Developer moves ahead with Lake Street, Edina apartment projects

Amid pandemic, apartments in Minneapolis, Edina target low-income tenants.

Twin Cities-based Lupe Development Partners has moved forward on two rental projects aimed at low-income renters: an 111-unit building that opened recently on Lake Street in Minneapolis and a senior rental building in Edina that’s in its infancy.

Both projects come at a challenging time for low-income renters. Though vacancy rates for market-rate rentals are on the rise in much of the metro and rents are flat or falling in some areas, wait lists persist for the most-affordable units.

To help meet that demand, Lupe is proceeding with additional phases of that Lake Street project, and on Monday the developer participated in a virtual community meeting where people who live near the Edina project will discuss its plans to build 118 rentals for low-income, older adults on a site that’s owned by the Edina Housing Foundation near Southdale Center in Edina.

“This project will be ideal for individuals who want to remain in Edina after retirement,” said Steve Minn, vice president and chief financial manager of Minneapolis-based Lupe Development Partners, in statement. “This area is rich in services, restaurants, shopping, transit and other essentials to keep senior residents connected to their community. It’s a perfect match with the amenities we plan to bring to the development.”

Lupe will partner with Ecumen, a nonprofit that specializes in managing low-income senior housing. The team was selected last month to develop and manage the proposed project at 4040 W. 70th St. in Edina. It would include one- and two-bedroom units with rents ranging from $650 to $1,600, making it affordable to seniors with annual household incomes ranging from $22,000 to $58,000 per year.

“This property will be a wonderful opportunity for residents to remain actively connected with all that they love in this special community as they explore new interests and build new friendships,” said Shelley Kendrick, president and CEO of Ecumen, in a statement.

Amenities would include a fitness center, community room with kitchen, business center, below-grade parking, a package and mail center, outdoor garden beds and a green roof. Walking paths would connect to the city’s trail system. The team has just begun the development planning and approval process and is still seeking financing for construction. If approved, construction is expected to begin in 2022.

The announcement of the Edina project followed the opening of Lake Street Dwelling, a new 111-unit rental building at 410 W. Lake St. in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis. That six-story building is one of three buildings that Lupe plans to build as part of a mixed-income redevelopment project.

Residents, who began moving in on Nov. 1, must earn $30,000 to $42,000 a year. There will also have units reserved for veterans who have dealt with homelessness. Those veterans will receive services and support via a partnership between Hennepin County and the nearby Ballentine VFW Post 246.

“It’s a tough time right now in our community,” said Winston Kettle, VFW Post 246 quartermaster, in a statement. “And we’re looking forward to better and brighter days ahead when we hope the residents of Lake Street Dwelling will visit for a meal, a drink, or some entertainment.”

On an adjacent site, construction is already underway of a 135-unit market-rate building at 500 W. Lake St. which will later be joined by a third building that will have another 95 income-restricted rentals at 550 W. Lake St.