Retail requirement reversed for LynLake apartment

LynLake apartments
Two new proposed apartments would add 227 units to LynLake. Submitted rendering

A developer building a pair of mixed-use apartments in LynLake won’t need to devote a majority of ground-floor space to retail, a City Council committee has ruled.

In May, the Planning Commission approved Lupe Development Partners’ plans for two seven-story apartment buildings — one with 132 market-rate units, the other with 95 more affordable units — on Lake Street between Garfield and Harriet avenues.

In approving the project, the commission mandated that Lupe dedicate at least half of the ground-floor space in each building to commercial uses.

Lupe appealed, arguing that other retail spaces in the area sit empty and noting that its first-floor community spaces will be publicly accessible and that both buildings will include small retail spaces. Steve Minn, Lupe’s vice president, said including extra retail space would mean fewer affordable units.

On June 16, the City Council’s Business, Inspections and Zoning Committee unanimously voted to overturn the retail requirement. City Council Member Lisa Goodman (Ward 7) said the city needs the affordable units and predicted that the community spaces will be converted into retail uses should demand arise.

The committee also denied an appeal of the project filed by a neighbor who said the buildings will shadow her home.

Construction of the market-rate building could start this summer, and construction of the affordable building is expected to start in spring 2021. An adjacent 111-unit affordable building Lupe is constructing will open in November.