Heritage Preservation Commission advances Fourth Ave. apartments

A developer is proposing a four-story, 19-apartment-unit addition to a single-story commercial building in Whittier. Rendering courtesy Dan Clark/MAD

The Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission on Dec. 11* advanced a developer’s proposal to add four stories with 19 apartments to a single-story commercial building in Whittier.

The commission voted 9-0 to grant a certificate of appropriateness for the project, which would be located at 2208-10 Fourth Ave. S., just south of Franklin Avenue and adjacent to Interstate 35W. The project will now advance to the City Planning Commission, where it will need a conditional-use permit before the developer, Jim Oman, can begin construction.

Oman is proposing to add four stories and 14,725 square feet to the existing 5,006-square-foot commercial building at 2210 Fourth Ave. S., according to a Community Planning and Economic Development staff report. The renovated building would have main-floor office and retail space and 19 apartments on floors two through five, according to plans submitted to the Heritage Preservation Commission. The site would have six parking spots, new landscaping and bicycle storage, the plans say.

The building would include studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units ranging from 415 to 820 square feet, according to the plans.

Dan Clark, founding partner at the design office MAD, said in an email that the building will have excellent views of downtown Minneapolis and large balconies along the second and fifth floors.

Clark, the architect for the project, wrote that the site will be generously landscaped and will have a private green space for residents along the west side of the building. He wrote that no timeline has been established for construction yet.

Rental rates have not been set but will be consistent with the surrounding neighborhood, Clark wrote. He said current plans for the building only include market-rate units.

The project would be located within the Washburn-Fair Oaks Historic District, which is significant for its architecture and design, according to the CPED staff report. The district contains a significant concentration of residences that exemplify the fashionable stylistic models of architecture of the time, the report says.

The district stretches from Franklin Avenue on the north to I-35W to the east to 26th Street to the south to the alley between Nicollet and First Avenue on the west. It’s one of 12 locally designated historical districts.

The Heritage Preservation Commission reviews proposed major alterations to buildings located within historic districts, such as additions and large-scale rehabilitation projects.

The CPED report says the alterations to the existing building at 2210 Fourth Ave. S. would not change its stylistic character remarkably, except that the exterior materials would be more uniform. It says that the historic, cultural and architectural values of the current building are minimal in relationship to the Washburn-Fair Oaks Historic District.

The project site is zoned C4 General Commercial District, which allows for a by-right building height of up to 56 feet or four stories, whichever is less. Oman needs the conditional-use permit to build five stories.

Clark wrote that they anticipate submitting a package to the City Planning Commission for a conditional-use permit sometime in the next month.

*Updated to reflect the accurate date of the HPC’s decision.