New “micro-unit” apartment building planned for Marcy-Holmes draws parking concerns

Neighbors have expressed concerns over parking and the building’s presence.

A rendering of the proposed micro-unit apartment building in Marcy-Holmes.

Courtesy of Go Gopher Rentals, LLC

A rendering of the proposed micro-unit apartment building in Marcy-Holmes.

by Carter Blochwitz

A new four-story apartment proposal could bring tiny living to Marcy-Holmes. 

Developer Go Gopher Rentals, LLC is looking to construct a 27-unit micro-apartment building in the neighborhood. The micro-unit complex would be the second of its kind in Marcy-Holmes if approved by the City of Minneapolis. But the project has drawn criticism from local residents concerned about its effect on area parking. 

The micro-apartments, which would be built at 408 4th St. SE, are part of a two-phase proposal that includes modifying an adjacent townhouse.

“We’re very confident that this is going to be very popular,” said William Wells, project architect and applicant on behalf of Go Gopher Rentals.

Wells said their target markets are students at the Aveda Institute and those who work in Northeast Minneapolis.

Similar apartments in the area include Coze Flats and another development Wells designed that is pending City approval.

Chad Kraft, owner of Go Gopher Rentals, proposed a rent of $900 to $1,100 for the apartments that typically range from 400 to 500 square feet. Kraft said the development’s location will be ideal for city living.

“[Tenants] have… all the amenities and sensibilities that they need to take advantage of the urban living that is thriving here in Minneapolis,” Kraft said.

Despite its small size, the apartment has drawn concerns over the developer’s requests for fewer parking spots than required.

“We struggle for parking,” said Cerise Lewis, representing the Church of Minneapolis, which has a location west of the proposed development. “[Marcy Open School] does not have a parking lot, we do not have a parking lot and there are limited parking lots for the apartment buildings already in the area.”

At the Jan. 8 meeting of the Minneapolis City Planning Commission, Wells requested a variance that would allow the building to have 10 parking spaces below the building, down from the 14-space minimum.

Chris Lautenschlager, executive director of the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association, expressed concern that the apartment’s parking wouldn’t match its number of units. 

“While our association fully appreciates that this building is on a transit route and along existing bike lanes… the fact remains that the aforementioned groups still heavily bring cars into this pocket of our neighborhood,” Lautenschlager said at the meeting.

A vote on the property is set for the Jan. 26 meeting of the City’s planning commission, with a final decision to be made Jan. 27.

If approved, Lautenschlager said Go Gopher Rentals plans to begin construction in March, with the second phase slated to begin in July.