Two planned infill developments would add 22 condominium units to France Avenue in Fulton.
The projects, pitched by Schafeco Development, would replace multiple single-family dwellings with multi-unit condo structures. The company, new to Minneapolis development, is proposing a four-story, 17-unit building at 51st & France and a three-story, five-unit building at 53rd & France.
The projects, dubbed 51 France and 53 France, have yet to be submitted as applications to the Planning Commission. Representatives from Schafeco presented the projects to the Fulton Neighborhood Association on Sept. 11.
The 17-unit project at 51st & France would have underground parking with two spaces per unit and additional guest spots. The five-unit building would have 10 enclosed parking stalls on the ground level, according to the developers.
Tim Brown with Schafeco Development told the Fulton Neighborhood Association the company researched the market needs and demands of the area and found “an urban condo project would be well-received.”
Attendees of the meeting did not receive the plans well. Several decried the size and design of the buildings and said the projects would lower local property values.
Some neighbors said they were concerned about the prices of the condos. The units at 51 France would sell for around $900,000, Brown said. Units at 53 France would go for more than $1 million.
Council Member Linea Palmisano (Ward 13) said both lots are currently zoned for single-family homes and told the developers they should have contacted her office before the neighborhood group.
“It kind of offends me that you wouldn’t try to have a conversation with the local elected official first,” she said at the meeting.
If approved under current zoning statutes, the properties would need to be rezoned from R1 to R4. The yet-to-be-implemented Minneapolis 2040 plan would zone both project areas as Corridor 3, meaning the 53 France project would require a conditional use permit for its planned fourth story. The 51 France project would require a variance for a front-yard setback.
Leslie Bowman, who lives directly north of the 53 France project, said she knew the site was likely being developed when her old neighbor left, but she hadn’t pictured something so large. She’s concerned the three-story building would block sunlight from reaching the 1.5-story bungalow she has called home for 38 years.
Many near the projects have been discussing what they can do to oppose the buildings when applications are submitted to the city.
“We’re just in the process of trying to figure out when we can have the most impact,” Bowman said.