Developer solidifies East Calhoun Parkway plans

A developer has proposed a four-story, 16-unit building along East Calhoun Parkway across from Bde Maka Ska. Rendering courtesy DJR Architecture

A developer is planning to build a four-story, 16-unit residential building on East Calhoun Parkway on the northeast shore of Bde Maka Ska.

Plans call for 13 apartments, three fourth-floor condos and an 18-stall underground parking garage at 3017, 3021 and 3025 East Calhoun parkway. The site is next to the refectory building that houses Lola on the Lake.

The rental units will be a mixture of one-bedroom, one-bedroom-plus-den and two-bedroom apartments, said Scott England, principal at DJR Architecture, which is working on the project. The condos don’t have a defined number of bedrooms and could be customized to meet the needs of the owners, he said.

The new building would be set back from the street between 26 and 36 feet and would incorporate a series of retaining walls designed to retain natural grade on the sloping site, according to a preliminary city staff report.

The three-parcel project site is owned by Basir Tareen, a urologist who is working on the project with Reuter Walton and DJR. The site is currently occupied by two single-family homes and one triplex, which would be demolished.

Two of the three parcels in the project site are zoned R3 multiple-family district and a third is zoned R2B two-family district. The site is also part of a shoreland-overlay district, which caps development at 2.5 stories, unless a developer receives a conditional-use permit.

The development team is petitioning to rezone the R2B parcel as R3. The team is also seeking three variances for the project and a conditional-use permit to increase the maximum building height to 49 feet from 35 feet.

Tareen wrote in an email that the team had initially considered an assisted-living building but said that would have required a higher-density zoning district, R4, for the site. He wrote that city staff and the East Calhoun Community Organization were not in favor of such a change.

He wrote that an ECCO committee participated in development meetings with his team and provided input that was “invaluable” in helping shape the proposal. He said his team is excited to take a formal proposal to the Minneapolis City Planning Commission after two-plus years of working on it.

The ECCO board opposes the project in its current form, according to President Judy Shields. She wrote in an email that the board has made suggestions on what the development team needs to do for height and shoreland overlay restrictions in order for it to support the project.

The Planning Commission is tentatively scheduled to take up the project on Feb. 25, and construction could start this summer, England said. He said he expects the construction period to be 10 to 12 months.