Development planned for Stadium Village

Campus Crossroads development will boot out local businesses.

A new multipurpose, high-density project has been announced for the blocks between Oak and Ontario streets on Washington Avenue .

The eight-story project, called Campus Crossroads , will be built by Opus Corporation pending city approval, which it has already applied for.

If the project is approved by the Minneapolis City Council , the Oak Street Cinema , Campus Pizza , and other Stadium Village businesses will be displaced.

The student housing development, a mixture of first-floor retail and six floors of fully furnished studio and multi-bedroom apartments, will have 175 units and two underground levels for parking, Opus spokesperson Tom Lund said.

CVS Pharmacy, which Lund said has been looking into buying Harvard Market for years, is the only retail tenant committed to the project so far. If the project is completed, CVS will take up half of the 28,000 square feet designated for retail.

This new development would stand just blocks away from Dinnaken Apartments , a housing complex geared toward students.

This will mean close competition in a crowded housing market, Yvonne Grosulak , vice president of Dinnaken Properties, said.

“We’re going to get too much private student housing,” she said. “People are either going to lower their prices or they are not going to be full.”

Grosulak said even though Dinnaken reaches capacity every year, it usually needs to reduce its prices to attract students who transfer mid-school year or leave University housing.

Between the new Jefferson at Berry apartments in St. Paul, the new project Alatus Management is creating in Dinkytown and the Campus Crossroads development, Grosulak said that there may be a surplus of apartments.

This tougher competition would help students by lowering rents, she said.

But rent isn’t the only thing students care about. David Lanctin , a University genetics student and Stadium Village resident, has reservations about the project, especially since Harvard Market would be demolished.

“(Harvard Market is) the only place like this around,” Lanctin said. “There are no supermarkets in this area; we need supplies like this.”

In the shadow of the future project, businesses like the Minnesota Film Arts and Campus Pizza are looking for other locations to set up shop.

Jim Rosvold , owner of Campus Pizza, said in the 17 years he has worked in Stadium Village he watched the area change from a hotbed of independent business to a market populated by chains and franchises.

“I think it will be good for the Village because it builds density,” Rosvold said. “It’s sad to see the nostalgia go, but I think in the long run it will be good for Stadium Village.”

Opus also built 22 of the 24 buildings on the University of St. Thomas campus.

Construction will begin – if the city approves – spring 2009 and will be completed by fall 2010.