold while the city and the owners attempt to reach an agreement, according to the city.

The Windom Community Council is scheduled to hear a presentation from Roost Real Estate and North Bay Companies Oct. 11.

The company submitted the following statement to the neighborhood group:

“Northbay Co’s is looking to redevelop the Metro Inn site into an architecturally beautiful multi-family apartment building. The building will be a perfect mix of affordable and market rate rents. The idea with this project is to appeal to all stages of life of the residents of this neighborhood. There is an epidemic shortage of affordable housing in our city and part of this building will address these needs for the Windom neighborhood. The building will be 100-110 units, have 91 parking stalls and be 5 stories high, but still shorter than the 5 story Mt Olivet building a block away.

Northbay Co’s founder, Daniel Oberpriller, was born and raised in this neighborhood and has long dreamed of developing something of unique value & vision while contributing back to the neighborhood he grew up in.”

Shaw-Lundquist Associates previously worked to buy the Metro Inn and build a five-story senior housing project. But staff said that deal fell apart due to a high asking price.